Carter runs to victory
Memorial event goes well
Sam Carter, a Crook County High graduate from Prineville, won the 10-kilometer portion of Saturday's George Wilson Memorial Run in Madras.
Now a freshman at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, where he runs on the cross country and track teams, Carter churned through a six-mile course that was getting slushy at various points as the race wore on. The race honoring a cancer victim who pioneered the Jefferson County Running Club in the 1970s took place over a relatively flat course.
Carter's winning time of 37:03 (37 minutes, three seconds) beat 27 others who tackled the six-mile version of the race once known as the Turkey Trot. The event also drew 28 racers to a two-mile competition on Saturday.
That two-mile event was won by Kermit Kumle, in a time of 14:55.
Strongly participated in by younger runners, the two-mile event included a battle between brothers Jordy and Aaron Mallon in the 9-13 male division that was broken up by Benton Souers. Jordy Mallon, at 16:59, put on a closing spurt to beat out the 17:23 Souers posted in finishing comfortably ahead of Aaron Mallon's 20:53.
Winning among the girls taking part in the shorter event was Savannah Kannier, with her 19:50 time.
While Forrest Towne, with a time of 38:30, took second in the overall 10-K standings, Robert Towne provided Carter his staunchest competition.
The longer racer, Carter said, "was a lot closer until the middle of the race." The college freshman said he "tried to yell" at Robert Towne, who was sometimes even ahead of him, not to veer off when on Grizzly Road. By the time Robert Towne realized he had headed for the dump and turned around to get back on course the extra distance he had traveled had allowed Forrest Towne to move into second, which he managed to maintain. Robert Towne won the 40-49 age group. Forrest Towne happened to trim Silas Towne for the title in the men's 20-29 age group.
Winning the 10-K race for all women was Jeanette Groesz. She described her one bit of strategy as "just trying to keep up with my husband." It paid the same dividend won by Carter as the men's overall 10-K champion -- a free turkey.
Coincidentally, the fastest finisher among those runners in the 50 and over category, and thus the winner of a ham, was Jeanette's husband, Bill Groesz.
Donations from Mountain View Hospital and local merchants allowed the race to be run at minimal cost to participants.
Race director Dan Ahern explained to the first-time participants that the race served as a tribute to Wilson because of his work in both establishing an area running club and getting a post-Thanksgiving event going.
More family groups joined the Mallons, Groeszes and Townes in running in the event in varied combinations of two-mile and 10-kilometer (six-mile) runners.
Strong continued funding will be needed, but those in charge of the event made clear their desire to hold a 17th renewal of the George Wilson run. Tradition would have it happen on Nov. 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, in 2002.