Santana and Bertsch Go Back-to-Back in Championship Series
For the first time in seven years we have repeat champions. JJ Santana and Toshie Bertsch clinched their wins by both running the Holiday Half. JJ was first overall and Toshie finished third overall among the women.
Toshie had already clinched the title, but she added another 13 points with her third-place finish, giving her 119 points total. There was some drama after that, however, in determining the next four places among the women. With Charlene Ragsdale sitting this one out, Erica Schramm could have overtaken Charlene with a first place finish and 15 points. As it was she settled for 2nd behind fellow-Red Rock Racer Mercy Ray. Erica’s 14 points put her in a tie for second with Charlene, both ended up with 84 points. Charlene clinched the runner-up award based on the tie breaker of more finishes in the series.
There was also a tie for fourth and fifth among the women. Young Grace Edwards ran the Holiday Half, now that her high school cross country season is over, and finished fifth overall, resulting in 11 points. This propelled her from 32 to 43, jumping over a number of runners ahead of her who did not run the Half. Grace ended up in the tie for 4th with Jennifer Lee. She wins the tie breaker with four races to Jennifer’s three. She is the first high school runner to crack the top five overall since Katie Gorczyca won it all in 2010. Jennifer will settle for the 5th-place bowl.
For the men, the top five did shuffle a bit. Kirk Buckley added 5 wild-card points for a marathon and then 12 more by finishing 4th Overall in the Holiday Half, giving him 116 points. Eric Hosafros had been in second but by sitting out the Holiday Half he remains at 105. So second and third place switch. Gerry Morgan, in fourth, added 10 points to his total, now at 64, based on winning his age group in the Half. Sergio Ibarra remains fifth overall with 51 points. (Sergio ran the Holiday Half but, unfortunately, was DQ’ed for a course violation.)
The rest of the top 10 played out as follows. On the distaff side it was Linda Williams in 6th with 40 points. Also with 40 points was Christana Jimenez, but Linda won on the tie breaker. Maria Riach finished 8th with 36 points and Teri Gamer placed 9th with 35 points. Amanda Henriques was 10th with 32 points. Teri was the only runner among the five who ran the Holiday Half.
For the men there was no change in the standings as none of the next five ran the Half: Terry Stockdale (49), Ryan Williams (44), Carl Wright (35), Casey Price (34), and Jeremy Wallace (33).
The 2016 awards will be given out at the Club Championship 10K race at Kellogg-Zaher Park on January 7th.
Phil Lawton, Championship Series Chairman