By: Taylor Browne/GCU Staff
A chilly Sunday morning warmed up quickly with hot chocolate for the Grand Canyon University Running Club.
Fifteen Lopes’ runners joined over 5000 others at the starting line of the Hot Chocolate 15k & 5k in Scottsdale Sunday. Led by returner Ryan McQuillan, who won his age group in the 5k, the Lopes posted a total of nine age-group finishes of 4th place or better in the two races.
“The kids are really giving it their all,” Lopes Head Coach Kim Sims said. “They are all training really hard and pushing each other to make their marks and their goals. They are all putting in a lot of work, and you can tell with their improvement.”
McQuillan ran the 5k race with an outstanding time of 16:48. Overall, McQuillan finished fifth out of 1,495 runners, and finished in first place out of 110 runners in his age group (Male 15-19). It was the second straight year that McQuillan won his age group after finishing second overall in 2017.
“There was a lot more competition this year,” said McQuillan. “I was able to cut down my time from last year and compete with great runners.”
Lopes’ senior runner Kaley Ault, who has trained under Sims for three years, finished the 5k race with a good time of 22:55, placing sixth in her age group (Female 20-24).
“This was my last race before graduating, but will not be my last,” Ault said. “I am thankful that I got to run alongside Coach Kim and thankful for all the life lessons she’s taught us.”
Sims herself also participated in the race alongside her runners. Sims ran the 15k and placed 16th out of 323 in her age group (Female 45-49) placing 148th out of 2,241 runners with a time of 1:19:47.
“I love seeing the kids have fun,” Sims said. “Seeing them reaching their goals, and cheering each other on is the best. You can see each other pass by and most of us are waving at each other and I’m yelling ‘good job and keep it up’ and still coaching while I’m running.”
Proceeds from the race benefitted the Make a Wish Foundation, which helps children with critical illnesses.
GCU Running Club 15k Standouts
|Faith Blackburn||15k||F15-19||4th||1:13:15||155th overall|
|Elaina Marchegger||15k||F15-19||3rd||1:09:53||89th overall|
|Jenna Miller||15k||F15-19||2nd||1:09:53||88th overall|
|Julia Allen||15K||F20-24||4th||1:09:55||92nd overall|
|Coach Kim Sims||15k||F45-49||16th||1:19:47||352nd overall|
|Kaylee Padour||15k||F20-24||5th||1:12:08||134th overall|
|Jackson Riedeman||15k||M15-19||2nd||1:01:25||19th overall|
GCU Running Club 5k Standouts
|Reyba Calcano||5k||F20-24||28th||31:57||1,185th overall|
|Kaley Ault||5k||F20-24||6th||22:55||278th overall|
|Haylee Mizia||5k||F15-19||17th||28:21||546th overall|
|Elizabeth McMillan||5k||F15-19||3rd||22:35||91st overall|
|Adrianna Romero||5k||F15-19||14th||26.10||298th overall|
|Alyssa Duncan||5k||F15-19||8th||24:17||170th overall|
|Ryan McQuillan||5k||M15-19||1st||16:48||5th overall|
|James Magnuson||5k||M25-29||4th||22:24||83rd overall|
The Lopes look forward to running in the Rock’n’Roll Marathon, which commences their spring semester January 19 and 20 in the Phoenix area.