Local athletes dominate 41st annual Almond Blossom Run
Chicoans sweep top 5 in men's 5k; Oroville woman also wins
Runners from Chico swept the top five places in the men's 5k at the 41st annual Almond Blossom Run, which drew 372 entrants across a dozen divisions Sunday morning.
Extremely pleasant weather conditions for mid-winter greeted the participants. There were 10 age divisions — five each for males and females — in addition to 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) runs. The 5k and 10k runners vied for $150 gift cards from Fleet Feet in Chico, with one card for the top male and female runner in each of those four competitions.
Henry Fisher won the men's 5K in 16 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by Logan Underwood at 17:58.5. Tony Rubio came in third at 19:51, followed by Bobby Hastings at 20:18.6 and William Parnell at 20:43.2.
Anthony Cortes of Half Moon Bay was the 10k winner among male runners, clocking in at 34:18.5. Scott Kruetzfeldt of Santa Rosa came in second at 35:49.3; Rocklin's Aakash Arumugam checked in at 38:39.06, followed by Heladio Punzo of Orland at 40:48.7 and Tim Culp at 41:59.5.
Susan Schmidt of Oroville won the women's 5k in 24:00.7. She was comfortably ahead of Maryra Punzo of Chico, who finished in 26:22.6. The next three were Myla Axtell (26:29.0), Ashley Nelson of Durham (26:48.4) and Teegan Poyner of Durham (27:19.7).
Palo Cedro's Julie Buckmaster easily won first place in the women's 10k in 40:03.8 seconds, over Lauren Culp's second-place time of 41:54.2. Chico runners Katie Crane (42:44.5) and Sara Pickett (43:51.4) were next, with Van Mai of Huntington Beach rounding out the top five at 46:06.9.
Durham Sports Boosters collected entry fees, sponsorships and donations totaling $32,450; these funds will benefit Durham High and Durham Intermediate schools' sports programs.