Elmejdoubi cruises to title

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
April 7, 2002
International runner Yousri Elmejdoubi had a brisk workout in winning the eighth annual 5K Raider Run here on a cool Saturday morning at Lamar School.
Elmejdoubi, a professional distance runner who is sponsored by Italian shoe maker FILA, won the 5K race in 14 minutes, 49 seconds. DeShon Davis of Meridian was second at 17:57.
Lamar School's own J. Grantham finished third at 18:16. Maurice Malone was fourth at 18:25 and Ben White rounded out the top five at 18:26. Malone, 51, was the top senior finisher.
The top female finisher was Brandy Gamblin who came in 18th overall at 20:52. Six seconds behind her was Lamar School sixth grader and track member Holly Corbitt. The 12-year-old Corbitt posted a 20:58 time.
Seventy-year-old Jerry Parker was 27th in 22:11.
Elmejdoubi, a native of Morocco, was a former track star at Meridian Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. He lived and trained in Meridian for six years before moving to Gulfport.
Elmejdoubi does his primary competitive running in Europe, but he wanted to compete here in order to get ready for a race next week in Japan.
Race Director Ed Abdella, was gratified to have some one of Elmejdoubi's caliber compete. He even participated in the youth fun run.
Grantham, Lamar's top runner and the defending Academy AAA champion in the two-mile run, was also glad to compete with Elmenjdoubi.
Gary James was the Male Master (40-49) winner at 20:43 and Wanda Kennedy was the Female Master winner at 21:04.
In the two-mile walk race, 57-year-old Johnnie Bradley nipped Libby Eifert by a second, 16:38 to 16:39. Carol Reynolds was third at 17:53.

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