The fund raiser that Kelci Johnston had to do as part of her duties as Miss Colorado Teen was a 5K race starting at Pueblo West High School on Saturday July 22. Kelcis high school coach, Dale Papineau, laid out a wonderful course that started and finished on the school football field and made a loop around streets near the school. Several runners remarked how well the course was marked, with marks at each kilometer as well as the usual mile and two mile marks.
The race was won by Adams State runner Aucencio Martinez who red shirted track this year but had an amazing spring anyway, running 4:01.78 for the mile at Mt. SAC April 15, 3:40.92 for 1500 meters at the Payton Jordan Invite at Stanford April 30, and a PR 4:01.58 at the Reebok Grand Prix June 6. The 1500 time is sub-four even by very conservative conversion. His relatively pedestrian 15:45 in this race was still more than two minutes faster than the second place runner.
Ashley Withrow, a Rich Hadley protégé, won the womens division in 22:06, over a very talented young runner, freshman-to-be Anna Marshall, 22:57. I think Ashley will be running for Craig Binkley at CSU Pueblo this fall, but Hadley, her high school coach, who made a last minute decision to run in spite of back pains that caused a visible twinge when he stepped off a curb, won the 50 and over division and was seventh overall in 19:01, 1:10 faster than the fastest 40 year old.
Pueblo West High Schools prospects look good for the upcoming cross country season. Mike Schmidt, 18:13, and Matt Drake, 18:25, were second and third overall and Anna Marshall won the girls 13-19 division.
Besides medals there were various gift certificates for age division winners, showing that Kelci did a lot of work in a short period of time. Forty runners and walkers finished the inaugural race. I hope it becomes a fixture on the calendar, though I would prefer it be in a cooler time of the year. Admittedly a July race that starts at 7:30 am should have been cooler, at least at the start, but due to a hazy overcast it was probably close to 70 degrees at midnight.