Races tight as grand prix reaches mid-point | TheUnion.com
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Races tight as grand prix reaches mid-point

Runners navigate a narrow road during the Spring Run 5K/10K in Nevada City.

Gold Country Grand Prix

Remaining races

Bear River Fun Run Aug. 2

Kellermann Batwa Run Aug. 16

Hunger Run Sept. 6

Falling Leaves Run Sept. 27

Empire Mine Run Oct. 18

Turkey Trot Run Nov. 27

Awards Ceremony Jan. 11

The Gold Country Grand Prix is rounding the corner at the half way mark of the 11 race series with the Bear River Fun Run Aug. 2, and as the racers stare down the home stretch, age group (AG) races are tightening.

No age group is tighter than the race in the women's 50-59 AG as Inka Mims holds a slight edge, 41-40, on Makie Ohler.

Mims has raced in all five GP races this season, placing first in two races and second in three others. Ohler has competed in four races and won all four attempts, winning 10K races three times and a 5K once. Mims and Ohler have run head to head three times with Ohler winning all three and Mims taking second in all three.

Gold Country Grand Prix points are awarded based on age group finishes in grand prix sanctioned races. AG winners are awarded 10 points, second place receives seven points, third place is allotted five points, fourth place earns four points, fifth place takes home three points and any other finish is awarded one point. In races that feature both a 5K and a 10K, age groups will have two runners that earn first through fifth place points.

Other tight races include the men's 40-49 AG, where Daniel Swartzendruber leads Scott Krason by four points, 33-29. Swartzendruber has three first place finishes and a fifth place. In the men's 19-29 AG Jonathan Palmer leads Divakar Pandit 21-20. In the men's 11-14 AG, Davis Olson has three first place finishes and leads Joshua Fairchild, 30-24. Bailey Shykowski leads a competitive women's 15-18 AG with 20 points, but Joy Castro-Wehr and Hope Pelster are on her tail. In the women's 19-29 AG, Caitlin Oats holds a three point lead over Stephanie Lewis, 27-24. Marley Mueller has four wins this season and holds a, 40-34, lead over Melanie Marsico. In the women's 40-49 AG, Stefanie Roberts has a nine-point edge over Angela Heung. Karen Henderson is clinging to a six-point lead, 40-34, over Terrie Horlick. And, in the men's 60-69 AG, Michael Buzbee leads Dennis O'Halloran, 44-37.

Creating separation

While the grand prix is far from over here are some AG leaders that have created some separation as they head into the back half of the series.

In the women's 10 and under AG, Blue Bouck has a 12-point lead over Hannah Fairchild. Bouck has won three races this season. In the men's 40-49 AG, Sergio Higareda has perfect score of 50, and holds a 15-point edge over his nearest competitor. Rob Taylor owns an 18-point edge in the 50-59 AG after five straight wins, giving him 50 points. And, in the men's 70 and over AG, Ron Gross has 40 points, coming on four wins, and leads Michael Airington by 12-points.

Breaking away

In the women's 70 and over AG, Lynne Hurrell has 47 points in five races and is way out in front in her AG. In the men's 15-18 AG Devon Cloud has 47 points in five races with four first place finishes and a second. Isabelle Smith is running away with the women's 11-14 AG with 30 points, coming on three first place victories. In the men's 10 and under Max Wright has the inside track to AG victory with 30 points on three wins, most recently the Freedom 5K.

All stats were provided by Gary Loucks.