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Runners competing in the 30th annual Ashland Fourth of July Run

Former Ashland High runner Morgan takes six-mile event

Just like old times.

Former Ashland High distance runner David Morgan jumped out to a big early lead and cruised the rest of the way en route to a resounding, record-breaking win in the 30th-annual Ashland Fourth of July Run on Tuesday.

Morgan, 19, a 2005 AHS grad, completed the hilly six-mile course that started and finished at the Ashland Library in 31 minues, 57.88 seconds, setting a new standard for the 13-19 age group. His nearest challenger, Damian Baldovino of Lakeview, crossed the finish line about 35 seconds later in 32:33.27.

Bob Julian Jr., Morgan’s former coach at AHS, finished fourth in 34:26.15 and Crater High star Isaac Stoutenburgh took fifth in 34:58.07, as more than 300 men and women competed in the road race, which has been a staple in Ashland since 1977.

“It’s really great to come back to my home town and win a race like this,” said Morgan, who broke a course record by 20 seconds to take first place in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championships at Lane Community College last fall.

In the women’s race, Jill Peters, 41, was equally dominant, besting Ashland’s Ixel Sanchez by about 46 seconds to win in 39:55.66. Sanchez, 20, finished in 40:41.23 and Kazumi Nigro of Redding, Calif., took third in 40:56.54.

Ashland’s Brynn Cogdill, 22, and Becky Hakcer, 36, finished fifth and eighth, respectively.

The Run also included a two-mile race, which is traditionally a walk/run. Though official times were not released, a nine-year-old boy from Highland, Calif., running in his first-ever two-mile event, was named the winner.

Pristine conditions — temperatures in the low 80s with a sight breeze under blue skies — greeted an estimated 500 competitors, which included mothers pushing strollers, energetic toddlers and at least 25 runners age 60 or older (the oldest finisher was 70-year-old Perry Parks of Medford). The six-mile run began first, at 7:45 a.m.

Most of the runners hailed from the Rogue Valley, but some traveled a long way for the event, including Bethany Ericksen of Spanish Fork, Utah., James Dunn of Plano, Texas, and Monica Hoz de Vila of Bolivia.

But it was Morgan, competing in just his second Fourth of July Run, who stole the show. He wanted to put the race away as early as possible and did just that, earning a loud ovation as he made his way down the Siskiyou Blvd. home stretch.

“My strategy this year was to go hard the first mile and a half until I got to the other side of the freeway and kind of take it easy up the hill, and then keep going hard again,” said Morgan, talking normally only minutes after crossing the finish line.

The race was coordinated by Julian Jr. and John Cornet, the head cross country coaches at Ashland High and Phoenix High, respectively. Both were kept busy — Julian Jr. helped set up, ran the race, then helped clean up, while Cornet did all of the above, minus the race, only hours after directing the third of four all-comers track meets at AHS.

“There was a lot of work in the last couple days, but we kind of balanced out the load,” said Julian Jr., giving credit to his dad, Bob Julian, and AHS runner Kevin Cook, who helped organize the race for his senior project. “We’ve got it down to a pretty good system.”

To Julian Jr., the annual Fourth Run is more than just another summer road race.

“This is kind of a traditional thing,” he said. “It’s kind of a celebration of running.”

MEN’S TOP 50

1, David Morgan, Ashland, 31:57.88; 2, Damian, Lakeview, 32:33.27; 3, Ian Schroeder, Milwaukie, 34:23.10; 4, Bob Julian Jr., Ashland, 34:26.15; 5, Issac Stoutenburgh, Central Point, 34:58.07; 6, Jeffrey Lease, San Luis Obispo, Calif., 35:07.76; 7, Todd Ragsdale, Talent, 35:10.93; 8, Andy Wright, Ashland, 35:15.83; 9, Darrell Terry, Medford, 35:21.87; 10, Hal Koerner, Ashland, 35:27.57.

11, Neil Olsen, Central Point, 35:52.81; 12, Jedrick Baures, Jacksonville, 36:32.95; 13, Ian Torrence, Boulder City, Nevada, 36:41.93; 14, Tyler Davis, Talent, 36:53.81; 15, Whit Brake, 36:57.42; 16, Spencer Bonney, Ashland, 38:06.73; 17, Cameron Barleen, Ashland, 38:07.03; 18, Will Swales, Ashland, 38:24.77; 19, J.C. Callans, Eagle Point, 38:34.94; 20, Andrew Jordan, Medford, 39:14.60.

