David Bell/News-Herald Photo

First in

Lake Havasu High School’s Miles Nelson is the first to cross the finish line in the Fighting Knights annual Watermelon Run, at Windsor Beach, at Lake Havasu State Park, Friday. Nelson finished the 3.1 mile run in 21 minutes 1 second.



LAKE HAVASU CITY - Despite running away from the pack early on at the Watermelon Run, Friday, Fighting Knights runner Miles Nelson said it felt like he had someone matching his stride the whole way.

“Every time I felt like letting down, I though of Daniel and decided to push on. That sent me moving on,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s friend and classmate Daniel Townsend was killed in a motocross accident at SARA Park, Wednesday evening (see Page 1). The Fighting Knights held a moment of silence in Townsend’s honor before the run, Friday, at Windsor Beach, at Lake Havasu State Park.

The annual intrasquad run kicks off the cross country season for the Fighting Knights and head coach Erika Washington said she was pleased with the results.

“For a hot day like today, the times weren’t too bad,” she said. “It was nice to see last year’s freshmen finish up in the Top 5 today. And Christian (Rodriguez) was a nice surprise finishing second, since he’s only had three practices.”

Nelson was the first in, finishing the 3,1-mile run in 21 minutes 1 second. Rodriguez edged Jake Holmes for second by one second, with Rodriguez finishing in 22:05 and Holmes in 22:06.

Derek Wheeler (23:16) and Jonathan Walgren (23:16) rounded out the top five.

Sixth overall and first female to cross was sophomore Katie Baker in 23:29.

“That was pretty hot out there today. But we push through, that’s what we do,” Baker said.

As to her time and that of the other Lady Knights, Baker said, “There’s always room to improve. But the good thing is that the people that are here want to be here. And while we may not be the fastest team in the state we definitely have the most heart.”

Freshman Bailey Bagby was the second female to cross - seventh overall - in 24:27, followed by Andrea Somishka in 25:00

Jacob Coutts was right behind in 25:06, followed by Brittni Lopuszynski (25:29), Brandon Shuck (26:13), Marandah Bracamonte (27:10), Ian Wilson (30:00), Alyssa Cole (32:57), Atalie Ruhnke (41:07) and Nicholas Smith (43:30).

The Knights also got two pieces of bad news before the run - sophomore Briana Lopez is out for the season with a stress fracture and the Knights’ first meet of the season, the Yuma Prison Break on Sept. 1, has been cancelled due to a lack of participating teams.

That means the Knights have to wait another 19 days before the regular season opens with the River Valley Invitational. In Mohave Valley, Sept. 12.


For more photos from the cross country Watermelon Run, click here: http://www.instantimagegallery.com/iig/c/769