It's no wonder Holly Fredericksen has fallen in love with the marathon.
In her first race at the grueling 26.2-mile distance last October, the 2006 Tabb High School graduate placed second among 763 competitors in her 20-24 age group and 12th overall among the 8,698 female finishers at the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 59 minutes and 3 seconds.
Now the latest. In her second race — Oct. 9 at the prestigious Chicago Marathon — Fredericksen came through with another sterling performance. She placed fifth in her age group out of 1,468 competitors and bettered her previous time by more than 2 minutes with a 2:56:47 showing.
Those are amazing performances for someone who just wanted to try something different other than the 5K and 10Ks she was used to running in high school and in college at James Madison University.
Blessed with endurance as a runner, she's now hooked on the marathon.
"I love running the marathon. It's something I was made to do," she said on Saturday from her new home in North Carolina, where she's a first-year English teacher at Eastern Guilford High School near Burlington.
As for her time in the Chicago Marathon, she called it "O.K., but I was hoping to do a little better — like the low 2:50s."
"But I was still pretty excited about how I did considering the circumstances," she added. "I was fighting a cold and I made some mistakes in pacing myself."
Attribute the pacing mistakes to being a newcomer to the marathon. She didn't start training for her first one until after graduating from James Madison University with a master's degree in secondary education in May.
"The best is yet to come," Fredericksen says. "My dream goal, which may be a reach, is to make it to the Olympic Trials (someday). I'm still young for a marathon runner."
To achieve her ultimate goal, she has thought about taking a year off to concentrate on training harder and improving her times.
Her interest in running goes back to her childhood days when her dad, Gary, got her started in the sport. The longtime runner also spurred her interest in the marathon, leading to their both competing at the Marine Corps and Chicago marathons.
The top-seeded Virginia Crusaders (11-0) gift-wrapped two touchdowns for the Virginia Jaguars but still prevailed, 20-14, in the opening round of the Mason Dixon Football League playoffs Saturday night at Wanner Stadium in Williamsburg.
The Crusaders advanced to face the No. 4 Arbutus (Md.) Big Red in the league semifinals at 7 p.m. Saturday at Wanner Stadium.
Early in the third quarter, the Crusaders led 20-0 before the Jaguars capitalized on two Crusader turnovers. They scored on 25-yard fumble return and recovered a ball in the end zone for another TD after a bad snap.
The Crusaders took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Scorpio Brown to Dion Johnson and the PAT kick by Sean Jackson. Their other TDs came on 25-yard pass from Garcia Whigham to John Washington and a 10-yard run by Johnson.
Hubert Hart of Hampton rolled one of the highest series by a senior bowler in Peninsula history Sept. 28 at Sparetimes.
The 66-year-old standout put together games of 247, 299 and 238 for a whopping career-high 784 series. His previous best had been a 742 at Century Lanes in 1998.
He barely missed shooting his third career 300 game when he left the 10-pin on his last ball in the second game.
Hart, a member of the 2002-03 senior all-star team, connected on 28 out of a possible 36 strikes and didn't have an open frame. ...
Tyler Selden, a Yorktown resident, rolled a 300 game and 750 series on Oct. 5 at the Langley AFB Lanes. It was his ninth perfect game. Selden, who was transferred to Langley three months ago, had his previous 300s at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and Hanscom AFB in Massachusetts. ...
Bowlers Appreciation Day in Newport News will be celebrated on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. at Classic Lanes. The Newport News City Council recently issued a proclamation for the special event, which includes an awards banquet to recognize the Virginia Peninsula USBC men & women's all-star teams and the top youth and senior bowlers.
Skeeter Morris of Burkeville and Jennifer Quarles of Williamsburg posted easy wins at the Run for Breast Health 10K in Williamsburg on Saturday.
Morris topped the men's field in 33 minutes and 35 seconds while Quarles headed the women in 39:59. Runner-up honors went to Todd Kessler of Newport News (37:30) and Suzanne Lesnowski of Canada (42:18). ...
John Piggott, 46, of Williamsburg took second place in the masters division (2:37:26) and 21st overall in Saturday's Baltimore Marathon. ...
J.R. Cruz of Yorktown (37:01) and Diane Haupt of Virginia Beach (43:19) took top honors in the Mariners Museum 10K on the Noland Trail on Saturday. The 5K winners were Nate Wallace of Yorktown (17:51) and Camden Carpenter of Newport News (22:35).
Entry deadline is Thursday for the U.S. Table Tennis Nationals at the Virginia Beach Convention Center Dec. 13-17. For a limited time, late entries will be accepted but with an additional $75 fee. To register, go to usnationalsvabeach.com.