ASHLAND — Ashland teenager E.J. Holland bested the only runner to beat him in last year’s race to take home his first Ashland 4th of July Run in the 42nd annual running of the event Wednesday morning.
Holland, an incoming junior at Ashland High School who two months ago won OSAA Class 5A state titles in the 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter runs, completed the 10,000-meter Ashland course in 32 minutes, 29 seconds to shave 1:21 off his time a year ago and handily beat runner-up and defending champion Jared Hixon (34:01).
Holland’s time ranked as the fifth-best 10K performance in Ashland 4th history and set a new record for the 13-19 age group.
Heather Johnson of Medford finished the race in 36:34 to claim the women’s title and break the six-year old course record for the women’s race.
Other age-group records were set by Sally O’Brien (45:38, 60-69), Marilyn Kovtunovich (1:01:23, 70-plus) and Bob Julian Jr. (36:54, 50-59).
Ian Brown of Bend won the 2-mile race in 12:01.
Five hundred and forty-six people completed the two events, with 252 finishing the 10K and 294 the 2-mile.
Holland, who also placed second in the 5A state cross country meet last fall, built a comfortable lead after clocking in at 15:54 through the first split; Hixon ran a 16:12. Holland finished stronger, too, before crossing the finish line in front of the Ashland Library, which also serves as the starting gate.
Brian Livingston of Portland placed third in 35:08, Phillip Reed of Ashland fourth in 35:44 and Jace Hinesly of Ashland fifth in 35:47.
Johnson, listed in the 20-29 age group, finished well ahead of runner-up Natalie Chirgwin of Ashland, who clocked in at 39:59, and third-place finisher Stefani Ritter of Bonanza (43:25). Johnson’s time ranked seventh overall regardless of gender.
Seven of the top 10 overall 10K finishers hailed from Ashland, Phoenix or Medford.
Ashland 4th of July Run Results
1, E.J. Holland, Ashland, 32:29; 2, Jared Hixon, Ashland, 34:01; 3, Brian Livingston, Portland, 35:08; 4, Phillip Reed, Ashland, 35:44; 5, Jace Hinesly, Ashland, 35:47; 6, Noble Boutin, Sacramento, 36:00; 7, Heather Johnson, Medford, 36:34; 8, Zachary Boyd-Helm, Medford, 36:44; 9, Bob Julian, Phoenix, 36:54; 10, Chris Mayer, Tolland, Conn., 37:02.
1, Ian Brown, Bend, 12:01; 2, Kolton Schaap, Salem, 12:06; 3, Conner Caldwell, Yreka, 12:41; 4, Taitum Schaap, Salem, 12:49; 5, Rio Giancarlo, Ashland, 12:54; 6, Elliot Surh, Napa, Calif., 13:33; 7, Ryan Rackley, Medford, 13:39; 8, Charlie Dyson, Ashland, 13:52; 9, Victor Lujan, Talent, 14:00; 10, Daniel Niles, Portland, Maine, 14:14.