By David Yon


The high schools are in the thick of post season competition with district meets now behind them. Not surprisingly, Maclay captured both the boys and the girls 1A district 3 titles. Finishing a strong second in the girl’s competition and third in the boys was North Florida Christian. Florida High, Godby and Rickards finished one, two and three in the girls 2A district 2 meet, while Godby won the boys and East Gadsden took third. Chiles High school dominated the 3A meet winning both the boys and girls titles. Lincoln grabbed second in the boys.

Paula Radcliffe walked away from London with a very nice payday. In addition to whatever appearance fee she received (and I am sure that was well into the six figures), Race Results Weekly reported she will receive $255,000 for her race day performance. $55,000 for victory, $50,000 for sub-2:22:00, $25,000 for course record in all-women’s race (sub-2:18:56) and $125,000 for world record in all-women’s race (sub-2:18:56). Not a bad day’s work. And it was a nice way to find redemption after struggling at the Olympics. She also won the New York City marathon last fall.

In addition to the excitement of having lots of US runners in the top 15 (men and women), Jack McDermott brought back the Tallahassee title from Boston again this year, leading a group of 19 finishers with a net time of 3:01:21. Kim Likens continued her impressive running stretch by leading the women with a time of 3:35:30. The conditions were warm again and there was a bit of a head wind most of the time. Here is a complete list of finishers.

Kudos to Gary Droze for putting together a meet for middle school teams to try and qualify for the state track and field meet sponsored by Florida The troublesome thing is trying to understand why the local public administration seems to believe letting private and public schools compete in the same meet will lead to some sort of break down in the social order of Leon County. As a result, a number of local schools that would like to have attended got left out. In my view, it is a policy that deprives kids, both in track and field and in cross country of a wonderful chance to participate in sports.

After a couple years of struggling to figure out what to call the race formally known as the Women’s Distance Festival, GWTC can now be called the Women’s Distance Festival again. That is because GWTC is now an RRCA club again. RRCA ran into hard times for a number of years and, I would say, drifted away from its core mission. A new club was formed, the American Association of Running Clubs, and GWTC left RRCA to join the new group. The goal of AARC always seemed to be to bring the two groups back together, but in the form of a more disciplined organizations. That is exactly what happened at the end of last year and the two groups merged with RRCA being the surviving group. Here is to hoping the WDF benefits just as much. It is a good race that celebrates a great cause – the role of women in running, especially how far they have come since Roberta Gibbs had to hide her sex and K. Switzer had to have a body guard to keep Jock Sample from pulling her off the Boston course.

Jessie Close and Sarah Docter-Williams took the 2005 Rose City titles. The weather was nearly perfect, though the crowd seemed a bit small to me. It makes you feel kind of special to a director of one two races (Rose City and Turkey Trot) Jessie always seems to find a way to run. The one mile run is still the best kids’ race anywhere in the area. I wish I could learn Dr. Story’s trick.

The Board of GWTC voted at its April meeting to spend up to $13,000 to buy a fully automated timing system to be used at the summer track meets and to rent out to the local high schools to use for their track meets. There is one system in town and many weekends there are at least two meets. It is simply impossible to get accurate results without such a system. Gary Droze made a presentation to the board about the equipment.

In what seemed like a well kept secret, Tallahassee was host this weekend to the ACC Track and Field Championships. It was a very classy meet. The men won the title to follow up their indoor title. Democrat writer St. Claire Murraine did a nice job covering an exciting 10,000 meter race on Thursday evening, but after one cover story the Democrat seemed to forget the meet was in town burying it in back pages. Congratulations to Bob Braman’s Seminoles who took first place in the men’s competition with a variety of performances. In addition to wins by Walter Dix in the 100 and 200, the top two spots in the shot put, the distance runners put on quite a show. Tom Lancashire won the 800 (1:48. 84) and 1500 (3:48.59), while Andrew Lemoncello won the 5000 (14:13.42) and the 10,000 (29:59.19). The women finished fourth.

And yes, summer is on its way. But here is hoping everyone is taking time to enjoy the extra days of spring.