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Former Thomson High runner tops Depot Dash field

Brenton Widener entered the Festival Off Main 5K event with one thing in mind: to win.

And win, he did.

The 19-year-old Widener, son of Skipper and Bonnie Widener of Thomson, posted an impressive time of 16:57 in the 3.1 mile event.

"It was easy," said Widener, a 2007 graduate of Thomson High School. "I knew the course pretty good since this is my hometown."

Widener, who is now attending Shorter College in Rome and who plans to someday become an English teacher and coach a cross country team, said it was his third time competing in the local run. It marked his first time running in the local event since his junior year in high school.

His younger brother, Drake, 12, a seventh grader at Thomson Middle School, also competed in this year's race.

In the 15-19 age division behind Brenton Widener was Richard Rees, while third place was captured by Justin Bettross.

Finishing first in the 14 and under age group was Ford Adams. He was followed by Matthew Miller and Smith Adams.

Wrens Middle School Head Football Coach Chris Thigpen, who lives in Thomson, meanwhile, captured first place in the 20-29 age division. Finishing second was Jeremy Anthony, while Ben Thigpen came in third.

In the 30-39 age division, it was Mark Jenkins winning first place. He was followed by Joey Scott in second place and Neil Osbon in third place.

Jeff Davis, meanwhile, won the 40-49 age division. He was followed by Barry Bennett and Ed Bettross.

Placing first in the 50-59 age division was Mike Day. Finishing second was Billy Wasden, followed by Jim Grayson.

Robert Wilson captured first place in the 60-69 age division, while Jason Cooter was the winner in the 70 and older age division.

In the Women's Depot Dash, capturing first place was Yvonne Davis. She posted a time of 24:52 in the event. She was followed by Toni Brown, who finished second and Franci Gargaro, who finished third in the 40-49 age division.

The 14 and under age division saw Jamie Holodak win first place. She was followed by Lee Anne Rees and Abby Schaeffer.

Anna Shaeffer was the top runner in the 15-19 age division.

In the 20-29 age division, Katie Anthony captured first place. Finishing runner-up was Mallory Thigpen.

Leigh Smith won in the 30-39 age division, followed by Candy Candler and Gabrielle Smith.

In the 50-59 age division, Catherine Massey captured first place. She was followed by Deborah Cain and Jane Dansie.

Finishing in first place in the 60-69 age division was Brenda Cooter and Sarah Nolan.

Web posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008

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