St. Petersburg's David Meri came out on top of a field of 160 to win the Suncoast Combined Federated Campaign 5K Run on Sunday. The 38-year-old crossed the finish line in 18:48.
Local top 10 men included: (third) Jim Bumbul, 44 of St. Petersburg, 20:15; (fourth) Tom Hoffman, 44 of Palm Harbor, 20:30; (fifth) Frank Malczyk, 51 of St. Petersburg, 21:26; (seventh) Bob Brown, 50 of St. Petersburg, 22:02; (ninth) Charles Ellis, 34 of St. Petersburg, 22:31; (10th) Sonny Enario, 40 of St. Petersburg, 23:06.
Local top 10 women included: (fourth) Amy Robinson, 37 of Seminole, 24:35; (fifth) Lindsay Bell, 59 of St. Petersburg, 25:44; (sixth) Susan St. John, 34 of St. Pete Beach, 25:47; (seventh) Elizabeth Fishman, 31 of St. Petersburg, 25:48; (eighth) Denise Fuller, 55 of Seminole, 26:11; (ninth) Fatima Rapuano, 42 of Redington Beach, 26:21; (10th) Sarah Sykes, 13 of Largo, 26:39.
Run with the Stars
The 16th Annual Run with the Stars drew 106 runners on Saturday. Tierra Verde's Chris Pyhel was the overall winner with a time of 18:49. The 37-year-old had a pace of 6:04 per mile. The fastest woman was 42-year-old Tracy Storie of Largo who ran a 22.22.
Local male age group winners included: (14 and under) Blake Arnold, 14 of Pinellas Park, 19:15; (15-19) Matthew Montanari, 15 of St. Petersburg, 21:00; (20-24) Andy Main, 21 of Seminole, 27:11; (30-34) Joshua Riba, 33 of Clearwater, 22:04; (35-39) Jimmy Nunamaker, 39 of Redington Beach, 20:24; (40-44) Sonny Enario, 40 of St. Petersburg, 23:27; (45-49) Ruben Luna, 47 of Largo, 21:38; (50-54) David Wilt, 50 of Seminole, 19:37; (55-59) Bob Glenn, 59 of Seminole, 26:29; (60-64) Jim Houser, 64 of Clearwater, 53:47; (65-69) James Ladig, 66 of Clearwater, 24:46; (70-74) Ron Kelley, 72 of St. Petersburg, 39:51.
Local female age group winners included: (14 and under) Julia Brakeman, 13 of Tierra Verde, 24:43; (20-24) Erin Alexon, 24 of Clearwater, 28:31; (30-34) Barbara Gross, 31 of St. Petersburg, 26:17; (35-39) Pamela Brown, 38 of Largo, 26:10; (40-44) Michelle Andress, 41 of Clearwater, 26:13; (45-49) Pamela Stine, 48 of St. Petersburg, 24:48; (55-59) Joanne Lentino, 59 of St. Pete Beach, 30:33; (65-69) Carolann Jones, 69 of St. Petersburg, 58:15; (75 and over) Rosa Ortegon, 82 of Largo, 57:05.
The brothers Benjamin, Brian and Mark, ventured to Lithia on Nov. 23 for the Alafia River State Park Cross Country Half-Marathon.
The 20-year-old twins ran together most of the 13.1-mile distance. Brian kept the pace when, late in the race, Mark made a detour into the woods to answer nature's call.
An out-of-town runner who had been shadowing the pair seized the moment and moved into second place. The Benjamins finished first and third, 1:26:14 and 1:28:16.
High school update
Wes Reynolds, one of the top runners in Pinellas County, finished his high school cross-country career with a 21st overall, 16:33, at the Foot Locker High School Regional Championships 5km in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 29. The 18-year-old braved wind and rain on a muddy, dirt trail course.
Ali Crabb finished her sophomore cross-country season in a rough race on Nov. 24 at the NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Unaccustomed to the 40-degree weather, Crabb's University of Florida team finished 17th of the 35 qualifying teams. She ran 21:34 on the 6K all-grass, hilly course.
Young guys run
St. Petersburg High freshman Cameron Wheeler, whose parents met while training and running races in the late 1980s, was the youngest top finisher at the Times Turkey Trot 10K in Clearwater on Thanksgiving.
Wheeler, 15, ran 37:37 to finish 25th overall. Wheeler's mother, Kathleen, is a well-known St. Petersburg ultra-distance runner.
Old guys rule
Meanwhile, back in 67th place, Wheeler's Forerunners Track Club coach Joe Burgasser, 70, crossed the finish in 40:11, 57 seconds under the 41:08 certified course record for his 70-74 age division. The previous record, set in Montana, had stood since 1984.
Longtime St. Petersburg resident Melanie Peters was the second-fastest woman in Thanksgiving's Winding in Clearwater. The 25-year-old covered the 5K course in 18:04 but her name was left out of last week's results.
Peters thought the omission might have been because this aging reporter with only one good eye didn't realize she was a local runner, pointing out she has lived in St. Petersburg "for quite some time."
Terry Tomalin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org