Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clewiston's Austin Richmond wins Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K; Clearwater's Briana Whaley the top woman

TAMPA — Austin Richmond waited until the 2-mile mark to make his move.

"I saw my chance, and I never looked back," said the 24-year-old from Clewiston after winning Saturday's Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.

Richmond, who finished second in the race two years ago, shadowed North Carolina's Jim Wahl at the start.

"I was just getting the feel of things," Richmond said. "The course is flat and fast. I went into it with a plan and just tried to stick with it."

Richmond and Wahl broke away from the rest of the pack after the first quarter-mile. Both men logged a sub 5-minute first mile, then Wahl briefly took the lead.

But Richmond breezed past the 27-year-old and by the halfway mark, he had lengthened his lead to 36 seconds.

The conditions were ideal for running. The air was cool, the wind moderate, with a slight drizzle to keep things interesting.

Richmond kept his pace until the sixth mile when a side cramp started to give him trouble.

"I feel like I have a hernia," he said afterward. "All I could do was just try to hold on."

Richmond ended up winning by 1 minute, 38 seconds. Afterward, he went straight for his 6-month-old daughter, Alexa, and swept her up in his arms.

"All I could think about was getting across the finish line and holding my little girl," he said.

Richmond's time was a personal record.

"We wanted to break 46 (minutes)," said Brian Moody, his coach. "But it is hard to push it when you are out there in front by yourself. All you can do is run as hard as you can."

Hank Campbell, a 30-year-old from St. Petersburg, was the top local runner. He finished third with a time of 49:51 and took home the top cash prize, $2,000, designated for the top "local" finisher.

"I just tried to run a technical race," Campbell said. "I knew who I had to beat to be the first local."

Since Richmond lives in Clewiston, he was not eligible for any cash. Lee Stephens, 29, of Plant City finished just steps behind Campbell in 49.57.

In the women's ranks, 31-year-old Briana Whaley of Clearwater was the first one across in 54:05.

"I was just praying that I could hold on," said Whaley, who recently moved to Florida from Virginia.

Whaley suffered a serious leg injury at the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials.

"My whole gait is off," she said. "I have been working with the folks at Morton Plant (Hospital), and they have helped me a lot. But I am still not 100 percent."

Sara Petrick, 23, of Apollo Beach finished second with a time of 54:40 and was followed by former USF standout Christa Benton, 26, of St. Petersburg in 54:47.

St. Petersburg also had two teenagers near the top of the pack: Savannah J. Dearden, 16, placed 17th in 1 hour, 2 seconds, and Alex Eaton, 14, was 21st in 1:03:22.

The 33rd Gasparilla Distance Classic drew 5,381, which was up over last year's attendance of 5,011, but short of 2000 when it peaked at 5,876.

Clewiston's Austin Richmond wins Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K; Clearwater's Briana Whaley the top woman 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after: Why Alex Cobb was out of the game and Alex Colome was in

    Blogs

    Alex Cobb obviously did a really good job pitching the first eight innings for the Rays on Tuesday.

  2. Florida beats LSU, wins first College World Series title

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Maybe this wasn't Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan's best team. It is, however, his first national championship team.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five after a run scores.
  3. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal

    College

    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  4. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  5. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.