5K winners repeat as champions

5K winners out front again

When Gabe Ocasio crossed the finish line first in Saturday’s 5K race, he didn’t stop running. Ocasio had another 8 to 10 miles to run as part of his training regimen.

The 2011 Columbus North graduate just signed a scholarship last week to run at Marian University in Indianapolis beginning in the spring. He began his career at Indiana State and spent last semester at IUPUI.

“I’m a lot different than where I was at last year,” Ocasio said. “I wasn’t sure where everything was going with my life. I have everything figured out, and I’m back on track.”

Ocasio defended the 5K title he won at last year’s Mill Race Marathon, with a time of 17 minutes, 33 seconds.

Meanwhile, Olivia Morlok defended her women’s 5K title. The eighth-grader at Northside Middle School ran 19:44, which was 30 seconds off her best time.

“I would have liked to run a (personal record), but I guess I’m OK with just being the first girl,” Morlok said.

Runner goes barefoot

Pingnan Shi drew a few curious looks while running the half-marathon. The Greenwood resident ran the 13.1 miles barefoot to raise awareness for depression.

Shi ran around barefoot a lot as a kid in China and began running longer distances two years ago.

“I don’t like to wear shoes because you have to have very good shoes for long distance running, very expensive shoes,” Shi said. “Also, running barefoot will reduce injury because when you run barefoot, you have to run right.”

Running for Mac

Sabrina Hodge had given birth to her son, Colin, only two months ago, but she was running the Mill Race Marathon 5K on Saturday in support of her former Columbus North classmate Mac DeClue, who now lives in Boston and is fighting brain cancer. Hodge was one of a large group of runners who turned up to support DeClue, who graduated from North in 2004.

Hodge, who also graduated from North in 2009, said that she wouldn’t have run in the event, but that helping her former classmate was a “good kick in the butt” to get her working out after having a child.

Young talent

Columbus North’s cross country program will get some impressive talent soon when 13-year-old Zane Gruwell enters high school after finishing at Central Middle School. Gruwell finished fourth overall in the 5K race at 18:52 on a day when he was sick.

Shadow run

Lt. Preston Ray of the National Guard that is based in Franklin, ran a “shadow race” to coincide with the Mill Race Marathon on Saturday in the Middle East.

Ray, who participated in the inaugural Mill Race Marathon, ran a half-marathon in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 6 seconds. Also running from his unit were Anthony Alston (1:46.30), Sara Holloway (1:57.01), Jason Landfald (2:26.56), Dustin Stevens (2:05.55), Kyle Johns (2:04.44), Mary Niedrauer (2:21.20), Hector Molina (2:07.20), Willie Justice (2:03.54), Christopher Eaton (2:26.20), Samuel Hawkins (2:04.44) and overall winner Bryan Zamora (1:43.04).

The race actually went off a few hours before the start of the Mill Race Marathon to escape some of the desert heat.

Laura Chasse of the Mill Race Marathon organizing committee said she would give Ray’s sister, Chasity Smith of Columbus, medals and shirts for the unit.

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.