As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree. In this case she is Jais Ward, granddaughter of Columbia’s legendary champion runner and coach Catherine Lempesis.
In July, Jais, coached by her grandmother, was named a two-time All-American at the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
A seventh-grader at Heathwood Hall, she qualified for finals in the 800M and finished 8th out of 48 runners in 2:25. Jais placed 4th out of 48 runners in the 1500M, running a 4:57.
One of only 4 runners in the nation who finished with a time under 5 minutes, she is now a four-time All-American (previously in 2016 800M and 2017 Cross Country).
In addition, this year Jais set the state record for girls 11-12 in the 5K (18:50), 800 (2:25) and 1500 (5:07). She won the state meet in the 800 and 1500, placed second in the 800 and first in the 1500 at regionals, and broke the 800 and 1500 meet records at the Charlotte Bring the Heat Invitational on April 29.
Columbia’s Labor Day 5 Miler brought out 184 runners. Top male finisher was Columbian Avery Mitchell. Top female finisher was Columbian Erin Miller, 42, in 31:42.
First-place masters were Columbia’s Drew Williams, 40, in 30:53 and Amanda Lyons, 43, in 36:28. Kevin Goehring, 56, Simpsonville, was first grandmasters in 34:36. First female grandmasters was Columbian Alsena Edwards, 61, in 42:52. Senior masters were Danny West, 66, in 35:23 and Blythewood’s Lynn Grimes, 66, in 45:58. Hartsville’s Arnold Floyd, 75, was first veteran masters in 47:43.
The Justin Pepper Walk-.Run.Ruck 5K on Sept. 1 in Chapin featured a new twist this year with a Ruck division to make running even more challenging.
Fifteen runners and walkers competed carrying weight in a backpack. First male rucker was Irmo’s Justin Campbell, 37, in 30:38 followed by Elgin’s Matthew Berube, 32, in 33:46 and Harts-ville’s Arnold Floyd, 75, in 45:48. Lexington’s Melanie Phillips, 53 was first female rucker in 40:24. In the 5K walk and run, Ryan Plexico, 35, was first male in 17:24. Top female finisher was Dorothy Hutchins, 7, in 24:19. The Justin Pepper Foundation is dedicated to engaging youth in volunteerism and philanthropy.
Lexington’s Stomp the Swamp 5K on Aug. 25 also had a Ruck division with 18 finishers.
Top female rucker was Melanie Phillips, 53, in 37:58. Stacy Shealy, 48, was first male rucker in 28:19. Of the 175 runners who participated, Jennifer Connick, 47, was first female in 22:32. Colby Coulter, 24, was first male in 16:23. First female masters was Tonya Breedlove, 41, in 26:57. Tim Horan, 50, was first male masters in 19:18.
The 811 5K on Aug. 11 had 394 runners with top finisher Columbia’s Alan Deogracias III, 17, in 16:45. Top female finisher was Shawanna White, 38, 18:37.
Two August traditions were run on Aug. 4. The Little Mountain Reunion Road Race included a 5K with 84 runners and a 10K with 21 participants.
Top 5K male was Hernandez Carlos, 20, in 19:23. Prosperity’s Caroline Matney, 14, was first female in 24:24. In the 10K, Irmo’s Sara Bonner, 37, was first female in 48:11. Top 10K male was Chapin’s Jim Brophy IV, 45, in 40:07.
Also on Aug. 4, Columbia’s Hot Summer Night lived up to its name. Greenville’s James Quattlebaum, 22, was first male in 15:14. Lexington’s Joy Miller, 30, was first female in 18:07. Eric Ashton, 50, was first male masters in 16:54. Columbian Alsena Edwards, 61, was first female masters in 25:45. First grandmasters were Bill Bender, 52, in 20:58 and Columbian Renee McCormick, 55, in 26:22.
West Columbia – 9:11 Run For Our Troops 5K, 6:30 p.m. Info: 803-814-5858, email@example.com.
Sept. 14 Columbia – Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K – South Carolina, 7p.m. Info: Eggplant Events Production 803-600-1800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 15 Camden – 9th Annual Springdale5K, 8 a.m; $35 by 9/7. Info: Nicholas Julian, 110 E. Dekalb St., Camden, SC 29020; 803-432-0951, email@example.com, www.springdale5k.comSumter – Forrest Ray Classic 5K, 8 a.m. Info: Robert Harden 803-775-4926, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 16 Columbia – Camp Cole 5K Trail Run & Walk, 3p.m. Info: Margaret Deans 803-238-0579, email@example.com.
Sept. 22 Camden – Revolutionary Run Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk, 7:30 a.m. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org. Columbia – Teal Day 5K, 7:30 a.m. Info: Susan Hancock 803-528-9011, email@example.com. Irmo – Lake Murray Dam Run 10K, 7:30 a.m. Info: 803-799-4786, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 29 Columbia – Rooster Run 5K, 7 a.m. Info: Evan Costner 704-712-1802, email@example.com. Columbia – Superhero 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m; 100m Kids Dash, 10 a.m. Info: Alexis Scurry 803-439-5761, firstname.lastname@example.org. Columbia – WIL to Run, 5K Fun Run/ Walk; 8:30 a.m. Info: email@example.com.
September 6, 2018 | State, The (Columbia, SC)
Author/Byline: LARRY HAMILTON Special to The State | Page: 12 | Section: Sports