AVON PARK - In perfect weather conditions for the event, The Jarrett Family Foundation held its second annual Jingle Bell 5K Run and Fun Run on Friday night in Avon Park.
The popular event drew nearly 500 registrants and 400 participants to raise money for Avon Park schools for leadership education.
The first race was a 1K fun run for kids which had nearly 40 children running the mini-course before the 5K race that featured 350 contestants.
"I think it went well," said event organizer Lisa Jarrett. "Everybody ran the right course this year. Last year we had people run on the wrong course. The city was wonderful, the decorations on the mall light everything up, I think it went excellent."
Eric Foster, a 16 year old from Sebring was the overall winner as he crossed the finish line with a time of 17:27.2.
Maria Munoz, also a 16 year old, was the overall top female finisher with a time 21:33.3.
"I thought it went super," said Chet Brojek, who timed the event. "It was a great turnout. Everybody liked the new course, they all thought it was a better course because it involved downtown."
In the 7-under age group, Kendall Lambert was first in a time of 33:01.8, Tera Lynn Price was second at 33:52.9 and Riley Sevigny eased into third place at 37:00.2.
In the female 8-10 age group: Zoe Wortinger was first in 22:48.4, Cadence Osborn placed second with a 29:09.7 and Abigail Penfield was third at 31:04.3.
In the female 11-13 age group, Destiny Cornelius breezed to first in 27:40.0, Katelyn Vanfleet claimed second place with a 28:44.2 and Madeline Whitney finihsed third at 29:53.6
In the female 14-19: Savannah Oldfield was first in 24:01.6, Hannah Farr cruised to second at 28:36.5, and Kimber Harris was third in 29:12.3
In female 20-24: Brittany Smith came in first at 28:36.2, Elke Tagesson placed second with a 32:23.5 and Charlotte Busch eased into third with a 32:46.5
In the female 25-29: Cassie Maresh was first at 23:14.6, Tabitha Spiker tok second at 23:16.0 and Hilary Fiocca was third in 23:48.6 Female 30-34: Nikki McGee's 26:02.2 was first, Melissa Chovance came in second place at 28:08.8 and Andrea White finished third in 28:20.7
Female 35-39: Joan Aguilar was first at 24:09.2, second place went to Laura Van Fleet in 25:06.2 and Heather Esquibel was third at 26:22.3. Female 40-44: Brandi Rankin at 31:29.8 came in first, Cathy Truelove was second in 31:32.9 and Pamela Lanier was third in 31:54.5. Female 45-49: Paula Lunt claimed first place with a 23:31.0, Dana Orourke placed second in 30:28.4 and Deborah Witmer took third in 31:29.2.
In the female 50-54: Pam Farr was first in 27:27.7, Kimberly Smith was second at 27:34.2 and Joni Gergen's 43:42.3 was good for third place. Female 55-59: Brenda Rickert was first at 27:29.5, Pat Caton tok second with a 30:39.9 and Deborah Webber was third in 31:29.3. Female 60-64: Mary Brozak took first at 32:24.2, Bettye Hart placed second in 42:07.8 and Lucretia Brannon's 42:44.0 was good for third place. Female 65-69: Mary Plott ran first at 38:20.1, Evelyn Franzier was second at 45:10.1 and Linda Elder was third in 45:35.5
In the female 70-74 age group, Lois Hotchkiss cruised to first in 32:21.7, Nel Walriven was seecond at 37:27.2 and Julianne Creed came in third with a 47:58.1. Female 75-79: Betty Howard was tops with a 50:25.5 and Charlotte Cooper placed second at 53:51.2.
In the male 7-under age group, Owen Miller zoomed to first in 29:59.9, Austin Ulm claimed second at 32:36.6 and Cline Pritchett was third in 36:10.3. Male 8-10: Zachery Van Fleet was first at 23:50.0, Griffin Hall came in second with a 23:50.5 and Bud Cox was third in 25:54.3.
Male 11-13: Chandler Gowan was fastest at 19:32.2, Dylan Branch came in second place with a 19:34.2, and Samual Aguilar finished third in 24:24.6. Male 14-19: Damian Foster was first in 17:34.5, Malcolm Holdman claimed second at 17:49.0 and Lukas High finished third at 18:44.6. Male 20-24: Damyan Byrd's 23:01.0 was the fastest, Brandon Gunn was second with a 23:44.7 and Kyle Jahna was third in 24:48.5.
Male 25-29: Richard Flores claimed first place with a 19:05.1, Harold Campbell placed second at 21:08.0 and Josh Grangroth was third in 27:24.9. Male 30-34: Jeremy Vincent was first in 25:37.3, Jeremy Byrd came in second with a 26:23.7 and Eric Marshall's 27:52.6 was good enough for third place.
Male 35-39: Bert Cox was tops at 21:52.6, Shane White caliemd second with a 25:41.0 and Brian Van Fleet flew to third place with a 25:56.4. Male 40-44: Chris Doty was first at 19:53.9, Clifford Springsteen placed second in 28:26.4 and Eric Rankin was third in 29:21.5. Male 45-49: Ernest Gelina was fastest in 24:48.8, Noel Jahna came in second at 24:51.0 and Lou Aguilar's 27:27.7 was good for third place.
Patrick High won the male 50-54 age group with a 17:38.8, Ron Smith placed second at 24:30.6 and Scott Gergen came in third place with a 27:08.0. Male 55-59: Chuck Best tok first with a 24:30.7, Carl Morehouse claimed second at 43:11.9 and Keith Hunnicutt eased to third place in 47:53.5.
In the male 60-64 age group, Randall Severn's 26:21.9 was best, Anthony Brannon was second in 42:33.4 and John Elder was third in 46:46.1. Male 65-69: Ronald Sevigny was fastest in 41:01.3, while Howard Hart placed second at 44:01.6. Male 70-74:Jim Dingman was first at 40:37.9.
As well as the run itself, the event had bounce houses, Christmas music and food vendors. Also there was a visit from Santa, who sported a pair of white cross trainers and even helped one lady to the finish line.
"Last year was our first year," said Jarrett. "This year it went a lot smoother and our goal is to get 500 runners next year."