Roger Bowersock, of Rocketship Sports, said, “What a year it has been.” He explained it was a year ago when he and other race officials began discussing the possibility of a series to keep Darke County runners in the county. With more than one race scheduled around the Miami Valley on any given weekend, runners would be inclined to stay in the county and compete in the series. The hopes of race organizers paid off and nearly every race witnessed a dramatic increase in participants. According to Bowersock, some races saw a 200-300 percent increase in runners. The Versailles Poultry Days 5K was the first to sign on to the Wayne HealthCare Challenge and it didn’t take long until 13 other races agreed to be part of the series. Ultimately, the bigger numbers meant more funds for the non-profits.
Runners were given the opportunity to compete as individuals and/or as a team. The winner of this year’s team competition was Team AddieGirl. The team is named after a young girl, Addison Henderson, who found out she had Leukemia shortly after the Mandy Green Sunshine Run. The team ran each race to show Addison and her family they were gathering to support her in her journey and battle with Leukemia. With each race the team continued to grow. Team members shared the story of the Hendersons and their six-year old daughter at every race. In a statement read from Connie Harshbarger during the awards ceremony said, “We have never placed winning as a top priority in this challenge. Our goal was to get together as a team to show Addison that ‘winning’ this battle with Leukemia is our goal as well as hers.”
Earning second place was Team YOLO (You Only Live Once). Team YOLO had an opportunity to win the series, but joined in the fight to bring attention to Addison’s disease in the Breast Cancer 5K and ran as Team AddieGirl, giving all of their points to Addison’s supporters. The third place team was Christians in Action (CIA). Sixteen teams competed in this year’s series.
Individual award winners are as follows (listed as first, second and third place in each age category):
Females: 10 and under - Izzy Bowersock, Briana Graves and Anna Brewer; 11-14 – Grace Coakley, Riley Hunt and Brooke Perreira; 15-19 - Tammy Berger, Cheyann Beam and Kara Donbrock; 20-24 - Erin Hartzell, Natalie Oliver and Kate Schrader; 25-29 – Beth Marker, Kim Warren and Jill Willis; 30-34 – Erica Burns, Lauren Armstrong and Kara Warren; 35-39 – Ginger Gehret, Kristenne Kayler and Christina Bowersock; 40-44 – Stephanie Lind, Nicole Robbins and Angela Kramer; 45-49 – Melissa Fraley, Patty Sutter and Polly Simon; 50-54 – Melinda Gray, Jeannie Grosch and Gloria Burns; 55-59 – Connie Harshbarger, Barb Bolyard and Arlene Luttmer; 60-64 – Rebecca Shumaker, Debbie Hollinger and Susan Fowble; 65-69 – Gretchen Eilerman, Martha Brown and Theresa Cangelosi; 70-74 – Marty Schipfer, Iris Moritz and Irene Jones; 75-79 – Janice Lyme; 80 and over – Julie Schrader, Suzi Harrod and Abigail Nealeigh
Males: 10 and under – Andrew Abell, Xavier Grillot and Robert Dancer; 11-14 – Landen Kreusch, Logan Warner and Joe Spitzer; 15-19 – Adam Klipstine, Cylas Conway and Joshua Jarvis; 20-24 – Aaron Fraley, Timothy Lowman and John Mobley; 25-29 – Austin James, Jimmy Smith and Jason Ordway; 30-34 – Bruce Burns, Joshua Warren and Phillip Pierri; 35-39 – Justin Marshall, Kevin Addington and Matt Haupt; 40-44 – Frank Staigl III, David Wogoman and Scott Lind; 45-49 – Brad Hess, Scott Snell and Dennis Eckstein; 50-54 – John Warner, Bill Haber and Jim Morehouse; 55-59 – Gary Grosch, Phil Bayer and Jon Hein; 60-64 – Gary Cohee, Richard Barton and Denis Simon; 65-69 – Ron Griffitts, Ted Jockel and Richard Shumaker; 70-74 – Gene Black, Chuck Shingledecker and Robert Godwin; 75-79 – Bill Berger and Tony Mendenhall; 80 and over – Jerry Monnin, Chuck Blinn and Joseph Stickel
The 2014 schedule will feature a few new races to the series, including Heart & Sole, Friends of the Shelter, New Madison Methodist 5K, YOLO Festival, Illumination 5K and Light up the Night. There should be 18-19 races in the Wayne HealthCare Challenge series this year.
Moving into the second year of the series participants will see a difference in the way points are distributed. In the individual competition, 20 points will be given for first place in each age division with one point subtracted for each of the following placings. Participants are guaranteed at least one point. Only the scores from the runners’ top seven races will be used to determine the winner for each age category. If there is a tie, the eighth race will be the determining factor.
Teams will also see a difference in the way points are distributed. The size of the team and how well team members compete will be a determining factor in the team score. If an individual earns 20 points in their age group, the team he or she is on receives 20 points. Bowersock noted this should create some diversity in the teams by having persons from different age groups.
|Shown and named are winners that were present for the banquet.|
|Recognition was given to Wayne HealthCare Challenge participants that participated in seven or more races in 2013|
|Female - 10 & Under - Izzy Bowersock, first place|
|Female 30-34 - Erica Burns, first place; Lauren Armstrong, second place; and Kara Warren, third place|
|Female 35-39 - Ginger Gehret, first place; Kristenne Kayler, second place; and Christina Bowersock, third place|
|Female 40-44 - Angela Kramer, third place|
|Female 45-49 - Melissa Fraley, first place|
|Female 50-54 - Melinda Gray, first place; Jeannie Grosch, second place; and Gloria Burns, third place|
|Female 55-59 - Barb Bolyard, second place; and Arlene Luttmer, third place|
|Female 60-64 - Rebecca Shumaker, first place; Debbie Hollinger, second place|
|Males 10 & Under - Andrew Abell, first place|
|Male 20-24 - Aaron Fraley, first place; and Timothy Lowman, second place|
|Male 25-29 - Jimmy Smith, second place|
|Male 30-34 - Bruce Burns, first place; Joshua Warren, second place; and Phillip Pierri, third place|
|Male 35-39 - Justin Marshall, first place|
|Male 40-44 - Frank Staigl III, first place|
|Male 45-49 - Scott Snell, second place; and Dennis Eckstein, third place|
|Male 50-54 - John Warner, first place|
|Male 55-59 - Gary Grosch, first place; and Phil Bayer, second place|
|Male 60-64 - Gary Cohee, first place|
|Male 65-69 - Richard Shumaker, third place|
|Third place team - Christians in Action|
|Second place team - Team YOLO (You Only Live Once)|
|First place team - Team AddieGirl|