By David Yon
Andrew Wills certainly has the blood lines and the history to be among the top runners in the area. Saturday, May 22, 2004, he stepped into the winner’s circle for the first time in a long time at the Miles for Meals 5K at Maclay Gardens. He and Tim Unger were still together at 2.5 miles, but Andrew took advantage of the downhill finish to pull away and win in a time of 17:17 to 17:21. Third place belonged to one of the area’s best new talents, Joseph Franklin who ran 17:56 on this challenging course at Maclay Gardens. He recently captured state titles in Jacksonville in the middle school meet with times of 2:00.61 for the 800 and 4:19.27 for the 1500 meters – “Deakesque” times. Sarah Docter-Williams won the women’s title in 18:34, despite taking some time off from training recently. Kara Newell pounded out a 19:32 “tempo” run to take second. In the one mile run four of the top five times belonged to the girls, with Kara Taylor taking the top spot overall in a time of 6:57, just ahead of the first boy, Phillip Wenturine, who ran 7:06. Whitney Alexander was second girl and third overall in 7:11. Jamie Wright was second boy in 7:57. Places 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9 belong to North Florida Christian runners. Great work by coaches Alexander and Corbin! Every race seems to be for a cause these days, but Elder Care has a special place on the list. Angie Goodman and crew did a great job in their first effort at a grand prix race and the turnout was great with 180 finishing the 5K and 23 completing the one mile. I know the staff and volunteers at Elder Care do wonderful things for so many in our aging population that need help. Having been through the very difficult experience of watching parents age and die, I know their job is a tough one. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for all the work they do.