Bossier Parish runners fare well in annual Firecracker 5K

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As usual, the annual Sportspectrum Firecracker 5K Race for Research Run & Healthwalk on the Fourth of July featured a large contingent of competitors from Bossier Parish.

The 35th annual race started at Mall St. Vincent and the 5K course wound through the South Highland subdivision.

While the event is mostly about having fun and celebrating the birthday of America, it’s also a competition.

The male and female winners received $500 each with the runners-up getting $250.

Baton Rouge’s Kevin Castille, 47, won the men’s division in a course record 14 minutes, 24.2 seconds, earning an additional $1,000. The previous record was 14:38 set in 2014.

Castille finished about 20 seconds ahead of 22-year-old runner-up Emmauel Rotich.

Rachel Corigliano of Barksdale Air Force Base won the women’s title for the second straight year. The 38-year-old covered the course in 17:48.5.

Shreveport’s Alexandra Ellis finished second, more than a minute behind Corigliano.

Several Bossier Parish runners posted top-25 finishes.

Former Parkway Class 5A cross country champion and current LSU runner Sara Funderburk, 21, finished fourth in the female division in 19:46.7.

Isabelle Russell, a 15-year-old who has dominated her events in middle school track at Benton Middle the past two years, finished sixth in 19:58.5. Russell, also a state middle school champ, was the youngest competitor in the top 10 by six years.

Former Parkway track and cross country athlete Lindsey Hutcheson was ninth in 20:40.7.

Bossier City’s Angel Martin, 36, finished 16th in 21:35.9. Bossier City’s Brooke Mason, 37, was 25th in 22:32.7.

BPCC runner Xavier Wilson, a 19-year-old former Airline standout, finished 10th in the male division in 17:36.2.

Benton High runner Jacob Marcinkus, 16, was 13th in 17:55.1. He finished 15th in the Class 4A cross country meet last fall.

Benton rising junior Hagos Easter, 17, was 19th in 18:19.5. Haughton’s Eric Greene, 21, finished 21st in 18:25.7.

BPCC’s Austin Jacobsen, a former Parkway standout, was 24th in 18:28.6.

The Spine Institute of Louisiana Foundation served as the title sponsor.

It is a “not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve current spine treatments and develop new ones through innovative research,” according to the Firecracker 5K website.

The race is run in memory of Ran Kiper, Jim Wilhite and Robin Fell, who were leaders in the running community.