21, Mike Davis, Talent, 39:42.61; 22, John Rogers, Arcata, Calif., 40:01.88; 23, Jeremy Eisen, Ashland, 40:29.39; 24, Thomas Knox, Central Point, 40:43.97; 25, Jon Theiring, Eugene, 41:06.46; 26, Todd Logan, Palo Alto, Calif., 41:21.92; 27, Adam Cortell, Talent, 41:30.97; 28, Denver Speelman, Grants Pass, 41:34.96; 29, Greg Capestany, Highland, Calif., 41:36.02; 30, Kenneth Leftus, Ashland, 41:37.16.

31, Chris Uhtoff, Ashland, 41:55.94; 32, Don Biggie, Medford, 42:15.72; 33, James Hulse, Ashland, 42:39.41; 34, Robert Schroeder, Milwaukie, 42;51.10; 35, Jeff Kollath, Corvallis, 42:57.35; 36, Connor Capestany, Highland, Calif., 43:00.35; 37, Adrian Dorris, Ashland, 43:38.77; 38, Colin Mullane, Talent, 43:38.99; 39, Miles Barnes, Ashland, 43:51.48; 40, Donald Soarez, Talent, 44:03.72.

41, Mike Sullivan, Medford, 44:08.55; 42, Matt Cover, 44:09.52; 43, Joey McDougall, Medford, 44:11.81; 44, Donald Lewis, Medford, 44:42.75; 45, Luke Frechette, Ashland, 45:11.14; 46, Andy Ullrich, Medford, 45:14.04; 47, Casey Falz, Portland, 45:18.71; 48, Michael Belsky, Ashland, 45:23.34; 49, Lloyd Aaron, Hillsboro, 45:47.09; 50, Stephen Lloyd, Medford, 45:47.44.

WOMEN’S TOP 50

1, Jill Peters, 39:55.66; 2, Ixel Sanchez, Ashland, 40:41.23; 3, Kazumi Nigro, Redding, Calif., 40:56.54; 4, Marci Klimek, Phoenix, 41:09.24; 5, Brynn Cogdill, Ashland, 41:25.04; 6, Jade Severson, Medford, 41:33.44; 7, Danielle Jordan, Medford, 41:54.17; 8, Becky Hacker, Ashland, 43:17.96; 9, Allegra Mayer, Palo Alto, Calif., 43:29:33; 10, Jaime Cook, Ashland, 43:31.83.

11, Bethany Ericksen, Spanish Fork, 44:15.13; 12, Ashley Baldovino, Lakeview, 44:31.55; 13, Kierra Huggins, Medford, 45:29.73; 14, Malissa Schweisgutt, 45:34.84; 15, Elena McKennon, Central Point, 45:43.78; 16, Molly Wheeler, Talent, 45:59.84; 17, Emily Harris, Oakland, Calif., 46:16.12; 18, McKenzie Yeoman, Selma, 46:34.04; 19, Molly O’Dwyer, Ashland, 46:38.89; 20, Nikki Keating, Medford, 47:19.11.

21, Monica Hoz de Vila, La Paz, Bolivia; 22, Chelsea Morgan, Portland, 49:07.09; 23, Rebekah Murphy, Ashland, 49:20.20; 24, Sarah Swales, 57, Ashland, 49:29.10; 25, Melanie Terrile, Lake Tapps, 49:52.17; 26, Molly MacGrant, Ashland, 50:21.66; 27, Elanie Delsman, Ashland, 50:32.25; 28, Bree Phillips, Aptus, Calif., 50:50.50; 29, Judy Logan, Palo Alto, Calif., 50:52.27; 30, Amy Ricahrd, Ashland, 51:28.03.

31, Laurie MacGrant, Ashland, 51:31.18; 32, Brooke Beck, Ashland, 51:34.07; 33, Desiree Barnes, Ashland, 51:37.53; 34, Beth Lori, Ashland, 51:43.23; 35, Nokomis Baze, Ashland, 51:46.41; 36, Jennifer Callans, Eagle Point, 51:47.61; 37, Misti Lipe, Ashland, 51:52.83; 38, Amanda Camreta, San Fransisco, Calif., 51:53.08; 39, Dawn Thompson, Milwaukie, 51:56.09; 40, Betsy Sealon, Mercer Island, Wash., 51:57.42.

41, Angie Clark, Ashland, 51:58.23; 42, Helen Whitcomb, Ashland, 52:09.63; 43, Megan Heuberger, Ashland, 52:20.65; 44, Livia Heuberger, Ashland, 52:32.62; 45, Elyse Capestany, Highland, Calif., 52:37.82; 46, Pim Solof, Eugene, 52:43.00; 47, Nancy Nerenberg, Ashlandm 53:28.71; 48, Linda Hulse, Ashland, 53:41.06; 49, Rachel Hinze, Ashland, 53:47.18; 50, Emily Bredleau, Ashalnd, 53:49.94.