Gibson finishes off Polk Co. 5k sweep

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ashevilles Katie Gibson completed a sweep of Polk Countys summer 5k runs Saturday with the womens overall victory in the Coon Dog 5k Saturday morning in Saluda.

Gibson, an emergency veterinarian, somewhat fittingly took home the Coon Dog 5k trophy a week after winning the inaugural Firecracker 5k in Columbus.

The Coon Dog 5k returned to the towns annual Coon Dog Day lineup after a two-year hiatus, and 175 runners competed in this years event.

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Gibson turned in a time of 18 minutes, 25 seconds for the Coon Dog Day win, more than two minutes ahead of second-place Mollie Jones in the womens division. Jones finished in 20:56. Margaret Manuel of Kennesaw, Ga., was third at 22:56.

Daniel Amick, also of Asheville, was the overall mens winner at 15:50, just 33 seconds ahead of Orinthal Striggles (16:23) of Newberry, S.C.&bsp; Charlottes Gary Ball (18:24) finished third overall.

Tryons Bailey Nager took first place in his 50-54 age group and 11th overall at 19:46.

Alice Tongue of Tryon also earned a first-place finish in her 25-29 age group, finishing the challenging mountain course in 23:50.

In the womens 45-49 age division, Saludas Beth Harris (23:46) was second and Tryons Dee Dee Turner (29:44) took third behind Charlestons Nita Timothy (23:11).

The race was not without a little controversy in its return to Coon Dog Day.

Tryons Keaton Nager, who finished 19th overall, said runners were confused over some of the course markings and cut off a small portion of the course, turning the 5k run into more of a 4.7 or 4.8k.

Nager said Amick actually slowed his pace searching for markers as he cruised to the overall victory by 30 seconds over Striggles.

It was a little short, Keaton said. They didnt have the course well marked, and we were supposed to go down (the)main street and take a right past the library. Instead, we ended up taking a right and going along the upper side of the school, so it was a little shorter than it was supposed to be.