Over one –hundred and thirty runners and walkers enjoyed the weather Saturday for the State Games of Mississippi 5k Road Race/ Walk and the 1Mile Fun Run/ Walk. The 5K race began in Bonita Lakes Park and continued throughout the Bonita Lakes Mall area, a first for the race. “The attendance was above average for the race and drew in runners from over twenty-five communities, including Atlanta, GA”, says Sports Director, Missye Dozier. “We have seen an increase in registration for the 2012 Games and expect this to be one of our largest years yet!”.
In the Female 20-24 Division, Collinsville resident Brandi Gressett earned the Gold medal at a time of 24:00, followed by Bailey residents Kylie Rowell earning the Silver and Jayme Smith with the Bronze. Rowell, recently earned the Gold Medal at the Cross Country event for the State Games. In the Female 30-34 Division, Meridian residents Evelyn Watkins earned the Gold Medal with a time of 24:27 as Silver Medal winner, Linden Barefield followed closely behind with a time of 24:36. Just seconds away was Bronze Medal winner Shelby Shull with a time of 25:25.
In the Female 40-44 Division, Meridian athletes once again brought home the medals, with Renae Gardner earning the Gold and Wyanthia Wilson the Silver. In the Female 45-49 Division, Rhonda Poole of Meridian won the Gold Medal with a time of 25:17. Bailey resident Kaye Pace earned the Silver medal and Gewen Blakely of Meridian won the Bronze. In the Female 50-54 Division Meridian resident Vicki Alexander took home the Gold Medal with an exceptional time of 23:41 followed by Chris Orr and Bettie Wilson, also of Meridian. In the Female 55-59, Vanessa Collins of Meridian earned the Gold medal with a time of 37:30, followed by Marion residents Bobbie King and Dorothy Nelson. Ellen Mustain of Meridian, earned the Gold Medal in the Female 60-64 Division.
Local area men fared just as well as the women in the 5K. Mike Tarabay of Meridian, walked away with two medals, the Overall Bronze and the Gold for his 35-39 Male Division, with a time of 18:53. Ten-year-old Dewayne Partridge, of Meridian, earned the Gold Medal in the youth division with an excellent time 21:13. Peter Cohn of Meridian, earned the Gold with a time of 22:35, followed by Lance Pace of Bailey, earning the Silver Medal in the Male 20-24 Division. In the Male 50-54 Division, Lauderdale resident, Kyle Adams won the Gold Medal, followed by Tommy Jenkins and John Massey III, both of Meridian. In the 55-59 Division, Freddy Grant, of Marion earned the Gold as did Mike Neal of Meridian in the Male 60-64 Division. Meridian residents, Larry Dudley III earned the Gold in the 65-69 Division and seventy year old Bob Glen won the Gold his division with a time of 28:48.