Champion runner Andrew Parkins, an interloper from Salem, has a knack for claiming victories in Franklin County distance races.
He’s won the Heritage Classic, the Chug for the Jug, the Johnny CASA and Saturday morning he added the Eagle Strut 5K to the list.
Parkins captured the men’s title of the seventh annual race, an event that attracted a field of 80 runners, in 16:52.11.
Parkins, 36, edged second-place finisher Cian Bell (17:01.92), who at 19 is 17 years his junior, by almost 50 seconds.
The race, which benefits Franklin County High School’s senior class, was dominated by younger runners as only Parkins and four competitors older than he finished among the top 20.
Several Franklin County prep distance runners turned in stellar showings as Nathan Atchue (18:50.27) and Parker Chapman (19:33.33) placed fourth and fifth overall and Kylie Cooper (21:11.35), Addie Shorter (21:12.63) and Julianne Bowman (24:07.05) took first, second and third in the women’s 5K.
In normal Septembers, Franklin County’s cross country squads are competing in the Knights Crossing Invitational on the day of the Eagle Strut 5K.
But 2020 has been a year unlike any other.
The COVID 19 pandemic has caused the postponement of two Franklin County races — the Heritage Classic and the Chug for the Jug — and the Eagles’ boys and girls cross country campaigns have been pushed back to the spring semester.
The Johnny CASA remains on the docket for December.
Men’s age group winners from Saturday’s race were Jonah Bowman (13 and younger, 20:47.49); Bell (14-19); Nate Michener (20-29, 18:34.84); David Kiser (30-39, 20:24.51); Kevin Bowman (40-49, 21:06.20); Daniel McDonell (50-59, 19:50.33); and Felix Lopez (60 and older, 26:06.13).
Women’s age group winners were Caitlyn Roach (13 and younger, 22:51.25); Shorter (14-19); Mariah Mattox (20-29, 1:01:02.13); Kayla Johnson (30-39, 25:12.43); Julie Arrington (40-49, 29:59.74); Leigh Prom (50-50, 35:17.15); and Bernice Cobbs (60 and older, 29:16.40).
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