Woodstock 5K: Brown been there, got the T-shirt

·4 min read

Aug. 6—Runners run for lots of reasons. William Brown started running in the Woodstock 5K for the swag.

"The real answer is, my mom saw Woodstock and thought it would be cute if I got her a shirt," the 20-year-old runner from Marietta, Ga., said.

Brown came away with his own swag for the second year in a row, besting his second-place finish in 2021 with victory in Saturday's 41st Woodstock.

He finished in 15 minutes, 43 seconds — 11 seconds faster than 2021 winner Ethan Mines, 24, of Panama City, Fla.

Oxford High senior Noah George ran All-Calhoun County cross country and track runner, took third in 16:11, marking his best Woodstock finish.

Kenyan Beatrice Jepchumba, 38, was the top female finisher, in 17:52. She edged Homewood's Carmen Hussar by five seconds and bested the Alabama 5K record for her age group.

Hussar, 45, finished second for the second year in a row and also set an Alabama 5K record for her age group.

White Plains High School's Maddyn Conn, the All-County female athlete of the year for track and field, took third in 19:43.

A total of 911 runners participated in the Woodstock and Kidstock fun run, 864 in the Woodstock. The Woodstock race served as the Road Runners Club of America's 5K championship for Alabama.

Brown beat his 2021 time by 19 seconds. He led from the starting gun.

"I just saw that it was a good day, got out and decided, 'Hey, let's go for it,' and I went for it," Brown said. "I ended up here.

"I don't really think a lot during races. I just kind of do."

Mines was five seconds off of his 2021 pace.

George, who won the 3,200-meter run and took second in the 1,600 in the Calhoun County high school meet in April, finished off of his 5K personal-best time of 15:44 Saturday but beat his 16:34 pace in the 2021 Woodstock.

He was the 2021 Calhoun County high school cross country champion.

"I think it's a great race," George said of Woodstock. "I see it as my high school opener. There's some great competition out there. It's a really fun race.

"It was packed for the first mile, and then I moved on, trying to catch a couple of the guys in front of me."

Jepchumba finished 18th overall.

"Starting, I made a push up front, with the guys," she said. "I chased a group of the men. That set a good pace for me."

Hussar finished second for the second year in a row.

Conn burst onto the high school scene as a freshman in the 2021-22 school year. She won the county cross country title. She also won sectional and took second in the Class 4A state meet.

She backed that up in the spring track season, winning the 1,600 and 3,200 at county and state.

Her run Saturday was off of her 18:36 personal best for the 5K but well ahead of her 21:22 pace in the 2021 Woodstock. She finished 44th overall Saturday, 12 spots better than in 2021.

"I started out a little too fast, but in the second mile, it was a little slower," Conn said. "In the third mile, it was pretty close to the second one, so it was good.

"I felt like I could've done a little better if I hadn't started out so fast, but it was good overall. I don't really like the hills."

Finishers of note

—Josh Whitehead, 43, the 2015 Woodstock winner, from Madison, finished fifth overall and first in the male masters division (40-98), in 16:13.

—Former Woodstock race director Brooke Nelson, 64, of Munford, finished 186th overall and 28th among women in 25:31.

—Dakota Frank, a high school standout from Munford, took second in the male 14-16 division and sixth overall in 16:54.

—Former White Plains High School and current Jacksonville State University runner Anna Strickland finished third in the female 17-19 division, 74th overall and eighth overall female in 21:05.

—Pleasant Valley High's Cayden Nelson won the male 17-19 division and finished eighth overall, in 17:15. Oxford High's Evan Somers was second/ninth in 17:15.

—Former Jacksonville High standout Mary Shelton, who runs for Spring Hill College, won the female 20-24 division, finishing 87th overall, ninth female in 21:33.

—Oxford High track and cross country coach Landon Delozier, the All-Calhoun County coach of the year for girls' track, was third in male 25-29, 21st overall and 20th male in 17:54.

—Fred Kosgei, second overall in 2018 and third in 2013, finished 15th overall Saturday and won the male 45-49 division in 17:35.

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.