VALPARAISO | Morgan Township freshman Ben Savage was not going to be denied at the Ringing in Spring race this year.
Savage, who finished second in the 5K portion of last year’s event, broke away from the pack with Adam Piaskowy on Saturday morning and held him off in the last 500 meters to win the overall title at the Valparaiso Family YMCA’s 19th annual event.
Savage crossed the line with a time of 16:44.7, while Piaskowy took second in 16:46.8.
“It’s probably going to by my last road race,” Savage said. “I wanted to get the 'W' before I stop and go out on top.”
Racheal Marchand, a former Valparaiso High School standout in track and cross country and an All-American at the University of Iowa, took the women’s title by posting a time of 17:24.9.
She finished seventh overall, crossing the line more than one minute ahead of Crystina Martinez Ridenour, who finished second in the women’s race.
Marchand had not raced since January because of a knee injury.
“The injury set me back for a little while, so I’m feeling good now just getting back into it,” Marchand said.
Karen Nagel, who won seven straight 5K titles from 2003-09, won her second consecutive women’s 10K championship. Her time of 40:10.3 was good enough for fifth overall.
“I have been running more and more half-marathons, and the 10K is helping my half-marathon training more than a 5K race,” Nagel said.
Jeff Mescal claimed the overall 10K title, finishing with a time of 36:40.3. This was his first Ringing in Spring.
The 5K and 10K runners ran the same course for the first 2.5 miles, which helped push the pace for the 10K runners.
“It let me run with some of my teammates,” Mescal said of the shared portion. “It was nice having people to run with. It was a little lonely the second half.”