FLEMING ISLAND – With the remnants of a flu gone from a subpar region track meet performance, Oakleaf High junior distance runner Dylan Nelson exacted a bit of rivalry revenge on Fleming Island High nemesis Kameron Wallizada, a sophomore, to win the Fleming Island 5K Saturday morning at Fleming Island High School.
“I had a good first mile at region in the 3200, but by lap five, I didn’t think I could even make it to the finish line,” said Nelson, who won in 16 minutes, 15 seconds. “It went really bad after that, but I’m okay now and ready for summer training for my senior year.”
With Wallizada, who finished ninth at the region 1-4A 3200 ahead of Nelson’s 13th, trailing him by about 45 seconds to finish as runnerup in 17:01, the pair could very likely train side by side over the summer in preparation for another stellar cross country season. Both fan in the Class 4A cross country state championship race in the fall.
Coming in third at Fleming Island was 47 year old veteran runner Richard Tyndall in 17:26 with Wallizada’s older brother, Omron, 22, a Fleming Island High soccer graduate, fourth in 18:33.
“I decided to race a little smarter this year,” said Omron Wallizada. “I used to think I was a big deal because I got age group medals, but now I want overall medals or top finishes.”
Top female went to Fleming Island High freshman sensation Mei Chiang in 19:03, who outdueled her coach, Karen Moritz, 35, who was runnerup female in 20:49. Behind Moritz was another veteran, Holly Sanford, 43, who was able to close the gap on the finishing lap on the Fleming Island High track, but not overtake Moritz’ 11 second gap.
“She came strong on the track and I was hoping I had enough of a lead to keep her back,” said Moritz. “She finished strong.”
For Sanford, her kick from past races was just not clicking on the humid morning.
“I have to up my game on days like this,” said Sanford.
Impressively finishing in the top 20 of the race field dominated with high school aged athletes were 50-plus master’s runners Sean McCormack, 57, seventh in 19:07 and top master; Mike Sperry, 55, 15th in 21:50, and John Martin, 60, 17th in 21:59.
Female age group winners were Addison Blom, 9; Addison Adams, 13; Morgan Erler, 15; Jessica Weiss, 20; Lauren Duffy, 28; Heather Lukens, 33; Jacqueline Kroggel, 38; Jennifer Szala, 44; Amy Bonnette, 46; Lisa Miller, 51; Margaret Reesey, 57; Denise Dailey, 61; Lynda Dove-Garcia, 68, and Nancy Field, 70.
Male age group winners were Reilly McInnis, 9; Jameson Fitzgerald, 12; Keegan Emanuel, 14; Omron Wallizada, 22; Chris Mundell, 29; Sean Etheridge, 30; Patrick Burke, 39; Steve Jones, 42; Rabi Singh, 47; Rod Ford, 51; Mike Sperry, 55; John Martin, 60; Jack Owens, 67; Herb Armstrong, 71; Charles Goodyear, 79, and August Leone, 89. Fleming Island’s Lisa Adams, 44, won the female masters race in 22:19.
Full results can be found at www.1stplacesports.com.