Christa Benton of St. Petersburg defended her title at the Athleta Iron Girl Clearwater 5K on Saturday.
Benton defeated more than 1,900 runners by racing across the finish line in a time of 18 minutes, nine seconds. She was nearly 21/2 minutes faster than Sydney Avery, who placed second in 20:35.
Placing first in their age group were the following women: (1-9) Taylor Andrews, 27:20; (10-14) Avery; (15-19) Janna Edwards, 22:13; (20-24) Leandra Mikos, 20:54; (25-29) Cristina Clark, 20:59; (30-34) Tara Thompson, 21:20; (35-39) Tracey Cooper, 22:04; (40-44) Molly Rohrer, 22:39; (45-49) Loretta Simeon, (50-54) Kathleen Robinson, 22:50; (55-59) Karen Bouchard, 25:26; (60-64) Stephanie Bessette, 28:30; (65-69) Silvia Hobbs, 24:53; (70-74) Muguette Fournier, 41:33; (75-79) Pat Linn, 39:03; (80 and over) Sylvie Ferns-Beukelman, 43:51.
Saturday's half-marathon in Clearwater was won by Bonnie Kretchik in a time of one hour, 28 minutes and 32 seconds. The race had 1,630 finishers.
Completing the 13.1-mile course as age group winners were: (10-14) Kaylee Cashman, 1:43:29; (15-19) Lolani Scanlan, 1:33:59; (20-24) Maxime Copley, 1:40:21; (25-29) Christyn Murphy, 1:32:20; (30-34) Lisa Williams, 1:33:28; (35-39) Angie Ave, 1:36:07; (40-44) Lisa Buohler, 1:29:07; (45-49) Debra Johansen, 1:41:28; (50-54) Terri Doheny, 1:42:20; (55-59) Susan Gebhardt, 1:59:59; (60-64) Sandy Meneley, 1:45:04; (65-69) Georgie Gillis, 2:03:46; (70-74) Patricia Rice, 3:14:17.
SUPER GOPHER 5K: A number of county residents found success at the Hudson Rotary Laraway Memorial Super Gopher 5K on Saturday.
Winning their age group in Hudson were: (M9 and under) Takuma Walter, St. Petersburg, 21:08; (M10-14) Musaab Tariq, Palm Harbor, 20:54; (F30-34) Meghan Brunelli, St. Petersburg, 27:16; (M45-49) Frank Mancari, Palm Harbor, 22:03; (F45-49) Yvonne Bryant, Clearwater, 21:46; (M65-69) James Ladig, Clearwater, 22:46; (F75-79) Carol Montgomery, Treasure Island, 43:45.
Tampa's Merrill Hausenfluck was the overall winner in 16:22. Jacki Wachtel of New Port Richey was the women's champion in 18:59.
In the 10K competition, Judd Trayling of Oldsmar was the fastest runner in the men's 35- to 39-year-old division after crossing the finish line in 45:22. Treasure Island's Herb Townsend was also an age group winner, claiming the men's 70-74 division in 45:48.
CURING CANCER IS SWEET 5K: Clearwater 15-year-old Andrew Elsey outlasted 47 competitors to win the Curing Cancer is Sweet 5K in New Port Richey on Saturday. Elsey broke the tape in 20:57 to win by three seconds.
Tarpon Springs' Jim Hummel was third overall after crossing the finish line in 21:12. Hummel won the men's 50-54 division.
Other locals who won their age group were: (M30-34) Tim Shaver, Palm Harbor, 21:44; (F30-34) Jennifer Morlan, Tarpon Springs, 54:05; (M35-39) James Bystrom, Oldsmar, 25:54; (F45-49) Kathy Martin, Indian Rocks Beach, 29:52; (F60-64) Evelyn Arenella, Tarpon Springs, 26:55; (F65-69) Judy Morlan, Tarpon Springs, 54:16.
HCPA RUN FOR SHELTER: Melanie Peters of St. Petersburg was the women's race champion at the HCPA Run for Shelter 5K in Tampa on Friday.
Peters, 27, won in 19:16, more than a minute faster than her nearest competitor.
Melanie Wong of St. Petersburg earned a spot in the top five after running 21:30 to finish fifth in the women's race.
Marc Dannis was second in the men's race, coming within 28 seconds of the overall title. Dannis, 34 of St. Petersburg, completed the 5K in 16:56.
Hunter McCann, 14 of Treasure Island, was third in the men's race with a time of 18:07.
Lee Reitsma of Tampa was the overall champion in 16:28.
ST. PETE ROAD RUNNERS: Decorated field hockey athlete Christy Morgan will be the guest speaker at the monthly St. Pete Road Runners general meeting on Thursday.
Morgan was a starting center forward on the U.S. field hockey team at the 1988 Summer Olympics, and she helped the U.S. pick up a silver medal at the Pan American Games.
At Old Dominion University, Morgan was a three-time All-American and was a Broderick Award recipient in 1984, given to the most outstanding college player in the nation.
She led the Monarchs to national titles in 1982, '83 and '84.
As the head coach at James Madison, Morgan guided the Dukes to a national championship in 1994, becoming the first woman to win a NCAA championship as a player and coach.
The St. Pete Road Runners meet at the Hospice Administration Building on First Avenue S and 31st Street in St. Petersburg. The meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is open to the public.
Bryan Burns can be reached at email@example.com.