Deja vu at Riverfest 5K

Rinse, wash, repeat.
The storms that passed through town late Friday night rinsed off the 5K course and washed the turnout numbers down slightly from last year. But the weather had no effect on the hundreds of people who did show up to run. And those 347 challengers had no effect on last year’s winners, Phil LaVallee and Noelle Olson, each of whom repeated their championship feats from a year ago.

Phil Lavallee had plenty of distance between him and the field as he came down the stretch of the Riverfest 5K. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

Phil Lavallee had plenty of distance between him and the field as he came down the stretch of the Riverfest 5K. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

LaVallee, a 19-year-old MHS grad and a current college runner (South Dakota State University) crossed the finish line in 15:58.22, breaking his own record for the 19U male division. His time, which averaged out to a pace of 5:08.35 miles, was 10 seconds better than the pace he set during his championship run last year.
LaVallee’s closest competitor was Joe Mahoney, as the 40-year-old doctor was the only other runner to come in under 17 minutes, finishing with a time of 16:45.47.
Hunter Kopff, Neil Albares and Derek Secord, two former Magic runners and a current one, rounded out the top five, as they all finished between 17:00 and 17:15.
The top five finishers each took home a handcrafted Monticello Riverfest mug.
On the female side of the competition, Noelle Olson, a standout runner from Big Lake, was truly challenged by just one competitor as she ran to her second straight victory at Riverfest.

For the second straight year, Noelle Olson, from Big Lake, was the fastest female in the field at the Riverfest 5K. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

For the second straight year, Noelle Olson, from Big Lake, was the fastest female in the field at the Riverfest 5K. (Photo by Clay Sawatzke)

Olson’s time of 17:42.14 came in nine seconds ahead of Laura Roach, a 25-year-old from Northfield. After Roach, there was a 90-second gap before Monticello runners Amber Seidenkranz and Brooke Rasmussen came in third and fourth, followed by Natalie Kessler of New Hope in fifth.
The 18-year-old Olson shaved a full minute and ten seconds off her time from last year. She also set the all-time Riverfest record for females, as her and Roach became the first females to break 18 minutes at the event, according to organizer and Monticello running coach, Dave Wik.
Wik also noted that the repeating of both the male and female champion was an unusual occurrence.
“I’m not sure if we’ve had that since I’ve been here,” said Wik.
But what they have had has been successful 5Ks, and Saturday ended up as another good one for everyone involved.
“I think it ended up being a good day to run,” summed up Wik.

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