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Local runners dominate Apple Valley 5K

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By Mike Forster

One hundred nineteen runners participated Saturday, Nov. 3, in the 10th annual Apple Valley 5K cross country race at Gross? Orchard in Bedford County. Liberty High School cross country coach Sarah Krycinski, 27, of Bedford finished first among the women and 11th overall, covering the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 57 seconds.

Krycinski was disappointed, in spite of the win. ?I didn?t beat the record,? she said. ?I did all I could but just couldn?t get it.?

Nonetheless, the coach was pleased with having some of her runners at the event, which she called ?homey.?

Elizabeth Vernon, 13, of Forest, took second place in 22 minutes, 44 seconds followed closely by 11-year-old Hosannah Vickery of Bedford who finished with a time of 22.45, a five minute, 10 second improvement from her time in 2006.

The men were led by 15-year-old Clint Overstreet, of Bedford who finished with a time of 18.24. Overstreet, a Liberty High cross country runner, was followed closely by 16-year-old Forest resident and Peaks View Pacer Timothy Vernon (18.26) and 39-year-old Jim Cox-Nicol of London, England (18.50).

Overstreet ran neck-and-neck with Vernon. ?I let Tim set the pace, then ran my own race,? said Overstreet. ?This win means a lot to me. Hopefully, I can run (this race) for years to come.?

The Most Improved Runner Award, given annually in memory of the late Sabrina Bugay-Willis, was awarded to 10-year-old Lynchburg resident Elizabeth McDowell who finished the course in 42.57, an eight minute, 21-second improvement over her 2006 time.

Many runners participated just for the fun of it. Sheri Worsham, an occupational therapist from Bedford, said, ?I like the mountains. It?s so peaceful.? She added that she runs to maintain good health.

One runner, requesting anonymity, revealed her true motives when she chimed in that she runs so that she ?can eat Snickers bars and not have to worry about it.?

Christy McIver, a teacher?s aide at Thaxton Elementary, was a first-time runner. She exclaimed, ?It was great and a lot of fun. It makes you feel good.?

Charles Moore gave the benediction before running the race. The 73 year-old followed the course along with Taffy, a chow mix, tagging along on a leash. It was his third Apple Valley 5K and the dog?s second.

Ronnie Gross, who hosted the event along with race coordinator Theresa Boyes, seemed tickled with how things went. ?It?s a family-oriented, fun event,? said Gross. ?The fall foliage is at its peak,? he noted.

Gross also indicated that the event is great for promoting good will with the community, as well as agri-tourism. ?A lot of young people get to find out about apples and farm life, in general,? noted Gross.

The following runners placed in the overall and age divisions:

Men?s overall:

Clint Overstreet, 18.24

Women?s overall:

Sarah Krycinski, 20.57

Men 12 and under

1. David Cedillo, 21.35

2. Stephen Vernon, 21.39

3. Justin Jantomaso, 22.15

Women 12 and under

1. Hosannah Vickery, 22.45

2. Theresa Blandino, 28.44

3. Sierra Gonnie, 30.30

Men 13-18

1. Timothy Vernon, 18.26

2. Mark Jones, 19.44

3. Zachary Byram, 20.03

Women 13-18

1. Elizabeth Vernon, 22.44

2. Melissa Schaefer, 23.43

3. Kaitlyn Brown, 24.02

Men 19-29

1. Joseph Parker, 19.06

2. Jesse Mitchell, 19.50

3. Joshua Gardner, 22.53

Women 19-29

1. Brandie Brown, 24.01

2. Amanda Cocke, 25.07

3. Hitomi Makino, 25.17

Men 30-39

1. Jim Cox-Nicol, 18.50

2. Bill Vickery, 19.58

3. Bryan Simon 22.55

Women 30-39

1. Debbie Simon, 24.13

2. Christy McIver, 27.10

3. Sheri Worsham, 28.21

Men 40-49

1. H.T. Page, 19.08

2. Henry Schaefer, 23.43

3. Randy Nixon, 23.46

Women 40-49

1. Louise Uffelman, 24.20

2. Kitty Tomkinson, 25.06

3. Sue Jones, 26.24

Men 50-59

1. Roger Koehler, 21.13

2. Ron Rogers, 21.50

3. Mike Mitchell, 23.09

Women 50-59

1. Dru Sexton, 26.19

2. Luann Inge, 30.16

3. Judy McLaren, 33.50

Men 60-69

1. Ronnie Wright, 25.15

2. Robert Pawlas, 25.54

3. Larry Howell, 30.03

Women 60-69

1. Barbara Koehler, 37.05

2. Linda Daniel, 49.15

Men 70 and older

1. John Billingslea, 32.32

2. Charles Moore, 41.08