The Chattanooga Track Club

Promoting Running and Fitness in Chattanooga

Hollis, Croft Overall Winners In FCA 5K
By John Hunt
Posted: Tuesday, September 08, 2020
The younger generation dominated the overall results at the annual FCA 5K Monday morning at Chattanooga State.

Lane Hollis and Katilee Croft, a pair of speedy high school cross country standouts, captured the overall titles in the event where proceeds benefit local chapters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Hollis, a 17-year-old senior at Coahulla Creek in Dalton, was all alone when he crossed the finish line by the tennis courts with a time of 15 minutes, 56 seconds.

Lance Sotelo posted a time of 16:32 to capture second place while Adam Veron, Noah Cochran and Dean Thompson completed the top five males with times of 16:36, 16:40 and 17:19, respectively.

Croft, a 17-year-old senior at Soddy Daisy, was the class of the women’s field as she finished 15th overall with a time of 19 minutes, 38 seconds.

Runner-up Lexie Laduc had a time of 21:28 for 26th overall while Allison Craft, Lucy Horne and Arynne Frazier were third through fifth with times of 21:46, 22:15 and 22:34, respectively.

Monday’s race, which was held under near-perfect weather conditions with cool temperatures and low humidity, had 177 finishers.

In years past, the race has started by the lake in front of Chattanooga State and looped around the lake before hitting Amnicola Highway before turning right into the Riverpark entrance.  A right turn onto the sidewalk by the boat ramp brought runners back to the college campus where they re-entered from the back gate less than a quarter-mile from the finish.

Due to permit problems, the course was changed a little bit.  Instead of getting on Amnicola, the course went out another gate on the south end of the campus where runners had to go a couple hundred yards in the grass before getting back on the road.

Hollis had run this course before, but never officially in this race.  So he was naturally happy with the way things turned out.

“I just tried to maintain a steady pace for the first mile, but I was feeling pretty good and decided to push a little harder,” he said shortly after finishing the flat course.

“That was only the second time I’ve ever gone under 16 minutes, so I’m happy with that.  I was really hoping to win today.  I’ve run this course before, but had never been part of this race.  Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as hot as normal this time of year,” he added.

The experience was equally as positive for Croft.

“That was a PR by more than a minute, so I’m happy as that was my goal today,” she began.

“It was a flat course with great temperatures. And I love running in the morning.  I really didn’t have a goal of winning as I just wanted to race, but I still have more in me.  I ran with a bunch of guys from our team, so it was nice to have some competition,” she concluded with a smile.

Chad Varga has been the race director for this event the past 20 years after buying the Front Runner store from Louis Priddy.  It used to draw huge numbers of participants on Labor Day, but Varga was pleased with the turnout concerning the state of affairs we’re dealing with these days.

“Things went surprisingly well today as it’s a whole different world today,” Varga said while runners streamed across the finish line.

“I really appreciate the help we had from Chattanooga State and the Riverpark as we couldn’t have done it without them, but we had a nice turnout and more than last year.  It was a good day for the FCA.

“I can’t say enough about our friend Louis Priddy, who really wanted to come today, but stayed home due to medical reasons.  He did a great job getting this race started and I’ve just tried to keep it going. 

But it was nice to see folks have a chance to get a nice workout on such a beautiful morning,” Varga concluded.

Jay Fowler has served as the Area Director of the FCA for the past 19 years.  He was named the FCA Christian Athlete of the Year when he was a senior at Tyner in 1987, so the organization and this race are really special to him.

“We’re just thrilled to be here today,” he said later.

“I’m thankful to the folks at Chattanooga State as we had a plan to keep everyone safe.  This is a significant fund raiser for the FCA and it helps keep our ministry in the local schools going,” he added.

Rodney Stoker and Estella Clemons were the defending champions for this race, but neither were present to defend their titles.


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