Firecracker run is Gladstone tradition

Mark Johnson I Daily Press photo

GLADSTONE — A pair of high school runners set the pace in their respective divisions Wednesday morning in the Fran Cannon Firecracker five-mile run.

Adam Bruce, entering his senior year at Gladstone, copped the men’s title in 27 minutes, 32 seconds and East Grand Rapids junior Anna Petr took the women’s crown at 32:26.

Bruce was followed by Michael Mauhar of Mills River, N.C. (31:08) and Giovanni Mathews of Gladstone (31:32) on this sunny and humid day.

“It was hot in the last mile,” said Bruce. “This was my first run since I pulled by Achilles (tendon) about 1 1/2 weeks ago. It started pulling in the last mile and I didn’t want to force it. My goal was to feel good during the race and have fun. Our coach (Gary Whitmer) and lot of my teammates were running today which always makes it fun.”

Petr was followed by her younger sister Abigail (35:56) and Brittany Richard of Garden (36:02).

“It was humid, but it’s nice the race was early,” said Anna Petr. “There was still a lot of shade on the course. This is kind of my conditioning for cross country. I was trying to start faster than usual and ran my first two miles at a 6:20-6:30 pace. I slowed up a little in the third mile, then I picked it up in the fourth.”

Temperatures hovered in the upper 60s for the event which drew 222 runners and walkers.

The Firecracker results summary:

Male age divisions winners

10 & under — Franklin Hearney, Park, Ill., 45:16; 11-13 — Drew Hughes, Gladstone, 31:56; 14-16 — Giovanni Mathews, Gladstone, 31:32: 17-19 — Adam Bruce, Gladstone, 27:32; 20-29 — Michael Mauhar, Mills River, N.C., 31:08; 30-39 — Zachary Truitt, Gladstone, 33:16; 40-49 — Robert Kilmer, Round Lake Heights, Ill., 34:23; 50-59 — James LeGault, Gladstone, 33:25; 60-69 — Gary Whitmer, Gladstone, 32:56; 70 & over — Robert Kelly, Negaunee, 45:25.

Female age divisions winners

10 & under — Hannah Salbilla, Lindenhurst, Fla., 54:00; 11-13 — Abigail Peter, Grand Rapids, Mich. 33:56; 14-16 — Anna Petr, Grand Rapids, Mich., 32:26; 17-19 — Zoie Berg, Gladstone, 37:07; 20-29 — Brittany Richard, Garden, 36:02; 30-39 — Danielle Artley, Escanaba, 37:28; 40-49 — Kate Johnson, Lansing, Mich., 37:41; 50-59 — Jeanne Polishak, Bark River, 39:29; 60-69 — Deborah Parrett, Gladstone 47:33; 70 & over — Judy Balanda, Escanaba, 1:06:59.