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Longtime local gets unexpected win in 5K event

By TIMES STAFF
Published July 1, 2007


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An aspiring triathlete from Largo found success in a sandy road race Sunday at Sand Key Park in Clearwater.

Doug Anderson, 37, a former quarterback at Seminole High, found himself among the early leaders at the Pace For Prevention 5K and still in the mix with 1.5 miles to go.

"There were a couple of high school kids ahead of me, plus a third guy, " Anderson said. "I thought I could hang with them so I just waited for a while to see how things would unfold."

Anderson eased into second place at about Mile 2 and began stalking the leader, Andrew Canning, 19, of St. Petersburg.

"At about 2.5 miles during a sandy stretch, I thought I heard (Canning) take a real deep breath and then slightly slow down, " Anderson said. "There's where I made a tactical move to go past him and accelerate toward the finish line. It made it a fun race for me, winning my first race when I didn't expect it at all. I was pleased with my time (18 minutes, 32 seconds) under those conditions."

Anderson, an unemployed mortgage banker ("it's because of the housing slump"), went from Seminole High to the University of Central Florida, where his football career ended early due to injuries. He said his size and weight worked against him at 6 feet 2 and 175 pounds.

Next on Anderson's calendar is the Mease Midnight Run in Dunedin on Tuesday.

"I'll run the 5K hard, then follow up with the 10K (on Wednesday) for the training effect, " he said.

MORE PACE FOR PREVENTION RESULTS: Canning finished second in 18:45, followed by Rick Gausche, 25, of Tampa in 19:07 and Mike Bartholomew, 50, of St. Petersburg in 19:34. In a field of 86 participants, Frank Van Aken, 75, of Hudson finished 27th in 25:48.

Maggie Miller, 53, of Bradenton stunned the younger women in the field by taking first place. A consistent age-group winner, Miller captured the brass ring in 22:49, good for 13th overall in the mixed field.

Julide Burak, 46, of Seminole placed second (24:37) followed by Timmesa Eads (25:10) of Mount Airy, N.C., and Melanie Waters (26:19) of Clearwater.

On Saturday, there was a second Pace For Prevention 5K, this one in Tampa on hard-surfaced roads.

Jacki Wachtel, 27, of Tarpon Springs dominated the women's field in 18:30, a 5:58-per-mile pace, one second faster than Anderson's winning pace in Clearwater on Sunday. Wachtel finished fourth overall in the mixed field of 122. She was followed by Karen Collins, 42, of Lutz in 19:45 and Kristine Cox, 41, of St. Petersburg in 20:17.

Young runners dominated the men's race in the form of Steven Landreth, 16, of New Port Richey, who won in 17:04, as well as Charles Toledo (17:51) and Chase Nelson (18:12), both 17 and both from Tampa.

TRACK: Ali Crabb (recent Lakewood High graduate) closed out her extended high school career with a swift 17:52 5K at the recent Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., good for 11th place in a star-studded national field.

Crabb, who won the state Class 3A state championship in the 3, 200 meters in May, left for Gainesville on Tuesday, where she'll compete for a place on the Gators' cross country team while majoring in biology.

MIDNIGHT RUN: Pre-registration fees are $5 less for the 10K and 5K at the 28th annual event in Dunedin on Tuesday. The Web site is www.active.com. Onsite registration begins Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. at the Causeway Plaza on Bayshore Boulevard. Christa Benton won her fifth straight 10K women's title last July. The defending men's winner is Drew Smith of Mocksville, N.C. The defending 5K winners are Angie Hegge and Louis Rufo.

[Last modified June 30, 2007, 23:19:54]


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