Thursday, June 5, 2008
Knoerschild wins Kudzu
One hundred and fifty-four runners participated in the 21st annual Killer Kudzu run on the Holly Springs Square Friday night, May 30. The weather, which cooled from earlier in the day to about 78 degrees, was nearly perfect and contributed to some fast times.
Traditionally, the Killer Kudzu attracts some of the fastest runners in the Mid-South willing to test their strength on one of the nation’s toughest 5K and one-mile courses, and this year didn’t disappoint.
At the start of the 5K the lead pack took off at a 5:10 per mile pace. Last year’s second place finisher, Ben Knoerschild, ran side by side with Mitchell Jones, who ran his first Kudzu this year. The leaders held together for two miles when Ben Knoerschild pulled ahead leading into the cemetery. Knoerschild, a four-time veteran of the Kudzu knew what to expect when he hit the “killer” hill and powered to the top, sealing his victory with a time of 16:30, just under a 5:20 per mile pace. Mitchell Jones followed in 17:21 and newcomer Eric Butze finished in an impressive 18:01.
The women’s race was closer with friends Lydia Gibson, Wendy Ragle and Rachel Best, all from Memphis, running close together until the hitting the hill. At that point, Lydia Gibson gained 10 seconds on her rivals and finished in 19:42, or 6:20 per mile. Close on her heals was Wendy Ragle, a previous winner of the Kudzu, with a time of 19:58 and Rachel Best with a time of 20:21.
The age group winners boasted some fast times as well with Curt Arthur winning the men’s 35-39 group in 18:34, Whitt Ortega winning the 40-44 group in 19:32 and Harry Camp winning the 50-54 group in 19:54. On the women’s side, some notable performances include 10-14 group winner Jessica Tatum at 23:28, 30-34 group winner Rachelle Graham at 21:19 and 55-59 group winner Susan Davis at 27:25.
The race was not just about fast times; the race was also great fun for families. Edward Dewane, of Memphis, and his wife Melanie Dewane and their two children, Edward Jr. and Mary Katherine all ran the 5K.
“My kids love the T-shirt with the Killer Kudzu creature,” said Dr. Dewane.
Wendy Ragle vowed to “return to Holly Springs, just to get more of Victor’s Pizza.”
A live band, the Killer Kudzus playing from the gazebo on the square, played songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s until 10pm, with children and grandparents dancing on the lawn.
The race was sponsored by DesigntheSpace.com, the online retail division of the Holly Springs company American Pacific. The wooden trophies were made in American Pacific’s woodshop.
Overall – first place, Ben Knoerschild, 16:30; second, Mitchell Jones, 17:21; third, Eric Butze, 18:01.
Master - Bobby Holly, 18:38.
9-under - first, Louis Steen, 32:02; second, Cal Weatherly, 35:56; third, Edward Dewane Jr., 44:14.
10-14 - first, Logan Lake, 26:46; second, Ryan Sweeney, 29:09.
15-19 - first, James Tatum, 20:30; second, Cody Lemons, 21:03; third, James Waldrup, 23:18.
20-24 - first, Robert Browning, 25:37; second, Ryan Rogers, 26:26.
25-29 - first, Daniel Shaffer, 20:14; second, Phillip Gordon, 20:15; third, Dan Waldon, 22:46.
30-34 - first, Bryan Hobbs, 23:19; second, Will Savell, 25:08; third, Wesley Burt, 25:21.
35-39 - first, Curt Arthur, 18:34; second, Roy Crossman, 19:31; third, Glenn Weatherly, 20:26.
40-44 - first, Whitt Ortega, 19:32; second, Glen Hudnall, 20:10; third, H.F. Mason, 22:50.
45-49 - first, Mike Scott, 20:20; second, Kenneth Boone, 22:46; third, Bruce Stripling, 22:55.
50-54 - first, Harry “Birdlegs” Camp, 19:54; second, Merlin Ohmer, 21:21; third, Alex Alpe, 22:54.
55-59 - first, Dave Drewery, 24:26; second, Don Smith, 24:54. third, Jim Beavers, 29:50.
60-64 - first, Louis Alpe, 25:47; second, Tommy Stine, 36:10.
70 - Ivy Evans, 42:32.
Overall - first place, Lydia Gibson, 19:42; second, Wendy Ragle, 19:58; third place, Rachel Best, 20:21.
9-under - first, Jolia Sweatt, 53:02.
10-14 - first, Jessica Tatum, 23:28; second, Mollie Evans, 32:14; third, Mary Katherine Dewane, 45:17.
20-24 - first, Holly Rogers, 30:36; second, Katie Burnett, 32:23.
25-29 - first, Peggy Place, 23:05; second, Elaine Savell, 29:51; third, Susan Carter, 38:11.
30-34 - first, Rachelle Graham, 21:19; second, Kate Clinton, 23:19; third, Kimberly Barbee, 31:29.
35-39 - first, Julie Falkner, 29:50; second, Amy Brewer, 37:31; third, Julie Melusky, 24:28.
40-44 - first, Dorothy Denton, 29:19; second, LaDonna Hill, 40:17; third, Melanie Dewane, 44:14.
45-49 - first, Linda Meeks, 31:12; second, Sharon Keen, 31:36.
50-54 - first,Willi Mae Miller, 32:15; second, Sandra Ford, 39:09; third, Sandra Garner, 44:08.
55-59 - first, Susan Davis, 27:25; second, Brenda Mason, 34:32; third, Kay Cotten, 34:48.
60-64 - first, Barbara Colton, 35:14.
One Mile Fun Run
Overall male - Ryan Hobbs, 6:00. Overall female - Wendy Ragle, 5:07.
Male 12 and under - first, Troy Highland, 6:55; second, Charlie Highland, 7:08; third, Louis Steen, 8:25.
Female 12 and under - first, Julie Johnson, 5:41; second, Micheala Shoup, 8:30; third, Kaitlyn Butce, 9:43.
Female 13-15 - first, Olivia Johnson, 5:54.
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