Jeff Izzo found his toughest, warmest, mid-winter running challenge not far from home — his temporary home in Managua, Nicaragua, that is. The former C. Milton Wright English teacher and cross-country coach completed the rugged Fuego y Agua (Fire and Water) 50K Feb. 8.

A Missionary for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Izzo teaches high school English at the Nicaragua Christian Academy. He and his family have been in the country's capital city for about 18 months of a planned four-year stay.

The race is run annually on the on the island of Ometepe in mammoth Lake Nicaragua. The 31-mile course begins on a sandy beach and climbs 4,600 feet to the top of the Maderas Volcano, winding over dirt trails and paved roads, through dense rain forest, over steep rock-climb walls, and down twisting paths of deep mud.

After descending to the beach, Izzo reached the finish line in 9 hours, 30 minutes. He placed 26th in a field of 116 runners.

"The toughest 50K I've run so far," he wrote, "until next year's FyA race."

In other races

Jessica Rogers of Bel Air ran two personal bests in the Armory Youth Classic indoor meet in New York City Sunday. The eighth-grader placed fourth in the age 13-14 girls' mile in 5:35.70 and sixth in the 800 meters in 2:31.91.

Andrea Richie, of Forest Hill, was among the 3,300 finishers in the Austin Marathon Sunday in Texas' capital city. She finished 64th among women 35-39 in 4:24:07. Among the 9,300 in the half marathon race were Bryn Wagner, of Churchville, 2:08:34; Tracy Weitzel, of Fallston, 2:30:21; and Kelly Friedman, of Fallston, 2:40:24.

In collegiate indoor track

Ray King, of Edgewood, won the triple jump at the Ursinus College Open indoor meet Saturday in Collegeville, Pa. The Wesley College freshman jumped 44-8 1/4. Teammate Noel Spencer, also from Edgewood, ran 23.51 in the 200 dash, placing seventh.

Elizabeth Tauber ran 5,000 meters in 17:22.67 in the Lafayette-Rider Winter Games Feb. 14 in New York City. The Towson University junior and John Carroll grad placed fifth. Teammate Wilhelmina Austin, of Edgewood, placed fourth in the triple jump at 35-10 1/4 and fifth in the long jump at 17-4.

In the same meet, UMBC junior Noah Hutton (North Harford) finished ninth in the 5,000 meters in 15:24.49.

Jheniel Kelly of Edgewood (Harford Tech) ran 2:19.07 in the 800 at the MEAC indoor championships in Landover Saturday. The UMES sophomore placed 10th. Donisha Porter of Aberdeen placed 11th in the weight throw at 45-5 1/4.

Also in the MEAC meet, Lenier Tucker, of Edgewood, anchored the Morgan State distance medley relay team to sixth place. He also finished eighth in the 5,000 in 16:39.80.

Coming Races

March 2 – RASAC Gunpowder Trail 10 Miler, Guyton Road, Fallston, 8 a.m., http://www.runharford.com

March 9 – RASAC Susquehanna 5K, Rock Run Grist Mill, Susquehanna State Park, 8 a.m., http://www.runharford.com

March 15 – Shamrock 'n' Roll 5K, Arena Club, Bel Air, 8:30 a.m., http://www.eliteracemanagement.com

March 16 – Kelly St. Patrick's Day Shamrock 5K, Baltimore, 1:15 p.m. (Registration has closed).