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Nearly 180 Participate in Panther 5K Run/Walk

Submitted by on March 5, 2013 – 3:01 pmNo Comment

Renee Marin is the first runner to cross the finish line at Saturday’s SFSC Panther 5K Run/Walk. He won the race for the second year in a row. To see a photo gallery of the event, click here. http://bit.ly/XLAtZW


South Florida State College’s Panther 5K Run/Walk attracted the highest number of participants in its four-year history, with 179 runners and walkers of all ages taking part in Saturday’s race at the SFSC Highlands Campus.

Participants ranged from infants in baby strollers, who were spirited around the course by parents and grandparents, to runners in their eighties, to canine joggers trotting alongside their owners.

An unseasonable cold snap sent temperatures dipping into the 40s and 50s and made running conditions ideal. The course took runners and walkers around some of the campus’ scenic landmarks, beginning at the SFSC University Center, past the Tower of Enlightenment mural and the Dr. Norman L. Stephens Jr. Health and Science Education Center, down to Memorial Drive – and back again through the stunning porte cochere of the SFSC Theatre of the Performing Arts.

The annual 5K race is sponsored by the SFSC Foundation, Inc., as a fundraiser for SFSC athletic programs. This year’s event raised $4,797. “The Panther 5K is one of the events that the college foundation is most pleased to support,” said Don Appelquist, executive director, SFSC Foundation. “I’m so proud of the many businesses and citizens that stepped forward to be sponsors, of the members of our intercollegiate teams who volunteer on the course to provide directions and support, of the county’s RSVP program that help with record keeping, and of course, the hundreds of runners participate in the races. Each year the Panther 5k gets better and better. It’s a fun day for everybody.”

Shadowing the Sebring International Raceway’s bright yellow Corvette pace car was Renee Marin, who won the Panther 5K Run/Walk for the second year in a row with a time of 16:52. Debbie Bailey was the overall female winner with a time of 22:06. Patrick High was the male master’s winner with a time of 17:14, and Jennifer Glassburn was the female master’s winner with a time of 24:04. Shigeru Inagawa was the male grand master’s winner with a time of 26:50, while Jo Collier, the female grand master’s winner, ran the course in a time of 28:02.

Rick Hitt, SFSC’s athletic director and head baseball coach, helped organize the event and managed the numerous student baseball, softball, and volleyball players, who volunteered to direct traffic, supervise the course, and hand out participation medals.

“Once again we are very grateful for the opportunity to host the annual Panther 5k on our campus,” Hitt said. “Our grounds crew does a tremendous job of keeping this campus at a first class level, and it really makes for an enjoyable setting to run and walk in. We’re grateful for all of the participants, sponsors, and volunteers who make this annual event a success. Their support means a great deal to Panther Athletics. We are looking forward to 2014 with great anticipation.”

Sponsoring this year’s 5K were Bill Jarrett Ford, Hodges University, Florida Hospital Heartland, Dr. Norm and Laurie Stephens, Tim and Vivian Cook, Alan Jay Automotive Management, Inc., Swaine and Leidel, AllStar Car Sales, Tami Cullens, SFSC Chapter of Association of Florida Colleges, Jessica Wackler and Kailey McCain, Wauchula State Bank, Joe Wright, Clifford M. Ables, Anytime Fitness, Artistic Frames and Signs, Rick Hitt and Family, SFSC Alumni Association, Peggy Sueppel, TD Bank, and Winn Dixie.

Race finalists by age category are as follows:

Female Winners:

Ages 9-11: Sylvia Preston, first; Amari Hill, second; and Kyleigh Jackson, third. Ages 12-14: Savannah Oldfield, first; and Rayann Kulig-Thomas, second. Ages 15-19: Caitlin Tribit, first; Kimber Harris, second; and Deonna Culverhouse, third: Ages 20-24: Hilary Fiocca, first; Amanda Cox; second; and Tammy Needham, third. Ages 25-29: Krista Schult, first; Heather Robinson, second; and Chelsi Graham, third. Ages 30-34: Amanda Hill, first; Marquiez Diorelly, second; and Shawn Bray, third. Ages 35-39: Michelle Bartnick, first; Maria Sanchez, second; and Amy Reed, third. Ages 40-44: Trudy Benton, first; Karin Doty, second; and Jennifer Sarzynski, third. Ages 45-49: Margie Gourley, first; Toni Weaver, second; and Martile Blackman, third. Ages 50-54: Kimberly Smith, first; Cheryl Graham, second; and Tammy Jackson, third. Ages 55-59: Rosemary Rodriguez, first; Shirley Whitsitt, second; and Cindy Rose, third. Ages 60-64: Peggy Essex-Klammer, first; Ann Frakes, second; and Patricia Sigmund, third. Ages 65-69: Anne Felde, first; and Annie Robinson, second. Ages 70-74: Julie Creed, first.

Male Winners:

Age 6-8: Daniel Lynch, first; Aiden Thomas, second; and Bernabe Gallardo; third. Ages 9-11: Chase Doty, first; Jordan Hill, second; and Patrick Boulay, third. Ages 12-14: Lukas High, first; Trevor Doty, second; and J.C. Kulig-Thomas, third. Ages 15-19: Nick Gregor, first; Elvis Villalobos, second; and Michael Divietro, third. Ages 20-24: Damyan Byrd, first; John Limdimas, second; and Michael Gergen, third. Ages 25-29: Terry Hancock, first; Nicholas Pavlinsky, second; and David Beumel, third. Ages 30-34: Jeremy Vincent, first. Ages 35-39: Bert Cox, first; Antonio Vasquez, second; and Adam Martin, third. Ages 40-44: Chris Doty, first; Tim Simonson, second; and Eddie Cuencas, third. Ages 45-49: Peter Preston, first. Ages 50-54: Bruce Beasley, first; Nelson Pacheco, second; and Shannon Wilson, third. Ages 55-59: Randy Grice, first; Chuck Best, second; and Joe Wright, third. Ages 60-64: Michael Stewart, first; Dan Hamilton, second; and Robert Rawlings, third. Ages 65-69: Rod Matthews, first; Don Appelquist, second; and Norm Stephens, third. Ages 70-74: Jim Rector, first; and Clifford Ables, second. Ages 80 and up: Kenneth Filppula, first; Bill Schauwecker, second; and Forest Runge, third.

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