Fifty more runners, walkers in this year’s Joggin’ for Frogmen
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Red, white and blue were the colors of the day Saturday as Imperial hosted the second annual Joggin’ for Frogmen.
Race Director Kelsey Owens of Champion couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout, or the perfect weather, for the mid-morning event headquartered at Campbell Park.
Numbers for the 5K were up considerably this year, by 50 people, and it’s already evident fundraising will be up from 2014, as well, she said.
Owens’ registrations show 115 youths and adults were registered for the 5K compared to 65 last year. In addition, 17 youngsters took part in this year’s Tadpole Trot for a total of 131 participants. That’s down about half from last year’s 35 Tadpole Trotters.
Overall race winners were Ryan Moline in the men’s division, first overall, and Kristi McNair in the women’s, who was third among all runners. Mason Meeske finished in between at second overall. All hail from Imperial.
The most patriotic participant was Janie Garza of Minatare, who was decked out from head to toe in red, white and blue. She won an American flag.
Owens said two of her goals with this year’s race were achieved—more participation and getting the word out it’s not just “an Imperial event.”
The Imperial Joggin’ for Frogmen is the only one held in this region, she said.
“Our sponsorships were phenomenal this year,” she said.
Several came from out of state from businesses in North Dakota and Colorado, she said, among others. All of the Imperial sponsors are listed on the race website, she said.
“I just hope each year it gets bigger and bigger,” she added.
After the moment of silence, Liz Lindsay of Virginia Beach, Virg., said, “Let us remember why we are here today—for those who fell in service to our country and those currently serving.”
She noted more than 5,000 people have participated in Joggin’ for Frogmen events across the country, raising funds for the 31Heroes Project, the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Travis Manion Foundation.
“You are a part of that,” she said.
Owens introduced State Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango, who said the event provides a great opportunity for all to show support and say thank-you to “our bravest citizens.”
“We come here also to remember the great love of country and freedom which inspired these individuals to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Hughes said.
Noting the recent observance of Memorial Day, Hughes added, “It seems the observance of this day has waned in recent times. This is troubling.”
More than a million U.S. service members died in wars and conflicts since 1775, he said, “so that we Americans can continue to enjoy the promises of liberty, equality and happiness laid out in the Declaration of Independence.”
“But as a country we need to do more for our veterans and for their families and survivors,” he said.
Reminders of their service, through events such as Joggin’ for Frogmen and the recent Traveling Vietnam Wall in Imperial, help in that regard, he said.
“It’s imperative in our fast-paced, information overloaded world that we have reminders occasionally to stop and reflect upon the gift our freedom is,” he said.
“We must recommit ourselves to standing up for veterans,” he concluded.
The Imperial VFW Post 4688 provided its Color Guard Saturday. Two IVFD trucks were on hand, and started the race with one of its sirens.
Providing the singing of the National Anthem were the trio of Rose Sullivan, Bridgette Odens and Kristina Pflum.
Kids also enjoyed patriotic face-paintings provided by CCS art teachers Chelsea Zuege and Lindsey Tomaso.
A new addition to the event this year was a barbecue open to race participants and the public after the awards ceremony. About 50 were served.
Owens noted Imperial Beef donated all of the meat for the meal, while Scott’s Pump Service provided the buns, salads and other condiments, allowing 100 percent of the per-plate prices paid to be earmarked for their charities.
As soon as Owens finalizes registration fees and any other bills, she will know what the event raised. They were already ahead of last year’s fundraising total of near $11,000 before the race was held. To be added in yet are barbecue, raffle and late registration proceeds, she said.
T-shirts from Saturday’s event are also still be sold for $20 and are available from Owens at 308-883-1022.
Owens said plans are already being made for next year’s event the last Saturday in May.
Owens provided the following list of the top three place-winners in each age group, and special prize winners.
Ryan Moline, 18:50; Kristi McNair, 21:27
Top three by age
Male age 7-10—1, Easton Fries, 26:25; 2, Carter Leibbrandt, 26:25; 3, Malachi Christenson, 26:28
Female age 7-10—1, Peyton Owens, 32:08
Male age 11-19—1, Ryan Moline, 18:50; 2, Clay Meeske, 21;18; 3, Mike Waide, 40:12
Female age 11-19—1, Kayley Hauxwell, 23:00; 2, Jordan Jablonski, 23:30; 3, Kamryn Hughes, 24:48
Male age 20-29—1, Breck Wahl, 37:46
Female age 20-29—1,Brandi Confer, 23:54; 2, Shaina Musick, 24:48; 3, Katie Sis, 25:41
Male age 30-39—1, Kasey McArthur, 25:23; 2, Dean Geesen, 25:47; Ryan Wisnieski, 26:46
Female age 30-39—1, Kristi McNair, 21:27; 2, Alicia Fries, 24:07; 3, Emily Vogt, 24:30
Male age 40-49—1, Chad Yaw, 25:18; 2, John Lemon, 37:12; 3, Chris Wiedeman, 37:36
Female age 40-49—1, Janie Garza, 24:30; 2, Sonya Schilke, 26:27; 3, Mercedes Hauxwel, 31:40
Male age 50-59—1, Todd Burrell, 22:26
Female age 50-59—1, Kathy Christenseon, 36:58; 2, Elisa Large, 39:20; 3, Rita Hogsett, 48:23
Female age 60-69—1, Jayne Henry, 30:55; 2, Norma Hamm, 37:31
Oldest participant—Norma Hamm, $25 Kwik Stop gas card
Most patriotic—Janie Garza, 3x5-foot American Flag
Boot finishers—Lorena McArthur and John Lemon, $25 Visa gift cards from Pinnacle Bank
Rucker (participant carrying backpack, oftentimes with bricks inside in memory of fallen soldiers)—Lorena McArthur who rucked Bo Owens, $25 Visa Gift card from Pinnacle Bank
Top individual fundraiser—Donna Charmasson, raised $1,150, acrylic frog plaque
Overall fastest female—Kristi McNair, gift basket from Klassy Kreations
Overall fastest male—Ryan Moline, gift basket from Klassy Kreations
Furthest traveled—Kimberly Large from Omaha, $25 Kwik Stop gas card
2 & Under fastest boy—Bo Owens-John Deere Tractor toy set
Age two and under fastest girl—Braelynn Wood, John Deere Pink Blanket
Age 3-4 fastest boy—Noah Briggs, John Deere Pillow Pet
Age 3-4 fastest girl—Mylah Aeby, John Deere Pillow Pet
Age 5-6 fastest boy—Jax Villarreal, blue New Holland pillow pet
Age 5-6 fastest girl—Paige Owens, pink New Holland pillow pet