Two Roadrunners earn Silver Bell Sprint titles

Daily Citizen
Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dalton State College’s cross country program added a little blueto the palette at this year’s Silver Bell Sprint. Isaac Pacheco and Gloria Pascual, who recently completed their 2014 season with the Roadrunners — whose team colors are silver and blue — were the overall male and female winners in the 12th annual road race’s featured 5K (3.1-mile) race on Friday night.

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Pacheco, a 20-year-old sophomore at Dalton State, won the Silver Bell Sprint for the third straight year by clocking a time of 16 minutes and 23 seconds on the downtown Dalton course that started and finished at City Park School. Pascual, a 19-year-old freshman, finished in 19:55 to set the standard for females.

Overall, some 500 runners took part in the event, which raises funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Georgia Mountains. All but 100 of those were in the 5K, with the others taking part in a 1-mile fun run.

Pacheco has made a habit of running and winning the annual holiday-time race. “I felt strong,” Pacheco said. “I had some familiar faces pushing me.”

Sadoth Fraire, a 19-year-old Dalton State teammate, was second overall with a time of 16:30. Pascual had a busy evening en route to her championship run.
“I got back from working in a restaurant in Chattanooga,” she said with a smile. “It takes an hour. I drove 40 minutes and took and another 20 to warm up. This is the first race that I’ve run after dark.”

Dean Thompson, a 49-year-old Cohutta resident, easily had the top masters
(40-and-older) time at 16:39.9. Still needing a “warmdown” after the race, he and several friends ran the race route again. “That warmdown always helps,” Thompson said. “Of course, I always try to have a good warmup.”

Dalton’s Holly Kimsey, 45, posted the best female masters time in 22:57.
In the 1-mile run, the best times came from local runners Isaac Duran, 13, in 6:13, and Violeta Rengel, 8, in 7:09.

Staci Halyak, the director for sponsoring Big Brothers Big Sisters, appreciated the vast improvement from last year. “The weather was much better,” she pointed out. “We were organized better for the bigger crowd.” According to Halyak, the annual goal of $10,000 likely was met.

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