For Immediate Release
October 3, 2020
Crytser, Fairbanks Claim Victory in the 2020 Pole Green Park 5K
MECHANICSVILLE, VA – After a wild summer and start to the fall with altered schedules due to COVID19 the 5th annual Pole Green Park 5K kicked off Saturday morning with an enthusiastic group of participates in the race. With the VHSL and the NCAA postponing their cross country seasons until spring athletes have been in search of races, with most events having limited fields.
Alli Crytser (Hanover Elite XC Club), a track and field/cross country standout entering her sophomore year at Hanover High School, took first place with a time of 18:19.0. She finished ahead of Sydney Walters (Richmond Track Club), who came in at 18:34.5 and Casey Williams who captured 3rd in 18:35.4.
Crytser, the 2020 VHSL Indoor 3200M Champion for Hanover County High School her freshman year, is one of top athletes within the state with personal bests of 4:57.83 (1600M) and 10:52.28 (3200M).
Under clear skies and temperatures near 60 degrees the gusting winds from the east were expected to impact the competitors on the course. A pack of 5 women were together through the opening mile (5:52) before Crytser started pushing and dropped the pack to three at the halfway point. The tempo of her effortless looking stride increased at the midway point as she started to open space on Williams and Walters.
By the 2 mile point Crytser (11:48) had opened a 6 second lead on Walters and Williams (11:54) and would not look back. As she cruised to the finish she had doubled the distance in the last mile crossing the line in 18:19.0 to claim a 15 second victory. Walters and Williams were locked in battle over the entire race alternating leads as they pushed each other. The sprint at the end belonged to Walters (18:34.5) as she edged out Williams (18:35.4) by less than one second.
Crytser’s finishing time ranks #2 on the Pole Green Park 5K Run performance list, second only to Tressa Breindel (Fleet Feet-Richmond) whose 2019 winning mark of 18:14.0 was set in a co-ed race.
In the men’s race a tight pack of 15 runners passed through the 1K before Blake Fairbanks, Armaan Chopra (Tidewater Striders New Energy), Cooper Hurst and Grayson Barber started to separate from the field as they passed the mile mark in roughly 5:15.
By 2 miles Fairbanks had opened a sizeable nine second lead as he passed through in 10:38 with Hurst one step in front of Chopra (10:47). From there it was all Fairbanks as he extended his lead to 13 seconds to cross the line in 16:32.7 for the win. The race for second was an exciting sprint to the finish with Chopra (16:45.7) using his closing speed to pull away from Hurst (16:47.3) by 1.6 seconds.
“We feel it’s important to provide opportunities”, said Steve Taylor, Collegiate Running Association President and Co-Founder. “We took a lot of extra precautions to ensure a safe environment for these athletes and couldn’t be more excited by the outcome. These types of events are a huge reason we created the Collegiate Running Association. We love to see people compete and test their limits.”
Full results are available https://www.collegiaterunning.org/2020-pole-green-park-5k.
Join us for the 2021 Pole Green Park 5K, which is set for Saturday, September 4, 2021. Registration can be found at www.CollegiateRunning.org.