Hejtmanek out-leans Barth, Harden in Jingle Bell 5K photo finish
Special to the Post Independent
Eighty-two runners and walkers, wearing fitness attire and festive Christmas sweaters, hit the streets of Carbondale and the Rio Grande Trail on Sunday morning for the 11th annual Jingle Bell 5K hosted by Independence Run & Hike.
Josh Hejtmanek of Glenwood Springs was crowned the overall winner in a photo finish over former Glenwood High School standout runners Henry Barth and Gavin Harden.
All three runners hit the finish tape at the same time and recorded a time of 19 minutes, 8 seconds. After a video review, it was determined that Hejtmanek had edged out his two younger counterparts.
“I think those two young guys just felt sorry for me and let me win,” said a smiling Hejtmanek.
Barth and Harden, both college freshmen, now run on the track and cross country teams at Fort Lewis College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
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The overall title for the women featured a good battle also, as Carbondale’s Amy Rollins, who won the Thanksgiving Turkey Day 5k at the Glenwood Golf Course, edged out Glenwood High School freshman Sophia Connerton.
“It was tough out there today. Sophia really pushed me,” Rollins said. “This race is always fun, though. It’s a family tradition for us and I’m really in the holiday spirit.”
Rollins time was 20:34, which was good for fourth place overall. Connerton finished at 20:54. Third place overall for the ladies was Zoe Rom at 21:40.
The annual run is a benefit for the Glenwood High School track and field program.
Top 20 Overall (*denotes female): 1. Josh Hejtmanek, 19 minutes, 8 seconds. 2. Henry Barth, 19:08; 3. Gavin Harden, 19:08; 4. Amy Rollins*, 20:34; 5. David Golden, 20:38; 6. Brandon Olszewski, 20:49; 7. Sophia Connerton*, 20:54; 8. Jeremy Duncan, 21:09; 9. Kyle Coon, 21:40; 10. Zoe Rom*, 21:40; 11. Rob Ringle, 21:45; 12. Jarid Rollins, 22:14; 13. Alec Nykerk, 22:52; 14. Stefan Evanoff, 22:55; 15. Brad Palmer, 23:11; 16. Morgan Hill*, 23:17; 17. Ron Lund, 23:22; 18. Jen Burn*, 23:30; 19. Katie Stewart*, 23:55; 20. Jim Coates, 24:08
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Richard Miller and Allison Marcus were sentenced to 45, days in jail, 1,500 hours of useful public service and $100,000 of restitution on June 30, 2019, as their sentence for starting the Lake Christine Fire the prior year. They have made significant strides in fulfilling their debt to society, according to the district attorney’s office.