Blacksburg’s Holt wins 31st Annual Shawsville 5K

Blacksburg High School track and field coach and local business owner James DeMarco  talked to his friends about participating in the 31stAnnual Shawsville 5K and Fastest Family Competition to help celebrate the Fourth of July.

Blacksburg’s Chad Holt listened to the track coach and decided to participate in the run since it would take place in the early morning hours before the temperature rose.

Holt not only became one of the record turnout 220 runners to participate in the event, but also won the 5K in 16 minutes and 46 seconds.

Photo by David J. Bisset Chad Holt of Blacksburg races to the finish line to win the men’s 5K race in Shawsville on July 4.

“I wasn’t planning on running the event, but when Coach DeMarco began talking about it and then his business  Runabout -Sports gave a pair of running shoes as one of the door prizes, I thought why not go and run the course,” said Holt.  “It wasn’t a bad course. It didn’t throw any curve balls at you.”

Holt said it got challenging on the straight-a-way.

“When the course went downhill on the straight-a-way in front of old Shawsville Middle School, that was a challenge. Other than that, it was a great course to run,” said Holt.

Austin Grubb and Dan Zimmerman were second and third overall in the men’s division. Grubb edged Zimmerman 17:05 to 17:08.

The top three men’s times were not close to the record setting pace of Michael Cox, who holds the 5k record  with a time of 14:31 set in 2003.

Katie Fortner, a Cave Spring High track performer, claimed the women’s overall title when she ran the 5k in 18:39. Chrissy Esposito, 22, was second (18:41) and Jessica Alley, 22, was third (19:14). Beth Dillinger remains the record holder with a time of 17:23 set in 1987.

The Edwards family of Blacksburg took the Fastest Family Competition crown. The scoring for the family race is just like cross country with a number assigned to each family member. A team must consist of three immediate family members. The Edwards family ended with four points thanks to Juli Lang winning the 50-54 division, Aileen winning the 11 and under division, and Marc running in the 45-49 division.

The Edwards family edged out the Fortner trio of Katie, Shawn, and Jessie. Katie was the overall female winner. Shawn was first in the 45-49 division and Jessie placed third in the 16-19 division. That gave the Fortner family a total of five points. Last year’s winners, the Muncy Family from Giles County, placed third with six points.

Photo by David J. Bisset The Edwards Family won the Fastest Family Competition. Shown are Ethan, Jui-lin, Ailene, and Marc Edwards at old Shawsville Middle School.

“We had a record number of families entering the competition this year,” said Marvin Ballard, the meet director. “When we started with families entering the event there were maybe two or three entered. Now the total number is 16 and growing. It just goes to show that when you have a couple of kids winning a division and a mom or a dad entering and placing in the top three that this family competition is challenging and fun also.”

Ballard said over the years the 5K attempts to be a challenge for all runners young and old.


Photo by David J. Bisset Katie Fortner of Roanoke County was the fastest female in the 5K race and won the event.

“Last year I heard from some of the younger runners that the 13-18 age division was not fair. So the judges looked into it and decided to change that bracket. We now have an 11-and-under division for children. We have a middle school division for those between 12 and 15 years old and we have a high school division for runners who are between16 and19,”said Ballard.

Ballard said the Fun Run remains a part of the race also.

“We know there’s interest in just running or walking a mile. We give the top three male and females a medal and thank them for participating. You never know where it may lead,” said Ballard.

Trey Spence was the overall fun run male winner with Payton Richardson second and Grayson Richardson third.

Elli Underwood was the overall fun run female winner with Lilly Underwood second and Reese Dunkenberger third.

Here are the top three finishers in each division


11 and under girls

1-Ailene Edwards, 24:33

2-Loren Dedson, 26:40

3- Logan Dunkenberger, 28:50

12-15 division

1-Kenna Knowles, 25:43

2-Bailey Knowles, 27:32

3-Emily Godbey, 28:32


1-Rachel Bishop, 21:43

2-Anna Noble, 23:18

3-Jessie Fortner, 24:34


1-Edith Shreckengest, 20:42

2-Cortney Melchiona, 27:29

3-Holly Mull, 27:46


1-Virginia Hagood, 21:19

2-Hannan Ulfers, 22:49

3-Elizabeth Hagood, 24:01


1-Kristen Mosby, 19:36

2-Angela Shumate, 27:18

3-Stacy Boone, 29:16


1-Kim Kitts 25:05

2-Jen Osburn, 25:54

3-Stephany Jacobs, 28:16


1-Chelista Linkous, 23:32

2-Shelly Isert, 25:25

3-Michelle Walter, 25:30


1-Shawn Fortner, 21:30

2-Cindy Fallen, 24:00

3-Rosa Bowler, 24:25


1-Jui-Lin Edwards, 24.10

2-SarahMorris, 28:16

3-Sue Trinchere, 29:17


1-Jandy Andrew, 27:39

2-Patricia Wolt, 28:12

3-Carol Dellinger, 28:27


1-Pat McMeeken 48:32

2-Melva McNeil, 48:44


1-Sharon Hillison, 48:14

Women Overall top 3

1-Katie Fortner, 18:39

2-Chrissy Esposito, 18:46

3-Jessica Alley, 19:14

Fun Run Female top 3

1-Elli Underwood, 2-Lilly Underwood, 3-Reese Dunkenberger

Boys 11 and under

1-Adren Jacobs, 26:58

2-Carson Osburn, 31:06

3-Oren Bailey, 32:16


1-Ethan Edwards 21:10

2-Tyler Williams, 21:23

3-Landon Bell, 23:52


1-Daniez Seymore, 12:46

2-J.Munsey 12:50

3-Luke Munsey 12:52


1-Chris Nekirk, 19:31

2-Scott Shillig, 19:48

3-Nathan Perkenson, 19:53


1-Ian Shreckengest, 18:03

2-Kirby Woalke, 19:29

3-Jake Vishneski, 23:57


1-Justin Mosby 17:11

2-Josiah Oliver, 18:07

3-Mark Bunker, 19:08


1-Carmen Dunford, 19:26

2-John Shumate, 23:25

3-Chris Williams, 23:39


1-Ignacio Moore, 17:37

2-Todd Reichly, 18:21

3-Michael Haranzo, 18:54


1-Colin Munsey, 18:15

2-Marc Edwards, 18:19

3-Brain Walter, 18:28


1-Steve Surratt, 19:24

2-Cameron Patterson, 20:16

3-Marvin Gates, 22:16


Photo by David J. Bisset Christiansburg’s Steve Huppert (left) and Justin Mosby run side by side to the finish line. Both runners would place in the top three of their age groups.











1-Finn Pincus, 20:47

2-Paul Beers, 21:07

3-Greg Stick, 21:08


1-Gary Adkins, 21:13

2-Ron Rogers, 21:26

3-Tom Gardener, 24:16


1-Walt Eanes, 26:37

2-Steve Huppert, 28:44

3-Ed Terry, 29:10

70 and over

1-Josh Hosner, 33:54

2-Crosby Houston, 36:08

3-Thomas Johnson, 42.41

Men overall (top 3)

1-Chad Holt, 16:46

2-Austin Grubb, 17:05

3-Dan Zimmerman, 17:08

Fun Run top three

1-Trey Spence, 2-Payton Richardson, 3-Grayson Richardson

Photo by David J. Bisset Shawsville 5k Meet Director Marvin Ballard welcomes a record turnout of runners to the 31st Annual 5K run, the fun run and the Fastest Family Competition to celebrate July 4.