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Sheesley, Anspacher ‘Jingle All the Way’ to First Place

Early morning on Sunday, Dec. 18, the St. Thomas Association of Roadrunners (STAR) staged its annual Jingle Bells 5K, offering runners a flat 3.1-mile course at Magens Bay. Some participants wore bells on their shoes; some wore Santa caps. With or without accoutrement, all seemed to have that holiday bounce in their stride. Rather than hotly contested, it was instead a nice and cool run. Leading the way to post-race fruit and fellowship, Mike Sheesley finished first among males in 22:08, ahead of Joe Torpy and Steve Laplace. A STAR regular, Sheesley is pacing himself, preparing for a 125K ultramarathon in 2017.

For female runners, 12-year-old, cross-country standout Kaia Anspacher finished first in 26:36 ahead of Kristin McConnell, Ali Slimming and all but four adult (female and male) runners.

In general, age was an interesting factor for this year’s run. While Kaia finishing fifth overall, very young runners Ajoni Stapleton, Rafael Hodge and Aden Stapleton performed admirably as well over the distance considered long for sub-teens. And, on the other end of the spectrum, participants were delighted to witness 82-year-old Peggy McConnell finishing strongly in under an hour.

Complete results follow below. For additional information, contact Therese Hodge at 775-6373.

STAR’s next event is the KWANZAA Walk/Run, offering participants both 2-mile and 7K (4.3 mile) courses on Kwanzaa’s sixth day (Kuumba), Saturday, Dec. 31. It will start at 4:30 p.m. from UVI’s baseball field. For more information, contact Roy Watlington at 777-8183.

Complete Results

1. Mike Sheesley 22:08

2. Joe Torpy 22:29

3. Steve Laplace 23:40

4. Mark Pippen 25:14

5. Kaia Anspacher 26:36

6. Kristin McConnell 29:11

7. Ali Slimming 29:12

8. Charlotte Lenten 29:59

9. Sander Lenten 29:59

10. Nicole Francis 30:26

11. Deanne Torpy 30:37

12. Diane Tolmar 32:12

13. Claire Rhodes 38:27

14. Anna Paiewonsky 38:52

15. Ajoni Stapleton 43:29

16. Suzan Bryant 43:34

17. Rafael Hodge 44:10

18. Zenzi Hodge 46:50

19. Aden Stapleton 49:18

20. Tonia Stapleton 49:18

21. Jackie Nelthropp 51:43

22. Rebecca Gonsalves 51:44

23. Peggy McConnell 57:08

24. Dawn Wheeler 57:34

25. Lori McElroy 57:34

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