The seventh annual Running of the Squirrels 5K in Marionville on Saturday morning featured a number of local runners. The run, along with its unique awards and shirts, is a favorite among southwest Missouri runners, and provides funding for the Marionville Comets Band Boosters.
Great weather, a fast course and a park full of those loveable white squirrels all combined for an awesome morning of racing.
Matt Wegenka, a legend on the Springfield road racing circuit, was the overall champion, cranking out a 16:31. Austin Dunn, the Jasper High School cross country coach, placed second in 16:47.
Michael Morley, 17, of Monett, was the area's top finisher, taking seventh in 19:04.
Two area runners won their age-groups: Jerry Ragsdale, of Monett, won the men's 40-49 division and was ninth overall in 19:10. Pace Evans, of Cassville, won the 9-and-under boys division with his 27:26.
Aaron Morley, 16, and Rick Sill, 55, both of Monett, finished 13th (19:59) and 15th (20:12), respectively.
Daron Evans was Cassville's top competitor, placing third in the 40-49 age group and 17th overall with a 20:42
Alicia Wimberley, of Republic, was the women's champion, finishing 18th overall in 20:55.
Josh Brown, 14, of Monett, finished second in his age group and 26th overall in 22:10.
Sophia Tharp, of Springfield and Cassville, took second in the women's 20-29 division, running 22:18.
Other area runners:
Angela Pederson, Monett, 45th; Marty Wallace, Seligman, 71st; Lee Schroeder, Cassville, 93rd; Josie Stubblefield, Cassville, 100th; Leta Shockley, Washburn, 141st; Shelly Wallace, Seligman, 142nd; Kim Chadd, Exeter, 164th; Leah Aldridge, Monett, 188th; Katie Chadd, Exeter, 193rd; Jolie Evans, Cassville, 214th; Jennifer Evans, Cassville, 215th; Jamie Wilkinson, Monett, 246th; Mary Ragsdale, Monett, 247th; Chip Beerbower, Monett, 248th; and Renee Tichenor, Cassville, 250th.
A total of 279 runners completed the course.