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Nearly 240 Run in 2014 Panther 5K

Submitted by on March 4, 2014 – 9:07 amNo Comment
More than 240 runners and walkers begin the SFSC Panther 5K Run/Walk in front of the SFSC University Center.

More than 240 runners and walkers begin the SFSC Panther 5K Run/Walk in front of the SFSC University Center.

2014 SFSC PANTHER 5k PHOTO GALLERY

South Florida State College’s fifth annual Panther 5K Run/Walk was the largest in its history, with 239 runners and walkers of all ages officially taking part in Saturday’s race at the SFSC Highlands Campus.

SFSC’s mascot Pete the Panther made a special appearance to greet 5K  fans and encourage tired runners as they approached the end of the course. Some of the youngest participants, who were not able to run or walk, experienced their first 5K run being pushed around the course in baby strollers. Several of the oldest racers, now in their eighties, have been supporting the Panther 5K since its inception.

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’s athletic programs.  “We are so pleased that our fifth annual Panther 5K Run/Walk was such a success,” said Don Appelquist, executive director, SFSC Foundation, Inc. “Weather-wise it was a beautiful day. We had the largest crowd ever, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Our purpose is to have a fun activity for the community and raise some money for Panther Athletics. In addition to the runners and walkers, we are grateful for our many sponsors, who help us make this event a success every year.”

First across the finish line was Chandler Gowan with a time of 19:10. Eight-year-old Zoe Wortinger, the women’s overall champion, ran the course in 22 minutes. David Leidel was the men’s master’s champion with 24:31, and Jennifer Glassburn was the women’s master’s champion with 24:08. Grand masters champions were Michael Stewart, 24:34, and Nina Roudebush, 29:16.

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.

“It was a fantastic day weather-wise and our biggest turnout ever,” Hitt said. “We are especially grateful for our outstanding sponsors for supporting our event. It would not be possible without them.  We have a wonderful committee which meets throughout the year to attempt to put on the best event possible on race day. We are also grateful for all our participants, our largest field ever.  We look forward to our sixth annual Panther 5K Run/Walk next year, and we hope to continue to improve upon our event each year.”

The sixth annual SFSC Panther 5K Run/Walk will be Saturday, March 7, 2015.

Sponsors of the 2014 Panther 5K Run/Walk were the Jarrett Family Foundation, Senator Denise Grimsley, Hodges University, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Wauchula State Bank, Charles and Tami Cullens, Jessica Wackler and Kailey McCain, Kinsloe and Will Barben, AllStar Car Sales, Winn Dixie, Souther Signs, Swaine & Leidel, and the Association of Florida Colleges.

Race finalists by age category are as follows:

Men’s Division:

Age 6-8: Nicholas Lynch, 32:44; Aiden Thomas, 33:22; and Austin Ulm, 37:19. Age 9-11: Keegan White, 23:19; Kalab Ramos, 23:23; and Daniel Lynch, 29:32. Age 12:14: Gavin Cool, 20:00; Chase Doty, 20:04; and Christian Picon, 21:00. Age 15-19: Nicholas Gregor, 20:38; Christian Suarez, 20:57; and Clint Patrick, 25:49. Age 20-24: Jermaine Nixon, 22:03; Elvis Villalobos, 22:24; and Fabian Arreguin, 24:17. Age 25-29: Eduardo Rosales, 21:30; Jose Chavez, 21:39; Roy Petteway, 24:30. Age 30-34: Jeremy Vincent, 29:33; Daniel Hudon, 29:38; and Hector Matute, 33:15. Age 35-39: Jeremy Freeze, 21:04; Jason True, 24:41; and Antonio Vasquez, 25:16. Age 40-44: Charles Harrison, 40:06; and John Collier, 55:44. Age 45-49: Chris Campuano, 29:06; Brian Jarrett, 31:45; and John Scherlacher, 34:19. Age 50-54: Ron Smith, 25:54; Lamont Simpson, 26:20; and Ron Scali, 26:28. Age 55-59: James Hawker, 24:50; Joe Wright, 25:06; and Bill Jarrett, 26:11. Age 60-64: Randy Severn, 24:58; Daniel Hamilton, 26:59; and Larry Lovell, 31:38. Age 65-69: Rod Matthews, 29:12; and Jim Henry, 40:16. Age 70-74: Jim Rector, 26:35; Don Appelquist, 34:43; and Cliff Ables, 35:08. Age 75-79: Mac Perkins, 47:58. Age 80 and older: Ken Filppula, 45:22; and Harvey Jones, 1:00:39.

Women’s Division:

Age 6-8: Kinsley White, 24:23. Age 9-11: Kassidy Caputo, 30:17; Thalia Sanchez, 31:17; and Jenna Caputo, 33:44. Age 12-14: Savannah Oldfield, 25:51; and Briana Quinn, 38:06. Age 15-19: Kylee Martin, 32:38; Giana Gutierrez, 33:53; and Dominique Juliano, 34:41. Age 20-24: Laura Lovell, 25:06; Samantha DiGiacomo, 25:55; and Katiana Ortiz, 27:23. Age 25-29: Melissa Acosta, 25:57; Emily Jones, 26:56; and Julie Fells, 37:22. Age 30-34: Krista Schult, 22:36; Trisha Johnson, 30:38; and Wendy Turner, 30:59. Age 35-39: Theresa Juliano, 26:14; Diorelly Marquez, 27:25; and Carrie Cornelius, 27:38. Age 40-44: Aleesa White, 27:40; Vicki Hicks, 31:21; and Jody Swaine, 34:25. Age 45-49: Davida Austin, 27:28; Helen Burton, 41:11; and Judy Bassett, 46:02. Age 50-54: Debbie Bailey, 24:11; Lisa Foster, 26:14, and Kimberly Smith, 26:34. Age 55-59: Brenda Rickert, 26:54; April Roberts, 36:35; and Suzie Gentry, 41:00. Age 60-64: Ann Frakes, 35:36; Gaylin Thomas, 47:07; and Colleen Rafatti, 52:47. Age 65-69: Deborah Fuschetti, 35:34; Maryann Henry, 36:10; and Joyce Lumpkin, 60:13. Age 70-74: Lois Hotchkiss, 33:05; and Julianne Creed, 46:49.

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