RunnersAs a result of an online poll, Fourth of July activities at Lake Monticello were held on Saturday, July 1, this year. The activities began early and continued all day. Two of the annual athletic competitions are the Spirit 5K run and the Swim across the Lake.

The 16th annual 5K (three mile) Spirit Run started promptly at 7 a.m. Many contestants arrived at least half an hour early to warm up. The race begins at the Bunker ball field and it is run mostly on the Lake Monticello golf course cart paths. This year there were 210 entries that included pre-teens to retirees.

In the men’s division, the outcome was no surprise. Matt Barresi has been winning the Spirit Run 5K for a number of years. He notes that he has not run every year, but he has won every time in which he has run. This year Barresi completed the course in an impressive time of 16:35, which is about 5:30 per mile – too fast, by a wide margin, for most of the competition. Barresi ran track and cross country in college for American University and now runs for the Ragged Mountain Running team, concentrating on the marathon.

On the women’s side of the race the first-place finisher was Fluvanna County High School rising senior Saige Haney, who has been a standout for the Flying Flucos for several years, running under the tutelage of her mother, Coach Rose Brogan. Brogan did well herself, winning in her age group. The following were the winners by age group:  men’s age 12 and under, Cole LaRochelle, Noah Jones and Ethan Dahl, in first, second and third. In ages 13-17, it was Logan Moore, Nicholas Gardello and Jack Rice, in first, second and third. In ages 18-30 it was Ryan Goetz, Dustin Goetz and Andrew Riddler in first, second and third. In ages 31-42, the top three finishers were John Holt, Tom Bowman and Aaron Jeanquent. For ages 43-55 the best finishers were Aaron Bradford, Doug Goetz and Mark Marshall. For age 56 and over runners, the top finishers were Dave Younce, John True and Paul Steinbach.

Top finishers for the women by age group were as follows. In age 12 and under, Mia Semioli, Kylie Wild and Piper LaRochelle were first, second and third. In ages 13-17 there was some confusion, but the officials think it was Kike Saugers, Piper Guiffare and Summer Craig in first, second and third. In the age 18-30 group, first place went to Taylor Dean, second to Baylee Bell and third to Tori Lugar. In ages 31-42, it was Joy Barresi first, Angela Steinbach second, and Kari Wakmunski third. In ages 43-55 the top finishers were Rose Brogan, Heather De Vault, and Kristen Davis. At age 56 and over, it was Deb Lugar, Val Lopez and Lindsay Britton.

The Lake swim is always a crowd pleaser on Fourth of July weekend. Swimmers who have demonstrated sufficient swimming capability group on Beach 3 at the bottom of West Lake Forest Drive for this traditional afternoon event. This year 114 swimmers gathered on the hot and humid afternoon – good weather to be in the water. After the patriotic water skiing demonstration, the race was on.

The first swimmer to climb out of the water at the main beach finish line this year was a rising ninth grade girl from Northern Virginia. Amelia Buswell, who was visiting with her grandparents, and who swims at Potomac Falls High School, was the winner this year by an impressive margin. Next out of the water was Nathan Johnson, one of the three new co-coaches of Fluvanna Aquatic Sports Team.

While the Spirit Run has six age categories, the Lake Swim has nine. On the men’s side the top finishers by age group were as follows. In age 8 and under, James Johnson came in first and William Scanlon finished second. In ages 9-12, Jackson Kinsella was first, Joshua Hodges second and Eli Cook third. In the age 13-17 group, it was Jason Dech, Nate Hirt and Tyler Harris in first, second and third. For the age 18-24 group the first place finisher was Dustin Goetz, followed by Ryan Goetz and Lucas Elliot. The top finisher in the age 25-35 group was Ben Rockey. He was followed by Keith Bergstrom and Mike Laniewski. In the age 36-45 group, it was Eric Krough, Travis Hall and Matt Loflin in first, second and third. In ages 46-55 Rob Cook was first, Mark Semioli second, and Matt Vickers third. The age 56-64 group had two finishers, Gib Kerr first and Wayne Harenei second. At age 65 and over, Greg Stamper finished first, Paul Steinbach second and Alda Bigelow third.

For the women, it was as follows: In age 8 and under, Ava Gray and Ella Gray finished one and two.  In the age 9-12 group, Emily Farist was first, Molly McGert second, and Sarah Taylor third. In ages 13-17, it was Grace Farist in first, Megan Farist in second, and Katie Hardiman in third. For the age 18-24 age group, it was Megan Nero, Ashley Nero and Kenzie Williams in first, second and third. At age 25-35 the top three finishers were Lizzy Cooper, Molly Cole and Juliene Faul. At age 36-45, Jenny Jones was the first to finish, followed by Jennifer Hirt and Katie Krough. In age 46-55, Cheryl Hardiman was first, followed by Charlotte Alfual and Teri Smith. The age 56-64 group was led by Vickie Shackford, followed by Debi Sorber and Nance Stemper. In age 65 and over, Karol Forsberg was the only finisher, and she bested many younger competitors.