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Bonita Classic set for lakes on Saturday

By By Steve Swogetinsky / special to The Star
April 30, 2004
Fresh off the Boston Marathon, Meridian runner Jim Quick returns to action Saturday at the Bonita Lakes Classic 5K road race.
Registration for the Bonita Classic will start at 7 a.m. Saturday at Bonita Lakes. The 5K road race gets underway at 8 a.m., and a two-mile walk will follow at 9 a.m.
"The course starts inside the park," Quick said. "We always start near the front of the park and run across the dam. There are some hills but it is an interesting course."
The run is sponsored by the Meridian Rotary Club as a benefit for the Wesley House. Last year, Mike Thrailkill of Decatur won the race with a time of 17:34, followed by Jon Wetzel and Anthony Steele. Brandi Gamblin was the top female finisher. This will be the second race of the local season. The Anderson Cup which was won by Thrailkill, opened the season earlier this month. In last year's race, 62 people finished, according to the Meridian Athletic Association's website.
Quick, who also enjoys road-course bike rides, has focused most of his energy in recent weeks in getting ready for the Boston Marathon, which was run April 19. The training paid off because Quick's first Boston Marathon turned out to be one of the hottest ever.
"They start the marathon at noon and it was 85 degrees," Quick said. "It was terrible. Everyone was off their time by an hour or more."
Quick had run two marathons prior to going to Boston., finishing with times of three hours, 24 minutes and three hours, 35 minutes. His time at Boston was four hours, 50.2 minutes..
"They told us not to worry about our times because of the heat," Quick said. "After the race, I had two drips. There were people passing out all along the course. They treated 1,100 for heat sickness, which was a record."
Quick said his time has challenged him to try and run the Boston Marathon again next year.
"I can do better," Quick said. "More than 16,000 people finished the Boston Marathon this year. You really can't get any speed until the field starts spreading out and that takes the first four or five miles. But I think I may want to try it again."
Upcoming running events
Several road races will be held statewide during the month of May:
May 8, Jackson: Methodist Church 5K Run/Walk, one-mile Fun Run; 8 a.m. For more information, call Jim Myrick (601)856-9884.
May 8, Tupelo: Gum Tree 10K Run, 8:30 a.m.; $18 before May 7, $20 race day. For more information, contact the: Tupelo Running Club, POB 511, Tupelo, MS 38802; (662)844-2391,
May 15, Carthage: Heart of Mississippi 5K Run/Walk, one-mile fun run; 8 a.m. For more information, call the Chamber at (601) 267-9231.
May 15, Gulfport: Pursuit of Fitness 5K, one-mile; 8 a.m. For more information, call Leonard Vergunst (228) 875-6855.
May 22, Jackson: Run From the Sun 5K Run/Walk, one-mile fun run; 5 p.m. For more information, call Jim Myrick (601) 856-9884.
Youth baseball season under way
The Meridian Youth Baseball Association will hold its draft for the 15-18-year-old leagues this weekend.
MYBA president Dan Derrington said the Major and Minor League programs and the 13-14-year olds are well into their season.
Rob Bullock is commissioner of the 15-18 year-old program. Games will be played at the Q.V. Sykes Ballpark.
Practice softball games set
Teams competing in the city of Meridian Recreation Department's softball leagues will start playing practice games today. This preseason schedule will run through Thursday with the regular season getting underway on May 6.
A total of 69 men's and co-ed teams will be competing in the commercial and church divisions. Charlie Turner of the recreation department reports that the schedule will be announced in the next few days.
"We have just confirmed the number of teams that will be playing," Turner said. "We will get the first couple of weeks of the schedule out in the next few days, and then will work on the rest of it."
In addition to the season starting up, there will be tournaments every Saturday during the month of May at the Sammie Davidson Complex. The contact person for tournaments held on Saturday, May 8 and May 22 is V.L. Mott, who can be reached at 482-3639. A USSSA Youth Tournament is set for May 15 (call Allen White at 527-6355), and a USSSA men's tournament will be May 29. Call Matt Taylor at 228-588-2236 or 228-623-7512.
Youth teams play in Hattiesburg
Several youth girls softball teams competed in a tournament played in Hattiesburg over the weekend. The Crazy 8s eight-and-under girls won two and lost two. Victories came over Margo's Cargo of Jackson, 17-5 and 23-6, while losses were to the Mississippi Sting of Clarke County 19-1, and the Diamond Girls of Newton County 21-12.
Traveling teams are asked to report their scores to Steve Swogetinsky. Please call 776-6102 after 6 p.m., Sunday and Monday.
Challenger season in full swing
The Challenger League Baseball program has 64 children competing on four teams. Sundi Hurst, recreation specialist for the City Recreation Department, said the teams will complete their schedule of games on May 7.
The teams play every Friday at 6 p.m. The games last about an hour, and the Woodmen of the World has provided pizza after the game.
"We play about an hour, or until the pizza arrives," Hurst said.