Two hundred and twenty-five runners tested out the new Tom Brown Bash courses on a humid morning that was not a hot as it might have been. Dave Guerra edged out Pat Marshall to lead a field of 141 runners over the new 5-mile course. Guerra beat Marshall by three seconds, 27:11 to 27:14. Gary Droze continued his late season grand prix run by finishing third overall and first among the grand prix competitors with a 27:23. Tom Brown marked Droze’s third straight grand prix win. Sarah Docter-Williams took the women’s race and picked up 30 grand prix points by running 31:18. Jane Johnson was close behind in a time of 31:43 to take second place and the masters title. New member Angela Dempsey continued her impressive run with a third place finish in 34:27. Second place masters runner was 54 year old Peggy Simpson who ran a great time of 36:30. Tim Unger once again took the men’s masters title, running 29:00 to beat Tim Simpkins by one second.
Florida High, led by new Coach Gretchen Meyer swept the high school team competition in the three mile event. The boys scored 28 points to best Maclay’s 61 and Lincoln’s 66. (Maclay did send its first team to Mobile to win the Mobile Challenge.) Jason Heinze (17:16), John Allaman (17:18) and Kyle Pla (17:28) swept the first three spots to lead Florida High to victory. The three used strong team tactics by finishing within 12 seconds of each other. Scott Poindexter broke up the run by finishing fourth and leading Lincoln with a time of 17:29. Christy Cooper led the girls. The Florida High runner finished in 20:10 on a very tough course. It would appear she is on her way to sub 20:00 times. Lincoln was missing Allie Hunter, but new runner Megal ATias started her Leon county cross country career by running a 21:02. Megal was an outstanding runner in Israel before moving to Tallahassee (Note: Florida High’s boys team did have one graduate running on its team. Some of the girls teams had no school participants also.)
The new course was, in my view, the best one we have run on since moving away from the middle school many years ago. Tom Brown is always changing and it seems like every year a new fence goes up somewhere that requires a course change. Paul Hiers and Toma Wilkerson did a good job with the race and the course was very well marked. You would have had to run under tape or trip over a cone to go off course.