Sunday's Ybor City Classic 8K turned out to be a tactical race as local favorite Mark Sheehan hung behind Canadian Olympic marathoner Peter Maher until the final 600 meters. At that point, Sheehan turned on the afterburners to eke out a two-second victory, 24:52 to 24:54. There were 688 finishers.
The next three places were taken by: Ronnie Holassie, Trinadad, 25:43; Jeff Kiss, Cape Coral, 25:50; and Luis Riveros, Tampa College, 25:56.
The top finisher from Pinellas was Ron Nagle of the Forerunners in 26:57.
Capturing master honors was Barry Holcomb of Temple Terrace in 26:53.
Jim Larson of Palm Harbor and Team Chicken was first in the over-50 division in 29:54.
The first woman, and 35th overall, was Maureen Fusco of the University of Tampa in 29:56.
Four Pinellas women won their age divisions: Ashley Cantrell, 14-18, 58:35; Beth Farmer, 25-29, 30:43; Rosalyn Randall, 40-44, 35:32; and Bonnie Theall, 45-49, 37:14.
Ranking runners: The top 10 runners, men and women, have been selected from the Pinellas County area using the following criteria: results of head-to-head competition, times for standard distances, variety of race distances, and competitive frequency.
These criteria were applied to 62 races from the area and outside the area from February 1989 through January 1990.
Men: 1. Bart Sellers; 2. Steve Hall; 3. Chris Palmer; 4. Tom Swiersz; 5. Chris Bloor; 6. Gordon Gallenger; 7. Dan Clark; 8. Ron Nagle; 9. Paul Crellin; 10. Steve Wilcox.
In the masters (age 40 and over) division, Ken Brashear gets the nod over Jim Keppeler. They split four races but Brashear's 32:59 for 10K and 42:15 for 15K - which broke state records for his age - are more impressive.
Women: 1. Barbara Jarnagin; 2. Bonnie Ramsdell; 3. Judy Mercon; 4.
Beth Farmer; 5. Leanne Larison; 6. Heather Dawson; 7. Vicky Renner; 8.
Cathy Kalway; 9. Yvonne Rodgers; 10. Isabel Tum.
In the masters division, discounting Rodgers who is 47 but earns a top 10 rank anyway, Carol Jean Vosburgh edges Vickey Imes.
The records of runners were taken from results appearing in the St. Petersburg Times, Florida Running and Running Journal.
Sellers, 26, from Belleair Beach, won all his races in the county except for two Law Week 5K setbacks to former UF teammate Jeff Pigg of Gainesville. He avenged those losses in July at Butterfly 5K in Largo as he posted a time of 14:47, best in the county over the past 12 months. Sellers ran the Atlanta Peachtree 10K in 31:18 in July also, the best for the distance from Pinellas.
Consistency and recency were other factors considered.
In the women's division, Oldsmar's Barbara Jarnagin swept her county competition, except for a loss to Bonnie Ramsdell of St. Petersburg at the Symphony Classic in October. She reversed that loss with a course record-breaking time at the Turkey Trot as she won in 35:44. The following month she posted the best 5K time among county runners, 16:51, at the Hall of Fame race.
Several top local runners who attend college, have had injuries or have competed infrequently for other reasons were not included.
Notes: Ybor City winner Mark Sheehan, who is a Nike representative in Tampa, is leaving for Thailand on March 1 where he will be a plant manager for the company. Travis Grappo, the 1989 Class 3A two-mile champion out of Lakewood, competed in the U.S. trials for the World Cross-Country Championships Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. Grappo, a freshman at USF, finished 20th in the junior meet (19 and under) and missed the top-six cut. See you at the finish line.