A former college roommate of Carlos Lopez, who was last year’s Turkey Trot 5K winner and a former Longhorn three-sport star, ran his way to a gold medal finish in the 2010 Turkey Trot.
Francisco Castorena, a student at Scottsdale Community College and a member of the school’s cross country and track teams, won the event contested Nov. 13 at Green Valley Park.
Castorena said he entered the run at Lopez’s urging.
“Carlos called me and said ‘you should enter, it’s a lot of fun’ so I decided to try the run out,” said Castorena.
The winner, however, wasn’t entirely satisfied with his winning time of 19:01.
“The altitude up here really got to me, I’m not used to it,” he said.
In 2009, Lopez — now a student and track team member at University of North Carolina Ashville — won the race in 16:52.
Castorena said he started the Turkey Trot race conservatively, but decided to kick “with about 1-1/2 miles to go.”
From that point it was no-contest as he continued to expand his lead over runner-up Ezra White, who finished in 19:11.
Castorena was competing in the 20-29 years age group.
As a SCC runner last spring, Castorena ran 2:01.93 at the Mesa Track and Field Classic, and at the Arizona State Invitational turned in a personal best clocking of 16:17.70 in the three-mile run.
Horn cross country athletes compete
The Turkey Trot drew several current and former Payson High School cross country runners including Tanner Hodges (19:33) and White.
Lexi Edwards, wearing a Holbrook High School baseball sweatshirt, was the first female finisher, touring the course in 22:27.
Former town vice mayor and ex-Payson High School vice principal Tim Fruth turned in a creditable showing, running 3.1-miles in just over 26 minutes.
“I beat my goal,” he said while crossing the finish line.
One of the oldest runners in the race, 80-plus years Ray Kinsman — a frequent participant in local runs — finished in 40:14.
Also in the age group, Senior Olympian Tom Cooka finished in 29.00.
A trio of the Chris Harold family entered with Tiffany Harold — a local Department of Public Safety officer — leading the way with a clocking of 27:27. Dalton Harold, running in the 12-years-and-under division was timed in 28:56. Chris, a former PHS football and wrestling star, finished in 29:03.
The race drew 105 runners and walkers, a mark that the Turkey Trot coordinator considers a good turnout, “up from 62 last year.”