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Laney, Gage win The Pear race

David Laney of Ashland, a 24-year-old former All-American runner from Southern Oregon University, won the Pear Blossom 10-mile run in downtown Medford this morning, besting a field of nearly 1,400 runners in the 37th annual event.

Marci Gage, formerly Marci Klimek, who starred at Phoenix High and Linfield College and now lives in Bend, won the women's race for the third straight year. The 25-year-old Gage is only the second woman to win the race three consecutive times.

Laney triumphed in 52 minutes, 18 seconds, well off the course record, but the time suited him just fine. Laney plans to compete in the Eugene Marathon in two weeks and set as his goal a Pear pace of 5:15 per mile, which he accomplished.

“It was good,” Laney, a 2011 graduate of SOU, said of his first foray into the Pear. “It was hard and challenging because it was a little windy on the way out. But it wasn’t too bad.”

Second-place finisher Trevor Palmer, who competed at Crater High prior to SOU — where he was a four-time All-American in track and field — had a time of 52:55.

Keeping the SOU connection alive was third-place finisher Scott McIntyre, who was a senior on the Raider cross-country team last fall. His time was 54:35.

Orin Schumacher of Eugene was fourth in 54:49, and Orestes Gutierrez, also of Eugene, was fifth in 55:47.

Gage's time of 58:03 was a personal best for the distance.

The second-place woman was Renee Gordon of Eugene in 1:00:50.