FAIRBANKS — Ben Nelson and Charity Walker had just enough juice in their tanks to win the men’s and women’s Flint Hills Mile Thursday night at West Valley High School.
Nelson overtook Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Midnight Sun Run champion Steve Chu on the home stretch to pull out the win, while Walker held off Heather Best on the final lap around the Wolfpack track.
After one of the earlier heats, one participant collapsed on the track and needed serious medical help before the meet could continue. Proceedings were delayed for about 30 minutes before the man was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
More than 120 runners participated in the event, which was split into seven heats. One of the heats was for runners age 10 and younger.
Nelson and Chu separated themselves from the rest of the field early in the race and ran shoulder-to-shoulder for the first three laps.
On the final lap, Chu pulled ahead by about five meters until the final corner when Nelson put on a burst of speed to win at the tape.
Nelson clocked in at 4 minutes, 39 seconds, while Chu crossed the line in 4:40.6.
Ted Alder took the third spot in 4:57.2, with Roger Sayre taking fourth in 5:03.9 and Brian Haviland finishing fifth in 5:12.3.
Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Carroll in 5:27.8, Patrick Lovely in 5:28.1, Partik Sartz, 5:28.9, David Leonard in 5:33.6 and Jacob Parker in 5:34.3.
Walker, Best and Anna Worden finished within seven seconds of each other women’s race.
Once Walker got the lead she wouldn’t let anyone get past her as she had enough speed to hold off Best by a half-second.
Walker finished four trips around the Wolfpack track in 5:34.6, with Best second in 5:45.1 and Worden crossing the line in 5:42.6.
Melissa Lewis (6:03.1) and Jamie Johnson (6:06.6) rounded out the top five.
The next five women’s finishers were Katie Graff in 6:16.8, Dorli McWayne in 6:17.5, Sarah Dimmick in 6:23.6 Anna Merrill in 6:24.7 and Linda Kubacki in 6:27.2.
Women’s age-group winners were: Annie Gregor, 9 and younger; Julia Mayer, 12-14; Charity Walker, 18-29; Jamie Johnson, 30-34; Heather Best, 35-39; Melissa Lewis, 40-44; Sandra Kimbrell, 45-49; Erika Van Flein, 50-54; Dorli McWayne, 55-59; Suzanne Williams, 60-65; Monte Jordan, 65-69; Carter Crawford, 70-74; and Janette Hanneman, 80 and older.
Men’s age-group winners were: Riley Gregor, 9 and under; Jacob Chinkliak, 10-11; Ti Donaldson, 12-14; Alex Parker, 15-17; Ben Nelson, 18-29; Brian Haviland, 30-34; Daniel Medrano, 35-39; Patrick Lovely, 40-44; Robert Jordan, 45-49; Roger Sayre, 50-54; David F. Leonard, 55-59; Steve Bainbridge, 60-64; Pete Hjellen, 65-69; and Jim Madonna, 70-74.
Contact sports editor Bob Eley at 459-7581.