High school harriers dominate 5K for KJ

Race runner-up Patrick Best (left) and winner Jeremy Alley-Tarter (center) led the pack from the start. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Jeremy Alley-Tarter of Oak Bluffs won the 9th annual 5K for KJ Scholarship Run and Walk in 17:48, as Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School cross-country runners excelled in the field of 84 competitors on a brisk, windy, trip through the State Forest.

The event, held in memory of former MVRHS cross-country athlete Kevin Johnson, was moved up a week from its traditional Thanksgiving weekend spot, switching places with the Island Cup football game, which is being played November 30, a week later than usual. Proceeds from the race benefit the MVRHS cross-country scholarship fund.

MVRHS freshman harrier Patrick Best (18:42) finished second overall, holding off Dave Diriwachter of Vineyard Haven (18:43) in a spirited dash to the finish line. MVRHS runners George Sykes (19:31, 4th), Aivaras Gedvilas (19:32, 5th), and Daniel Gaines (19:49, 6th) also made the top ten. Rounding out the top 15 were 7. Reaan Steenkamp, Vineyard Haven, 20:02; 8. David Gaffey, Oak Bluffs, 20:23; 9. Paul Vertefeuille, V.H., 20:51; 10. Todd Cleland, O.B., 21:12; 11. Nicholas Fecitt, VH, 21:42; 12. James Lanctot, O.B., 21:59; 13. Ry Brodsky, West Tisbury, 23:46; 14. Aidan Aliberti, W.T., 23:50; and 15. Evan Kendall, V.H., 23:58.

Harrison Dorr of Vineyard Haven took the 16th spot in 24:12.

Julia Neville (24:24, 17th overall), a junior standout on the girls team, was the women’s winner. Vineyard freshman Ava Thors (25:31, 20th) was the women’s runner-up. Megan McDonald, Edgartown (25:32, 21st), Jeanne Ogden, W.T., (27:00, 28th), and Sophie McCarron, V.H., (27:29, 30th) completed the women’s top five.

For complete results, visit www.coolrunning.com.