There were runners galore in downtown Bradenton on Friday night running for a great cause.
A record crowd of about 2,350 runners participated in the 14th Annual 5K Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run at Old Main Street.
Arthritis affects 43 million Americans each year, and the largest field to ever take part in this event came out to help find a cure for the disease.
Jonathon Hufty, 23, was the overall male winner with a time of 15:49, and Briana Whalet, 31, was the female overall winner with a time of 16:15. In second place, John Devine, 45 crossed the finish line at the 16:25-minute mark, and Lauren Lukley, 17, had a time of 20:28 in the female division.
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Trey Howell, 30, was the male third-place runner with a time of 16:50, and Kelsey Hoverkamp finished third among women with a time of 21:18.
Men’s golfers dominate
Three local men golfers recently controlled the field at the Florida Senior Games State Golf Championships at The Golf Club at Magnolia Landing in North Fort Myers.
In the 70-74 age bracket, Dick Childress won the gold medal after finishing at the top of the leaderboard with a 78.
In the 74-79 age division, Bill Hocker finished fourth, shooting an 84, and in the 65-69 age bracket, Tony Webb took fifth place with an 84.
The Golf Club at Magnolia Landing is an 18-hole course and is 7,265 yards from the longest tee for a par 72.
Before this season, the North Manatee Storm cheering team had never made it past the FYD Pop Warner Tampa conference cheering tournament.
This season, though, the junior midget division team made it all the way to the Pop Warner National Cheering Competition at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando.
Last Wednesday, the Junior Midgets finished eighth in the nation in the novice division.
The Storm had company.
The East Manatee Bulldogs, a Pop Warner organization which has experienced past success in cheerleading, was represented by the Midget division cheering squad that finished fifth in the nation.
Thanks for making Manatee County proud, young ladies.
Ryan T. Boyd, sports writer, can be reached at (941) 745-7017.