Bates, Lindsay lead Warren Central’s pack to victory at Night Run 5K

Published 9:54 am Sunday, June 23, 2024

Warren Central cross country coach Chris Bates gave his team two options for their training run on Saturday. They could either run on their own in the morning, or do it at the Star Spangled Night Run 5K.

About half the team chose the latter option and turned the event into a Viking parade.

Six of the top 10 finishers, including overall winner Will Bates and women’s division winner Cora Lindsay, were members of the team.

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“We just want to represent Vicksburg teams and run races in Vicksburg if we can. Not only can people learn about Warren Central’s cross country team, they can have fun being together in a family affair,” said Chris Bates, who also ran alongside his team and finished 28th. Warren Central’s cross country season begins Aug. 15 with a meet at Brookhaven.

The Star Spangled Night Run 5K is a fundraiser for the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, and celebrated its seventh year.

Will Bates, a rising junior at Warren Central, blew away the field with a time of 19 minutes, 4 seconds in hot, humid conditions. The temperature was still above 90 degrees when the race began at 8 p.m., but Bates set a personal-best time for a five-kilometer race and won by more than three minutes over runner-up Samuel Hill.

Hill clocked a time of 22:24 and Anthony Streif was fourth in 23:52. Bates’ Warren Central teammates Jameson Streif and Austin Hood placed sixth and seventh with times of 25:35 and 25:48, respectively.

“It’s extremely hard. I was worried about competition. But I just realized that it was going to be all right if someone passed me. At the end of the day I just kept a positive mindset and just kept pushing,” Will Bates said. “We’re trained every morning to run in decently hot weather and humid. At this point I’m just used to it. If you run in Mississippi it’s a common thing.”

Star Spangled Night Run 5K results

Lindsay finished fourth overall, with a time of 24:31.

Allison Tharp finished second in the women’s division and eighth overall, in 25:55. Lindsay’s cross country teammates Abigail DeJesus and Yashira Narvaiz were ninth and 10th overall in 27:16 and 27:34, respectively.

DeJesus won the Star Spangled Night Run’s women’s championship in 2023, while Lindsay finished second.

“It was the hills that killed me. I didn’t walk, which is impressive, because I’ve walked on all my practices so far,” Lindsay said.

In the 5K race walk, Vicksburg resident Ron Roma defended his Night Run championship with a winning time of 32:45.
The 70-year-old Roma was a full minute slower than last year, but said he was just happy to still be competing — and winning. This was his third victory in four years in the Night Run.

“It’s always good to be out here,” Roma said. “When it comes down to it, this is what we really do this for. Get out here, exercise, meet some wonderful people, that’s what this is all about.”

Terrie Foster finished second overall and won the women’s race walk title for the first time in this event. She clocked a time of 35:23 to win for the third time in four Vicksburg races this year.

Steve Pranger finished third overall, with a time of 35:50, and was followed by Lee Fore (37:10) and Andrew McCaskill (38:48) to round out the top five.

Debbie Haworth was the women’s runner-up, with a time of 45:28 that was good for ninth place overall.

Foster added the Night Run’s championship trophy to the ones she got at the Laces For Love 5K back in February and the Chillin’ in the Hills 5K in May. She was second in the women’s division at the Run Thru History in March.

“It was a good race. Hot and humid and hilly, but I love for a challenge and it was challenging,” Foster said. “I paced myself and took it easy the first mile. I’m a native of Vicksburg so I knew I was going to hit the East Avenue hills.”

Foster added that walking in the evening, as opposed to the morning when most races are held, was another unique challenge she overcame.

“I’m more of a morning, start your day and get it out of the way person,” she said. “So doing it in the evening was very challenging. It’s past my bedtime.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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