Annual event sees record turnout
Two weeks before this year's Splash N Dash, race director Ernie Brooks had no idea what kind of crowd the race would attract.
The race is run annually on the Fourth of July. With the Fourth falling on a Wednesday this year, Brooks was uncertain how many entries the race would receive.
"It's kind of a catch 22," he said. "Because sometimes in the middle of the week, you get a little higher local turnout, but we lose out on our Portland crew that comes over for the race."
It turns out that Brooks didn't need to worry. The race saw a record turnout with 193 participants competing in one of the four available races, up from just over 150 a year ago.
Although no race records were set, competition was still fierce in each of the four disciplines.
"We had great turnout," Brooks said. "Our volunteer helpers were amazing like usual, and it was just awesome."
Lethal Dose, a coed team with Leah Bishop swimming, Carey Allen biking, Sean Phothyane kayaking, and Brandon Brasher completing the running leg, was the overall winner in the quadrathlon with a time of 1:31:28 for the race, which consisted of a 500-meter swim, a 13-mile bike ride, 1.5-mile kayak leg, and a 4-mile run.
Placing second in the quadrathlon was the all-male team, Jacob Hehn, Connor Chaney, Hunter Eller and Miles Chaney with a time of 1:36:18.
The first individual finisher was David Sieveking, who finished fourth overall with a time of 1:37.46.
Nathan Yuma was close behind, placing fifth overall with a time of 1:38.24.
Winning the family team division of the quadrathlon was the three-person team of Zach Lawson, Kelly Lawson and Michele Lawson, who finished sixth overall with a time of 1:38.46.
The first business team to cross the finish line was King's Oil and Lube, made up of Tim Faulkner, Eric Rice and John Wilber, who placed eighth overall with a time of 1:41.55.
The first all-female team to cross the finish line was ?? (the actual name), composed of Marah Binder, Anne Carne, Elise Rice and Kristi Carne, who finished 22nd overall with a time of 1:57.50, while the first individual woman finisher was Katie Ford, who placed 32nd overall with a time of 2:12.37.
In a close race, Alec Carne edged Seth Reno to win the triathlon portion of the Splash N Dash.
Carne, who will be a sophomore at Crook County High School next year, finished the 500-meter swim, 13-mile bike, and 4-mile run with a time of 1:19:42.
Competing in the men's 30-39 division, Reno was second with a time of 1:20.19.
Cody Anderson came away with third place with a time of 1:24.32, while Sharon Sieveking was the first woman finisher, placing fourth overall, with a time of 1:26.53.
Bob Trautner won the duathlon, which consisted of a 13-mile bike ride and 4-mile run with a time of 1:25.41.
Although the race had just two entries, Brooks said that the Splash N Dash will continue to offer a duathlon in the future.
"There are a couple of people who really enjoy doing the dou," he said. "It doesn't take much to do it, and the course is already marked for them. It's a fundraiser, and the more options that people have so that they have a good experience and want to come back, the better."
Brooks added that the duathlon has had as many as 10 to 12 entries in the past, and he expects it to continue to attract participants..
Now in its second year as part of the Splash N Dash, the John Marsh Memorial 5K Run was perhaps the most popular choice in this year's event, attracting 58 runners and walkers.
Chris Colovos was the overall winner with a time of 18:36. He was followed closely by Ron Deems, 18:50, Bill Cooley, 19:26, and Levi Nichols, 19:35.
Jan Riggs was the first woman finisher, taking eighth overall with a time of 22:36.
The Splash N Dash is a fundraiser for the Crook County High School track and field team, which Brooks coaches.
However, the race isn't just about raising money for the sports program.
Proceeds from the 5K race are given to an individual in the community with a need.
Last year, the funds went to Vicente Ramirez, who is awaiting a kidney transplant. This year, proceeds from the race (approximately $1,000) went to Shea Little and his family.
Little, a former CCHS football coach and the current Culver athletic director and baseball coach, recently underwent a lung transplant.
"We have a great community, and they are always willing to give back," Brooks said.
Brooks added that the event couldn't happen without all the volunteers who help out along with the race sponsors.
This year's race had more than 50 volunteers.
Brooks said that he wanted to especially thank Larry Smith, Heidi Lea, Rachel Chaney, Jenny Brooks and Jason Mumm for helping make the event run.
"They are the backbone of the Splash N Dash," he said. "We have already started planning and meeting to see what we can do better."
Brooks said that he was also grateful to this year's sponsors, including Tony Ramos, Les Schwab and Facebook, who help make the fundraiser profitable.
"Our sponsors really stepped up this year," Brooks said. "They really made it a good fundraiser for us. And our volunteers are giving up their Fourth of July morning to sit on the corner and shake hands and high five people. It's a good fundraiser, but it's also just a good community event. That's the main thing."