JACKSONVILLE - United States Olympic marathon hopeful Enoch Nadler, a Keystone Heights High School 2004 graduate, showed off some of his old fast footspeed in defending his two Run for the Pies 5K …
JACKSONVILLE - United States Olympic marathon hopeful Enoch Nadler, a Keystone Heights High School 2004 graduate, showed off some of his old fast footspeed in defending his two Run for the Pies 5K titles with a third in a row finish in first place Saturday night in downtown Jacksonville's Hemming Plaza. The race was staged by 1st Place Sports of Jacksonville.
"I wanted to come in, go out fast and see who could go with me, then see how long I could hold pace," said Nadler, 33, a recent 22nd place finisher at the Boston Marathon in two hours, 17 minutes, six seconds. "I had a bunch of guys with me through the first half mile and we hit four minutes, 30 seconds for the first mile."
Nadler, who won in 14:18, kept pace through the second mile to create a gap then put his eyes on the Equalizer prize. The Equalizer is given to the first finisher across the finish line with the women's field getting a two minute, 30 second head start prior to the mens start.
For Nadler, women's champion Morgan Hull, 23, a University of Florida standout much like Nadler, was a known opponent on Nadler's radar.
"She trains with my Florida Track Club elite team and has been a top finisher for the Gators with top finishes in cross country and track," said Nadler. "I knew she would be tough to catch."
Hull, an All-SEC second team cross country honoree with an 18:24 best for the 5K (3.1 miles), finished in 16:42 with an adjusted 14:12 time to beat Nadler to the finish line by just six seconds.
"I hit 4:32 for the second mile then it became a chase to catch her, but the conditions; the heat and the humidity were awful," said Nadler.
Nadler now focuses on his February 2020 date with the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in
Atlanta with a possible marathon race in October.
"This was a good flex for speed, but I'm going to focus on my mileage to get to near 2:12-2:15 for the February race," said Nadler. "Atlanta's course has a bunch of hills and only the top four go; top three plus an alternate."
Also in the elite race, Nadler outdistanced mens runnerup Harrison Kirigwi by more than a minute in 15:14 with third place to Kris Shold in 15:22.
Notable finishers in the male elite race were former Ridgeview High track standout Andrew Smith, 24, and a record setter at Flagler College, who finished 11th in 16:02, Fleming Island High senior Will Livesay, 15th in 16:21, Oakleaf High senior Dylan Nelson, 21st in 16:54 and Orange Park High graduate John Bear, 24th in 17:15. Bear will run at Florida State College of Jacksonville in the fall.
For the women's elite race, Kristen Metcalfe, 23, finished second in 17:00 with Jacksonville standout Julie Stackhouse, 40, third in 17:18.
Also in the womens elite field was Crystal Davis, 25, fourth in 17:19; Shannon Miller Bain, 34, sxth in 17:52; Lydia McRae, 37, seventh in 18:06 and Kayley Delay, 20, a former Fletcher High standout now at Yale, eighth in 18:20. Delay was last racing for Yale in the NCAA regions in the steeplechase held at UNF last week.
In the adjoining open 5K, Ryan Sloan, 31, of Jacksonville, won in 16:59 with Lucrezia Gowdy, 12, of Jacksonville, top female in 19:36.
Noted area age group winners were Belissa Del Valle, 31, of Orange Park, in 19:44, Fleming Island High track coach Karen Moritz, 35, in 21:30; and Holly Sanford, 43, in 21:21.
For the area male open age group winners John Keester, 13, won in 18:01, and Gary Myers, 46, won in 17:44.