2009-12-09 / Other Jenkins News

Runners take part in cross country race

Participants in the cross country race prepare to start the race. (Photos contributed) Participants in the cross country race prepare to start the race. (Photos contributed) Michelle LaFleur, former Millen resident, and Matthew Whitis, Atlanta Track Club Masters team member, took top honors at the Cross Country 4.8 mile race held at Magnolia Springs State Park on Nov. 14.

LaFleur, a three-time qualifier for the Olympic Marathon Trials from 2000 to 2008 and presently living in Savannah, finished fifth overall in a time of 27:57. Whitis finished in 26:49, just 23 seconds ahead of ATC teammate Sam Martinez.

Three Jenkins County residents were among the 76 from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina who enjoyed perfect weather running or walking trails of Magnolia Springs State Park. These included Mark Brannen, winner of the 11-14 age group in 30:25, Jimmy Brannen, winner of 35-39 in 33:00 and Wendell Clark who finished sixth in the 45-49 age group with a time of 42:57.

Michelle LaFleur, former Millen resident, was top finisher in the women’s division. She finished fifth overall. Michelle LaFleur, former Millen resident, was top finisher in the women’s division. She finished fifth overall. Ten runners from the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia and nine from the Georgia Southern Running Club provided good competition among the younger participants as well as in the team competition.

Prior to the presentation of awards, the Jenkins County High School JROTC presented the colors as those present honored active and retired military. Jeff Hubright, a runner from Atlanta, then played “Taps” in remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to the United States.

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