Front-row starting-line spots were at a premium for the Bel Air Town Run Sunday morning. The combination of a record field of 1,695 runners and the narrowness of Bel Air's Main Street imposed a 2-minute starting delay for those farthest from the electronic starting line.
Megan DiGregorio and Megan McNew started on the line and ran among the first 25 runners throughout the 5K route to produce one of the closest women's races in the 32-year history of the event.
DiGregorio prevailed in the duel of Megans, finishing 30 meters ahead of McNew in 18:01. It was the third straight Town Run win for DiGregorio, 24, of White Marsh, and it was her fastest winning time, 29 seconds better than last year's. McNew, who had beaten DiGregorio in a 10K a week earlier, ran 18:07.
Carly Page of Baltimore was third in 18:26, and Danielle Kays of Bel Air, fourth in 18:54. Robyn Humphrey, 48, of Ellicott City, took fifth place and first among masters women in 19:26.
Will Christian, a 29-year-old admissions officer for theU.S. Naval Academy, won the men's race with a seemingly effortless 15:20. Christian, formerly a distance runner on the University of Virginia track team, pulled away from the pack after 2 1/4 miles and crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of Charles Larson of Phoenix.
Tristram Thomas of Baltimore finished third in 15:37 and Mark Kitz of Bel Air was fourth in 15:57. Jonathan Luckin, a junior at Hereford High School, was fifth in 16:04.
Maurice Pointer, 56, of Baltimore won the men's masters award, edging Charles Powell II of Bel Air by 11 seconds in 17:25. The senior masters' awards (age 50-plus) went to Dennis Coleman, 18:24, and Carole Rosasco, 22:40. Grand Masters winners (60-plus) were Malcom Senior, 19:51, and Marge Rosasco, 23:48. The Rosasco family also captured a third award - Mark Rosasco placed third in the 50-54 age group.
The Gessler family of Ellicott City swept the women's 15-19 age group with Julie Gessler first in 20:05, Becky second in 21:18, and Amy third in 21:50. Bobby Gessler, their father, won the 55-59 age group in 19:09.
Other age group winners were: Dylan Jones, 25:44; and Victoria Kays, 27:19 (under-9); Henry Mejia, 24:03, and Macy Bogdan, 26:02 (9 to 11); Eric Jagde, 20:05, and Jessica Rogers, 21:03 (12 to 14); Noah Hutton, 16:14, and Alyssa Doyle, 19:39 (20 to 24); Alex Loper, 17:10, and Kate Hoppe, 22:30 (25 to 29); and Mark Kitz, 15:57, and Sarah Westervelt, 21:04 (30 to 34).
Also, Jeff Burger, 17:41, and Danielle Kays, 18:54 (35 to 39); Rob Baker, 18:29, and Jennifer Bouffard, 20:45 (40 to 44); Akintunde Morakinyo, 18:17, and Maureen Hall, 21:03 (45 to 49); John Chall, 18:47, and Christine Josey, 22:40 (50 to 54); Donna Lewis, 22:49 (55 to 59); Pat Gary, 20:58, and Esther Buchser, 25:23 (60 to 64); Ronnie Wong, 21:44, and Clare Imholtz, 30:22 (65 to 69); and Terry Derk, 26:05, and Bertha Flens, 35:04 (over-70).
Ben Pickett was the sixth finisher overall in 16:20. Tyler Muse, 16:28; Jackson Flowers, 16:38; and Derek Alban, 16:51, also finished in the men's top 10.
Finishing in places six through 10 among the women were Alyssa Doyle, 19:39; Pat Wilkerson, 19:44; Julie Gessler, 20:05; Denise Knickman, 20:15; and Nelly Budrow, 20:25.