Local Sports

Runners on a mission

SEBRING - Over 100 runners came out to Highlands Hammock State Park on Saturday morning to support the Highlands County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

"This is the second time we've held a 5k," said Sarah Pallone, the Habitat's Director of Development and Communications. "And we came up with Home Run for Habitat to help raise community awareness. And for only our second time, we've had a great turnout."

The 5k also serves as a fundraiser for the non-profit organizaiton, which aims to build affordable and adequate housing for the homeless.

Pallone said she is looking into plans for holding another race in the fall.

"We have our annual golf tournament, and a breakfast in the summer, but we're looking to hold another 5k when it's still cool out," Pallone said. "We've got a great sponsor in MidFlorida Credit Union and we really think a race is great for everyone. We raise awareness about Habitat for Humanity, while participants get their exercise while giving to a good cause."

For more information on how to get involved with Habitat for Humanity, contact the office at 385-7156.

Matthew Schult captured the 5k in a sizzling 17 minutes, 55 seconds. He was the only runner to finish the course in under 20 minutes. Monica Munoz was the Overall Female Winner, coming in at 22:40. Munoz finished fourth overall.

Other impressive times on the men's side came from Zachary Vanfleet, who won the 9-13 age group in 24:08. Jessee Bermudez finished second at 30:54, while Nicholas Piccione was third in 34:23.

Chandler Gowan, who finished second overall, won the 14-19 class with a stellar time of 20:14. Nicholas Gregor followed him at 22:57, and Marcos Rivera finished third in 23:41.

The 30-39 class was one of the more tightly contested groups. Brian Vanfleet came in first at 25:33, but Shane White wasn't far behind, finish second in 26:23. Jason True galloped just seconds later for third place at 26:27.

Representing the 50-59 age group, Elmer Hall breezed into first place at 22:30. Hall finished third overall. Darrell Jensen placed second at 27:411, and Chris Beach was third in 29:15.

Charles Leighton won the 70 and over class. Leighton finished in 41:23, while Paul Rowe came in just behind him at 44:13. Dale Bargar finished third in 44:55.

On the women's side, junior speedster Savannah Oldfield edged Julia Vanfleet for the top spot in the 14-19 class. Oldfield finished in 29:19 to Vanfleet's 30:37. Rebeca Spencer was third at 38:14.

Sebring High School's girls cross country coach Krista Schult won the 30-39 class. She finished in 25:02 and was the only runner in her class to complete the 5k in under 30 minutes. Kaylie Lindsey was second in 31:16, while Jennifer Whitaker placed third at 32:10.

Jennifer Glassburn trotted into first place in the 50-59 age group with a time of 25:26. Carol Fredrikson was just behind her at 25:37, while Brenda Rickert placed third in 29:05.

Donna Rowe owned the 60-69 class, finishing first in 44:22. Judy Bateman finished second in 52:15 and Duffy Ladenberger was third in 52:27.

Only two runners in the 70 and over class competed. Lois Hotchkiss placed ahead of Julianne Creed, as Hotchkiss finished in 34:35 while Creed came in at 49:33.