Perennial favorite Jenn Shelton did not sign up for the 38th annual Ashland Fourth of July Run, leaving the door open for somebody else to take the women's crown Shelton owned four of the previous six years.
Late entrant Stacie Koehler of Medford was up to the challenge, claiming the women's 10,000-meter race in 38 minutes, 57 seconds on a warm Friday morning in downtown Ashland.
Justin Gindlesperger of Grants Pass was the overall and men's winner after crossing the finish line in 32:59, while Ashland's Ryan Ghelfi was second in 33:28 and San Francisco's Andrew Wright, an Ashland High alum, came in third in 35:04.
This year's Fourth Run marked the fourth since the main race was switched to a 10k from a 6-miler in 2011, and no major records were set.
Koehler bested second-place finisher Becka Kem of Ashland, who finished in 39:16. Bekki Miske of San Marcos, Calif., was third in 41:52 and Melissa Penwell of Rocklin, Calif., fourth in 42:55.
Shelton, a former Ashland resident who has relocated to Colorado, won the Fourth of July Run in 2008, '10, '11 and '12 before Sierra Walker snapped the streak last year with a victory in 39:37.
Koehler took eighth in last year's Siskiyou Out Back, a 50-kilometer race that starts on the top of Mount Ashland.
Rick Hernandez of Lancaster, Calif., won the men's 2-mile 12:29, besting runner-up Tom Frantz (13:07) and third-place finisher Cy Alemen (13:18), both of Ashland.
Ashland residents swept the top two spots in the women's 2-mile race. Mina DeVore won in 14:20 and Taylor Mortensen placed second in 15:08.
The Fourth of July Run, which kicked off in 1977 and is a fundraiser for the Ashland High and Phoenix High cross country programs, drew 544 runners — 336 for the 10k race and 208 for the 2-mile run/walk. That participation was down from previous years, including last year's 623.
Race director John Cornet said the fact that the race was on a Friday may have led to fewer entrants. Other than that, he said, the first Fourth race to be chip timed went perfectly.
"The running conditions were perfect," he said. "I was concerned about the temperature, but the conditions were great."
Fourth of July Run
1, Justin Gindlesperger, Grants Pass, 32:59; Ryan Ghelfi, Ashland, 33:28; 3, Andrew Wright, San Francisco, 35:04; 4, Tim Julian, Ashland, 35:11; 5, Leif Anderson, Davis, Calif., 35:27; 6, Michael Myers, Medford, 35:38; 7, Hal Koerner, Ashland, 35:39; 8, Hayden Teachout, Ashland, 36:12; 9, Francis O'Neill, Ashland, 36:20; 10, Loren Newman, San Francisco, 36:37; 11, Bob Julian, Phoenix, 37:04; 12, Sean Nesbitt, Denver, Colo., 37:46; 13, Michael Gullo, Ashland, 38:03; 14, Aaro Luksich, Medford, 38:12; 15, Jacob Boyd, Winston Salem, N.C., 38:45; 16, Ian Rinefort, Ashland, 38:50; 17, Casey Hill, Talent, 38:55; 18, Pete Wallstrom, Ashland, 39:12; 19, Bryon DeVore, Ashland, 39:33; 20, Joe Cooper, Superior, Colo., 39:39.
1, Stacie Koehler, Medford, 38:57; 2, Becka Kem, Ashland, 39:16; 3, Bekki Miske, San Marcos, Calif.; 4, Melissa Penwell, Rocklin, Calif., 42:55; 5, Nikki Steinsiek, Ashland, 43:38; 6, Maria Clementi, Healdsburg, Calif., 44:04; 7, Kelly Coash, Phoenix, 44:13; 8, Sheylan Yearsley, Ashland, 45:10; 9, Sarah Strickler, Central Point, 45:57; 10, Becky Hacker, Ashland, 46:11; 11, Amy Twiest, Ashland, 46:15; 12, Mindy Beck, Ashland, 46:20; 13, Molly Mullane, Talent, 46:56; 14, Kelsey Baughn, Bothell, Wash., 47:08; 15, Hannah Ewing, Ashland, 48:11; 16, Suzanne Olson, Talent, 48:27; 17, Ashley Merrill, Ashland, 48:43; 18, Jessica Kelleher, Ashland, 48:45; 19, Kate Franklin, Ashland, 48:48; 20, Kathleen Kane, Ashland, 49:19.