Sports

Fifth Season 8K: Drake coach overcomes past injuries to finish first

Kenyan running group has first-place men's finisher for second consecutive year

CEDAR RAPIDS — Before this summer, Lindsay Crevoiserat went about three or four years without racing. After running collegiately at UConn and Oregon, injuries and a bout with Lyme disease slowed her down.

“I took running on the back burner a little bit,” Crevoiserat said.

Yet Crevoiserat, 26, was dominant in her first Fifth Season Health Solutions 8K, winning the women’s side of the race by almost two minutes.

“I’m surprised, but workouts have been going well, so I was pretty confident I could sustain a certain pace,” said Crevoiserat, an assistant track and field and cross country coach at Drake University.

Her winning time was 27 minutes, 53 seconds. There was only one other woman to finish faster than 30:30. She was also 39 seconds ahead of last year’s first-place time.

She said it was close for the first mile before she broke away.

“I kind of just took off,” Crevoiserat said. “My goal was to go out with a 5:45 (mile) pace and then conservative and then try to slam the last half a little bit.”

It’s the second consecutive year an Iowan took first on the women’s side. Pasca Myers, who hails from Fort Dodge, took first in 2018 with a time of 28:32.

On the men’s side, Duma Runners, a Minneapolis-based group of Kenyan runners, pulled off its second consecutive victory. Panuel Mkungo won with a time of 23:38.

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Mkungo’s time was exactly one minute short of the Fifth Season record of 22:38, set in 1988. It’s his first time running the Health Solutions 8K and his last race before going back to Kenya.

“I’m so happy right now,” Mkungo said. “I feel so good with people on the way cheering for us. I feel amazing.”

William Kosgei, the president and CEO of Duma Runners, told The Gazette on Monday he was hoping for his team to finish first, second, third and fifth. He admittedly called himself “greedy.”

Duma was not far off from that goal, finishing first, third, fourth and fifth.

“I’m so happy for my colleagues at Duma,” Mkungo said. “I hope good things are coming ahead.”

Brogan Austin spoiled the Kenyan sweep with a second-place finish. The Boone native finished in 23:53.

“This is my rustbuster for the season,” Austin said. “It’s a course PR for me, and it’s a really hot day, so I can’t ask for more. The first-place guy had a great race.”

There were no hard feelings between Austin and Duma Runners, Austin said.

“We’re all out here just having fun and trying to get better,” Austin said. “There’s a little camaraderie with the suffer in the sport. Everyone’s out there suffering.”

Austin’s success at this race is hardly unprecedented. The former Drake runner won the race in 2016 and missed out on first place by eight seconds in 2018.

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Moving forward, Austin said he’s looking to use this race as a “barometer” for how he’s doing this year.

Marcus Graham, a 20-year-old from St. Augustine, Fla., won the 5K with a time of 16:08. The next highest finisher, Cedar Rapids Prairie's Jack Pendergast, was 38 seconds behind him.

Katie Walpole, 23, won the women’s 5K with a time of 20:20. Walpole, who is from Cedar Rapids, edged Marion resident Lilly Geelan by 28 seconds.

l Comments: john.steppe@thegazette.com

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