by Mark Watson
Speed — Lake Point’s Jason Ruebush still has it.
The top three finishers at the 2013 Tooele Freedom Run, and two of the top three finishers at the Ray Barrus Memorial Run were all in their teens. The exception was 37-year-old Ruebush who finished first at the Ray Barrus Memorial Run in Grantsville for the second-straight year — sort of. Last year he won the unofficial Grantsville race.
“I’ve run this race five or six times when it was run by the guy who ran it for 20 years or so, and I’ve run the Tooele race three times,” Ruebush said.
“This year the course was more flat than it has been in previous years, and I liked the fact that we didn’t have to ride a bus up to the starting line. I like to run in the 1-mile race with my kids. Last year I did that and then had to jump in a pickup truck to make it up to my race,” Ruebush said.
Last year’s unofficial race started on the Mormon Trail Road south of Grantsville.
This year’s course was a looped route starting and ending at Grantsville High School.
Ruebush finished almost 20 seconds ahead of the competition with a time of 18:04.491. Colin Arave, 17, placed second at 18:24.153 with Brandon Passey, 17, third at 18:37.852. Both Arave and Passey are from Grantsville.
On the fast downhill Tooele course, in a race that started about one-half hour after the Grantsville race started, it was a close battle for first place.
Jake Maughan, 18, finished first with a time of 15:58. Jaden Torgersen, 16, and Piercen Maez, 14, were not far behind. Torgersen finished second with a time of 16:03 and Maez finished third at 16:05.
Both Fourth of July races continue to grow. More than 300 people participated in each race.
Rounding out the top-10 finishers in Grantsville were 4. Kyle-Jay Critchlow 5. Quoc-Tran 6. Paul Blackhurst 7. Briggs Kimber 8. Ryan Kelly, 9 Ephraim Tripp 10. Benton Tripp.
Rounding out the top-10 finishers in Tooele were 4. Michael Wolf 5. Hunter Hoffman 6. Tanner Jensen 7. Cameron Houston 8. Jeff Loveless 9. Nathan Dale 10. Isael Lomeli.
Dugway High School 2012 graduate and 1A cross country champion Katie Nielson was the top female finisher at the Tooele race for the second-straight year. Nielsen, 19, won this year’s race with a time of 18:30.
“The Tooele course is really fast,” Nielson said. “Three-quarters of the course is downhill and the last quarter of it is only slightly uphill.”
Nielson is majoring in music at Utah State University. “I still love to run. Once you get the running bug you can’t live without it. I run every day and I would say during a week put in 35-40 miles.”
Nielson finished in the top 10 at the 1A state cross country meet all four years of her high school career, and was the state champion her senior year. She won the 800 meter state title her senior year and placed second in the 1600.
“I didn’t know what to think at the beginning of the race. One of the lady runners took off like lightning and stayed out in front for quite a while and then she just stopped at the second water station. After that I was out in front the rest of the race,” Nielson said.
Sarah Mohan, 15, placed second in the female division of the Tooele race with a time of 20:05. Shawni Williams, 17, placed third with a time of 20:55.
The top three female runners from the Ray Barrus Memorial Run were 1. Kristen Rust, 17, Grantsville 21:57 2. Julie Tripp, 38, Grantsville 22:06 3. Kaylynn Pankretz, 16, Queen Creek, Ariz. 22:43
Grantsville held a 1-mile run for kids. Top 10 finishers were 1. David Jones 2. Dustin Mortensen 3. Tanner Hammond 4. Erin Shipman 5. Wyatt Marshall 6. Hunter Crosman 7. Dalton Williams 8. Kagun favero 9. Thomas Coats 10. Alma Taggart.
For complete results of the Ray Barrus Memorial Run and the Tooele Freedom Run see the lists in the image gallery above.