Though they didn’t emerge as the top runners on this day, Palisadians more than held their own during the 36th annual Palisades-Will Rogers 5/10K Run, scattering a number of impressive finishes throughout various age groups.
Most notable was Palisades High junior Marissa Williams, a City champion and record-holder, who finished second in the 10K, just 25 seconds behind Laura Conley of Woodland Hills.
Williams, 15, was running in her first Will Rogers 10K after shattering the 1,600- and 3,200-meter records in the City finals in May (4:56.60 and 10:37.33). So what exactly was her strategy?
“I just went out and ran,” Williams said, calling the switchbacks at Will Rogers State Park the toughest portion of the race. She has been running in Will Rogers with her cross-country team this summer.
“I do about nine miles, three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Sunday,” Williams said. “We run around the Palisades and down to the Santa Monica pier.”
Her cross-country coach, Bob Macias, is working with nearly 100 kids from Revere and PaliHi this summer and many of his runners were top finishers in age groups. That list included PaliHi junior Hannah Silva, who topped the female 16-18 5K field at 21:00, followed by her teammate, fellow junior Natalie Marsh, who was second at 21:52. Coming in third and fourth were two other Palisadians, Emma Seaman (22:33) and Elizabeth Goodman (22:59).
In the female 13-15 field, JJ Wittbrodt was first in her age group, seventh among all female runners and 59th overall in the 5K with a time of 21:18. Wittbrodt, who attended Paul Revere, will run cross-country this fall at PaliHi.
Elsewhere in the 10K, Stanford sophomore Cami Chapus, a former track standout at Harvard-Westlake, was first among 19-29 female runners, fourth among all female runners and 36th overall with a time of 41:11. She red-shirted her freshman year due to injuries.
The female 35-39 field was dominated by Palisadians, with Kendra Lasalle, Jennifer Rich and Gwendolen Twist netting times of 45:33, 46:20 and 47:58, and finishing first, second and third, respectively. Lasalle and Rich were 13th and 14th overall among female runners, and Twist was 19th. Romney Resney topped the 40-44 entrants at 46:51 and was 16th overall.
Julian Whatley topped the male 45-49 runners at 38:33, four seconds ahead of fellow Palisadian Brian Temple. Whatley was 10th overall and Temple was 12th. Longtime participant Frank Baxter, 76, finished in 1:12.25.
In the 5K, local runners of all ages found success. Brent Smith topped the youngest age group (1-12) and was 15th overall among male runners with 18:30. Smith, a seventh grader at Paul Revere, participated in Junior Lifeguards and qualified for the regional competition in the run last summer.
“I found I liked running, so I tried cross-country and track at Revere,” said Smith, who set new school records for the mile and the mile and a half. In addition to running, he plays on LAFC, a club soccer team.
In the male 16-18 field, Andrew Mead and Jeremy Bradford were seventh and eighth, respectively, at 17:41 and 17:43. Mead is a distance runner at Loyola High. Will Mangimelli was 16th in the 30-34 division at 17:15.
Honorary town sheriff and Indy 500 driver Townsend Bell, 38, paced the 35-39 bracket with a time of 18:54, while Chuck Adams was third in the 40-44 field and 31st overall at 19:50. Bell’s wife, Heather, finished second in the 40-44 field with a time of 24:49.
Mark Ames led the 45-49 field at 20:59 and John Klutke was tops among 50-54 runners at 20:06, finishing 32nd overall. Both of those times, however, were eclipsed by John Holcomb, who topped the 55-59 charts at 18:51 by finishing 20th overall. Stanley Feinstein, 70, led the 70-74 field at 26:48. Bob Gold, 79, posted a time of 32:39, while William Snyder, 82, ran the course in 44:51.
The husband and wife duo of Carol Leacock, 77, and Ted Mackie, 84, each earned a gold medal in their 5K age groups, with Leacock finishing the course in 43:28 and Mackie completing it in 38:40.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.