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South Carolina duo blasts Keystone’s Freedom 5K

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 7/6/22

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - The Freedom 5K run race course is usually considered “fairly hilly” with undulations throughout the 3.1 mile trek in the neighborhoods surrounding the lakeside …

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South Carolina duo blasts Keystone’s Freedom 5K


Posted


KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - The Freedom 5K run race course is usually considered “fairly hilly” with undulations throughout the 3.1 mile trek in the neighborhoods surrounding the lakeside community. The race benefits the Jordan Cooper Memorial Scholarship Fund; Cooper’s foundation, formed in 2017 in the memory of Keystone Heights High student Jordan Cooper who died at age 25, is for anti-bullying education and animal rescue and provides scholarship money to Keystone Heights High School students.
Two boys from South Carolina and one from Gainesville made a quick impression on the mainly local run crowd at the Keystone Heights July 4 celebration run with times under the very quick 17 minute mark.
Top finisher Noah Wasserman, of Bluffton, SC, a junior cross country state runner in South Carolina, won going away at 15 minutes, 59.77 seconds with Gainesville’s Julian Bautista, a runner for St. Francis Catholic in Gainesville, a few ticks behind in 16:52.04.
The third place finisher, Wasserman’s South Carolina teammate at May River High School Cohen MacDonald in 16:51.40.
“We are on vacation down here and heard of this race,” said Wasserman, who was 21st in Class AAAA in South Carolina’s state championships in November. MacDonald, 21st at the region qualifier, narrowly missed the state meet requirement.
Bautista was a fourth place finisher at the FHSAA region 2-1A championships in 17:17.5 to qualify to the Class 1A championship race where he finished 23rd in 17:04.5.
Bautista also brought his own firepower with St. Francis coach Maggie McCloskey, 29, who was a repeat winner of the event with a 13th overall finish in 22:04.93 to finish just ahead of Carolyn Corgel, an amazing 64 years old from Elkton, who was runnerup in 22:49.80.
At the other end of the age spectrum, third place went to tiny Reagan Thomas, a Keystone Heights nine year old phenom, who finished in 23:37.00.
Top local finisher was Keystone Heights High Schooler Tyler Griffin, a region cross country and track runner for the Indians who strode in at fourth place overall in 17:48.25.
A third Bluffton, SC, runner, 14 year old Jackson MacDonald, was seventh.
In the wheelchair competition, Clay High former wrestler and football standout Mark DeToro, who 13 years ago lost his right leg in a cycling accident, won with a 21st place finish in 23:23.23. DeToro, now 39, has been competing still with his wheelchair with recent national title basketball medals and a top finish in last year’s Freedom 5Km.
One other out of state runner, Collin Presser, 21 of Biglerville, PA, finished 71st with runners from Hallandale, Tallahassee and Plant City.
There were 138 finishers. Results are posted at FloridaRaceDay.com.