Stretch it out, gang, that’s the end. Don’t forget to hydrate.
More than 150 children have participated in each of the six weeks of this year’s Kiwanis All- Comers Track Meet season, plus more than 30 jogger’s milers of all ages, with many more dozens of parents, grandparents, and friends lining the track to cheer.
Meet director Paul Benton credited the success of this family-oriented community series to the logistical support of numerous Kiwanis Club members, headed by John Jay, to volunteer timers from the Bainbridge High School cross country team (especially captains Kathryn Feeney and Reuben Allen), and the generous financial backing of Homestreet Bank, Realtors Bill Borrow and Chris Miller, and Bainbridge Dental.
On Monday, Aug. 12, the summer’s concluding meet featured a ceremony to recognize the season’s best runners — those who accumulated the most points in the first five meets (three for first-place finishes, two for second-, one for third-) — after the opening event, the jogger’s mile, and and before the start of the season’s final sprints at the Bainbridge High School track.
Reliably speedy Alexa Douthard (age 11) was the overall 2019 champion with 61 points.
The highly competitive Robinson brothers — Quinn (age 9) and Morgan (age 10) — each received a boy’s championship trophy, since each scored 50 points.
The boys second-place trophy went to Parker Clement (age 6), and the third-place trophy to Garza Wooton (age 8).
Reflecting the tight rivalries among the girls this year, there were double trophies for both second and third place — the former awarded to Ava Hammond and Emily Younker (both 8), the latter to Vivian Gray (age 6) and Penelope Hunt (age 7).
In addition, Benton himself gave a special trophy for “most promising runner” to 7-year-old Elianna Rehder, noting her calm spirit, her naturally quick turnover, and the fact she was the season’s only undefeated competitor, having won all 15 races she entered.
Winning the trophy for the season’s “best jogger’s miler” was Sue Korol, a well-practiced adult runner who finished the mile every week within 6 seconds of her predicted time, usually around 6:40.
Framed certificates were given to runners who accumulated the most points in their age group, including all of the trophy winners and also Patrick McIver (age 3), James Hunt (4), West Shurtleff (5), Owen Haizlip and Christopher Bourgeois (age 7), Howard Howlett (age 11), and Bobby Dunn (age 12).
The girls age-group winners included Dalton Pfeiffer (3), Zoe Hammond (4), Annie Caine (5), Eliza Poehner (9), Kaela Cole (10), and Julie Hales (12).
Receiving an “honorable mention” for finishing close to the winner of their age group were Sage Dikman (5), Ella Jo Bell (6), Isabelle Saint Clair (9), Josie Knapp (10), Georgia Saint Clair (5), Fiona Livingston (7), Alice Watson (4), and Allie Youle (7), as well as Ben Wodnik (8), Michael Lopez (5), Tucker Jones (9), Shaurya Negi (4), Hayden Deits (7), Jasper Spalding (4), Nash King (5), Isaiah Drovdahl (10), and Spencer Caine (3).
After the thrill of the award ceremony, the final meet itself proved surprisingly exciting as well, Benton said.
Lucas Lenz won the jogger’s mile (1.5 seconds under his predicted 6:30 time), with Siri Kusher in second (+:03) and Mike Nance third (+ :05).
Spencer Caine (age 3) won three events for the third time this season, suggesting he would have been on the awards podium if he had not missed two meets, according to Benton.
Nick Bourgeois and Owen Haizlip (age 7) continued their close rivalry, with Christopher winning the 60 and the hurdles, Owen the 200 — all within tenths of a second.
Garza Wooton (age 8) won the 60 and hurdles as usual, but newcomer Anders Robba-Goldberg tied him in the 200.
Season co-champion Quinn Robinson (age 9) won four events, including a 1:22 in a strenuous 400 against a 9-year-old girl. But his co-champion brother Morgan (age 10) lost three close races to the aggressive running of Cole Haizlip, who was especially impressive in the 200 (32.7).
On the girls side, first-timer Kaia Robba-Goldberg dominated the age-9 heats, winning four events including that close finish with Quinn Robinson in the 400.
Other girls heats were excitingly competitive, as usual, with duels between Zoe Hammond and Sierra Crawford (age 4), Annie Caine and Sage Dikman (age 5), Emily Younker and Ava Hammond (age 8).
Vivian Gray (age 6) predictably took three firsts, but two of these were ties — with Sydney Leech in the 60, with Ella Jo Bell in the 200.
And season champion Alexa Douthart found herself in a very close battle with a determined Sadie Engelson, as Sadie edged out a win in the 60 (9.7/9.8) and Alexa did the same in the hurdles (10.0/10.1) before the two girls raced to a tie in the 200.
Under the stadium lights, the season’s final meet reached an exuberant, semi-chaotic climax, Benton said, as 16 teams (itself a meet record) lined up for the 4×100 relay, with an extraordinary mix of little kids, teenagers, and adults.
High school sprint star Emma Brundige let it all out in the anchor leg as she rushed her team to a decisive win (1:05) in the first heat of mostly younger runners.
In the second heat of mostly older runners, the winning team (1:00.1) appeared to be enthusiastic dads, including James Rufo-Hill and three others self-identified only as Jo Jo, Frankie, and T-Bone.
Visit www.bainbridge review.com for more photos and a complete list of results.