Impressive performances at Crapolfest 5K race

Williamsburg’s Alex Taylor made a successful debut in the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix, and four William and Mary women’s cross country runners dominated the female competition, but it was two 62-year-old local runners, and a 58-year-old, who had the most impressive races in the ninth annual Crapolfest 5K Run, starting and finishing last Saturday at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field in Williamsburg.

The Crapolfest has been held since 2009 in memory of Andy Crapol (1978-2009), a Williamsburg native who played soccer at Lafayette High School, then at William and Mary under Coach Al Albert (the race director for the Crapolfest runs and Associate Director of Athletic Development for William and Mary Athletics). Andy’s mother, Jeanne Zeidler, was on the Williamsburg City Council a former mayor; his father, Edward Crapol, is a professor emeritus in history at W&M. Andy was diagnosed with esophageal cancer early in 2009, and died within months.

This year there were 86 finishers in the 5K run/walk, and an additional 10 in the one mile fun run/walk, but many more participated in the Crapolfest mini-golf outing at Pirates Cove Adventure Golf, a regular golf outing at the Golden Horseshoe Green Course, a half-time social at the William and Mary vs.UNC Wilmington soccer match that evening — all on Saturday — as well as a Friday evening social at Berret’s Seafood Restaurant.

Albert commented, “Between the revenue from Crapolfest, and donations to the Crapol Scholarship Endowment through the Tribe Club, the fund has risen to about $350,000. Our short term goal is $500,000, which essentially would fund a full in-state soccer scholarship. Long term we would like to keep adding to it to keep up with the rising cost of scholarships.”

Next year’s 10th anniversary edition of the Crapolfest should be a special occasion to meet those goals.

The 5K course is a USATF-certified course which incorporates the James City County recreational path around Longhill Road and Ironbound Road, and a portion of the Dillard Complex access roads next to the W&M baseball and soccer stadiums.

Alex Taylor, 27, of Williamsburg had a close race, winning in 18:35, just under six-minute-per-mile pace, with Ryan Doupe, 31, of Newport News seven seconds behind. Third was 62-year-old Steve Chantry of Williamsburg in 18:46, one second ahead of 58-year-old Robert Whitaker of Yorktown.

For the women, the top four overall were freshmen Olivia Rovin, 18, of St. Petersburg, Florida in 20:20, Kate Miller, 18, of Chesapeake also 20:20, Taylor Jones, 18, of Virginia Beach in 20:33, and sophomore Julia Montgomery, 19, of Fort Lauderdale in 20:52, who each brought impressive credentials to the William and Mary cross country and track teams.

Montgomery’s uncle, Ben Montgomery, won the CAA javelin throw for W&M in 1993. Julia has a 10:43.64 best for 3,000 meters, and ran an 11:25.86 last spring in the CAA steeplechase. In Florida she was a four-time state champion (twice in cross country, along with the 3,200 and 1,600 meters on the track).

Jones ran for Kellam High in Virginia Beach, and had track bests of 2:16 for 800 meters and 3:02 for 1,000 meters, placing fifth in the Virginia 5A indoor 1,000 in 2015 her junior year, as well as winning the 6A regional title her senior year.

Miller ran for Hickory High in Chesapeake, with PRs of 2:14.98 for 800 meters, 3:06.08 for 1,000 meters and 5:07.94 for 1,600 meters, her highlight placing fourth in the Virginia state indoor championships her senior year. She also was part of a state championship 4x800-meter relay team her junior year.

Rovin had bests of 2:19 for 800 meters and 5:05 for 1,600 meters, and was fourth in the Florida state cross country championships her senior year (also ninth her junior year), was second in the state at 1,600 meters her senior year (and third her junior year), and fourth in the state 800 meters her senior year.

Not too far behind the W&M runners were Emily Honeycutt, 26, of Newport News in 21:11, and 52-year-old Debbie McLaughlin of Williamsburg in 21:23, fourth and fifth overall for the women. Honeycutt is the current leader for the women in the 2017 CRR Grand Prix.

McLaughlin was one of four runners to break Crapolfest 5K age group records, her 21:23 was 25 seconds faster than Connie Glueck’s previous women’s 50-54 mark of 21:48 from 2015. Chantry’s 18:46 broke the previous men’s 60-64 mark of 19:36 by Rick Platt in 2010. Rose Crist, 62, of Lanexa improved dramatically on her 2016 women’s 60-64 mark of 24:42 with a 23:03 this year. And Pat Eden, 86, of Williamsburg bettered her 2016 women’s 85-and-over mark of 54:58 by exactly one minute.

On an age-graded basis, as compiled by CRR statistician Jim Gullo, three runners were over the national-class 80% level, and an additional nine runners were over the regional-class level of 70%. Chantry led the way with an 86.50% rating, followed by Whitaker (83.67%) and Crist (82.43%) for the national-class runners. The regional-class finishers were Will Murray, 61, of Williamsburg (20:32, 78.41%), McLaughlin (78.10%), Scott McCurdy, 64, of Carmel, IN (22:03, 74.91%), Isaac Lamprecht, 11, of New Kent (20:16, 73.60%), the W&M foursome of Rovin (72.95%), Kate Miller (72.95%), Jones (72.18%) and Montgomery (70.77%), with Jason Miller, 40, of Williamsburg (no relation to Kate) in that mix with his 19:09 (71.63%).

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