by Garth Meyer
Calene Morris, 28, of Torrance defended her title from last year at the 29th annual Riviera Village Independence Day 5k, held July 3, with a time of 4:57 p.m. The race included a special tribute to South Bay female runners to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
On the men’s side, 26-year-old Shimales Abree from Ethiopia took first place. His winning time was 2:38, followed by Corey Brunelle, 31, at 3:18 and Kenny Valdez, 24, third at 3:21.
Kelli Capel, 28, was second in the women’s race at 17:26. Cristina Lowry, 36, was third at 6:07 p.m.
Over 2,000 competitors raced the course – from the Esplanade to the Veterans Park bend and back to Riviera Village.
“My race was good and I pushed from start to finish,” said Abree. “My personal best on the track is 1:50 p.m. I knew I had to go out alone the whole race.
“The course was deceptively difficult due to hairpin turns and uphill segments, which made it very challenging,” Morris said.
She is one of the growing number of runners taking part in the July 4 race.
“I’ve seen runners go from a smaller segment in our events to over 50% attendance,” said Village Runner’s Mike Ward. “The growth of women’s running has been so important to the sport. We recognize the essential contribution to the sport that Title IX has made over the years. »
Among the honorees was Dalia Frias, a 2022 graduate of Mira Costa High School, who headed to Duke this fall. She won the state cross country championship her senior year and led her team to a division two state title. Frias set a national high school record during the season for the two-mile run (9:50.70) at an invitational to Seattle. Rebecca Mehra, also honored, ran for Palos Verdes High School and then was a three-time All-American at Stanford. Laura Cattivera was a decorated runner for Mira Costa and Princeton; Redondo Union High School assistant coach Kirsten O’Hara was named an All-American at Cal; and Loyola Marymount head coach Chloe Curtis won a state mile championship at RUHS. Emergency room