Though St. Petersburg's Jon Mott won the second Sunsets at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach race, he still came away disappointed.
Mott, a sophomore at Webber International, is training seriously for the upcoming college cross country season and was hoping Kevin Lyons (Clearwater Central Catholic/Harvard), winner of the series' first race, would be there.
"I didn't run for time on Friday night I just ran for place," said Mott, a Northeast High standout for four years. "I wish Lyons were there to make a race of it. I probably would have run in the low 16s (minutes) rather than the 17:28 I actually ran that night. I need quality races to get ready for cross country season.
"This Friday I plan to start a minute behind the field if Kevin isn't there. That way I can benefit from trying to catch the leaders, something that's important in college meets. That is, if I'm healthy and feeling good that night."
Russell Snyder, Northeast's No. 1 runner last fall, was second at the beach race in 17:57. Twins Mark (also 17:57) and Brian Benjamin (18:48) of Kenneth City finished third and fourth, followed by St. Petersburg's Marc Dannis (18:54).
In age-group highlights, Dunedin's Victor Yeager, 47, captured seventh in 19:42 and Northeast High's John Zurek, 16, also cracked the top 10 in eighth at 19:47.
Those were the men's highlights.
As usual, Christa Benton (Keswick Christian/USF) broke up the male pecking order, finishing fourth (18:26) overall among 162 as she remains undefeated over a three-year period on the sands at Pier 60.
Women ages 44 to 50 captured the next four places after Benton.
Donna Nesslar, 44, (21:22) of Largo; Mary Dworkin, 48, (22:49); Helen Lavoie, 50, (22:58) of Holiday; and Carol Bancroft, 47 (23:02), of Safety Harbor rounded out the top five.
St. Petersburg's Annette Frisch continues to dominate the 65-69 age division, winning in 28:18, good for 28th place.
The third race in the series is Friday night at 7 p.m.
PALM HARBOR FLEA MARKET 5K: Christine Moorby of South Pasadena was the women's winner at the July 14 event. She finished seventh overall. Oldsmar's Rosalyn Randall, 57, was first over 40 in 25:31. In the men's race, St. Petersburg's Brian Wilson won in 19:33, followed by South Pasadena's Eric Sager (19:40) and Tarpon Springs' Jim Hummel, 47, in 19:54. The event, which was put on by Suzanne Henslee of Elite Sports Timing, drew a field of 75.
PICNIC ISLAND ADVENTURE RUN: Dannis, 30, prevailed under adverse conditions Friday night, winning the challenging race in 21:39, breathing room ahead of runnerup Dominic Wyzonirski (22:53) of Pittsburgh. St. Petersburg's David Meri (23:34) was the second Pinellas finisher in 23:34, followed by Adriano Alcoz (24:08) of Clearwater and Anthony Velardocchia (24:47) of Tarpon Springs.
Benton, as usual, was in the thick of the race, narrowly taking third overall to win the women's division in 23 flat, nearly three minutes ahead of women's runnerup Bree Maier of Sarasota.
Kailand Cosgrove of Tarpon Springs, fresh off a fourth-place finish at the Midnight Run 10K, finished strong for third in 26:14, just ahead of Largo's Marlise Davidson (27:03) and Donna Nesslar (27:46). Alison Bodi (28:47) of St. Petersburg took ninth and Erin Kowal of Redington Beach was 10th.
STATE'S BEST AT 13.1 MILES: Florida Running has compiled a list of the top age-group runners at the half-marathon distance in 2007. Only certified courses were used, including Walt Disney World and Feburary's Bank of America in Tampa.
Among Pinellas runners, St. Petersburg's Ian Jackson heads the 50-54 list with 1:21:31 and Albert Wieringa clocked 1:24:14, winning his 60-64 division at Naples in January.
Seminole's Laura Magee was second, ages 25-29, in 1:27:37, Lisa Kothe earned a second-best 1:31:47, 45-49, at Naples and Denise Skinner of the Forerunners finished second statewide in 1:34:30 for her 50-54 age-group win at Sarasota.
Third place in the standings are held by Mike Weiss for his 1:18:16 at Gasparilla in the 40-44 group, Jessica Mundie (1:42:47), 50-54; and Millie Hamilton (1:59:10), 60-64.
The Florida Gulf Beaches Halfathon (13.1 miles) is set for Dec. 9 starting at Madeira Beach and ending at Taylor Park in Largo. Details are spelled out at www.floridahalf.com, or call (727) 347-4440.
TRACK RECORD RECAP: Alan Webb, a former Michigan Wolverine, ran the mile in 3:46.91 Saturday in Belgium to break the American record (3:47.69) of Steve Scott set in 1982.