Cheromei breaks 17-year-old mark at TCRH 5K

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The popular event celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.


David Cheromei set a new course record to win the Twin County Regional Healthcare/Galax Autumn Days 5K, presented by the Galax Recreation Department. Cheromei, a 30-yard-old from Marion, covered the 5000-meter course in 14 minutes, 53 seconds, trimming three seconds off of the previous course record, which had stood for 17 years since Merrill Hausenfluck set the standard of 14:56. Cheromei completed a sweep of the area’s top two running events, having won the Dr. Ed Dannelly III/New River Trail 10K earlier in the year. Cory High was the male overall runner-up with a time of 16:36, followed in third place by Jamie Ness, two seconds behind High. Lindsey King moved up a spot from her runner-up finish of a year ago to win the female overall title. King, a 20-year-old from Virginia Tech, recorded a winning time of 18:40 to win by 32 seconds over runner-up Deanna Fitzgerald. Allison Peters was third in 20:15. A familiar name was once again on the podium as Phillip Sumner was the male masters division winner. Sumner, 42, a former Galax-area resident now living in Pennsylvania, ran a 17:43 and finished ninth overall. Sumner was the overall winner of the 2000 event and has also won the 10K. Mark Carper, 51, was second in the male masters division and 10th overall with a time of 18:07, and R.J. Scott, 45, was third in 18:30. In the female masters division, Debbie Harris of Galax was the winner in 23:20, ahead of Lynette Smith (23:58) and Donna Akers (26:23). Ed Badgett III was the male Clydesdale division winner, and Sussie Slaugenhaupt won the female Clydesdale division. Though not atop the final leaderboard, one of the most impressive runs of the day was put together by John Hosner. An 84-year-old from Blacksburg and a regular at the event, Hosner finished 100th in the field of 160 runners, posting a time of 27 minutes, 49 seconds. Hosner was just one of 13 runners age 60 or over who completed the run, including four in their 70s. Jimmy Miller, 65, was the top finisher in this unofficial senior group, placing 74th in 24:56. The field included its share of strong efforts by some youngsters, as well. Chandler Quesenberry, 13, placed 24th in 20:00, 12-year-old Bryce Altizer was 30th in 20:28 and 10-year-old Damon Hall was 87th in 26:32. Drew Reavis, 8, was the youngest to complete the event, finishing in 28:29. Other young runners included 11-year-olds Joseph Burcham, Ryan Boyles, Chandler McChesney and Molly Reavis and 10-year-old Alex Handy. Matthew Holland, Andrew Jordan and Nicholas Landreth made up the top three in the boys’ 1-mile fun run while the top three girls were Angela Hall, Kylee Hill and Ally Bartlett. The Galax Parks and Recreation Department thanked Twin County Regional Healthcare for its continued support of the race.  “The sponsorship they provide helps us to provide a great community event for our local runners and our out-of-town runners each year,” said the Galax Department’s Tony Quesenberry. Forty-one runners from North Carolina participated in the event, which drew athletes from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina.