By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Tiffany McWilliams Dudley’s specialty is the 1,500 meters, not the 10,000 meters.
It didn’t matter Saturday for the former three-time NCAA 1,500 meters champion from Mississippi State.
Dudley, 27, ran through the wind and a light drizzle to capture the women’s division of the 29th Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10K in 38 minutes, 41 seconds.
She was more than a minute ahead of women’s runner-up Candace Jacobs (39:44) or Huntsville, Ala.
“This was my third 10K,” said Dudley, who married MSU assistant track coach Steve Dudley in December. “I ran here last year and in the Gum Tree. It’s a lot of fun.”
Dudley, who last ran as a professional in 2008, said she took last year off from a heavy competitive schedule to recover mentally and physically.
“I’ve been running on and off this year, trying to decide if I want to run recreationally or seriously,” she said.
Dudley, who has entered next weekend’s Gum Tree 10K in Tupelo, recently ran her first half-marathon in Germantown, Tenn. The distances are good for strength training, she says.
“If I do decide to run serious it will be in the 800 (meters) or the mile,” she said. “I have a lot of work to do.”
Race officials announced that 881 runners/walkers signed up for the event, which served as the state 10K championship.
Tide’s David wins
Former Alabama Crimson Tide distance runner Tyson David, a native of Kenya, won the male open in a 31:20 clocking and edged fellow Kenyan Phillip Koech, who finished in 31:21.
“I just wanted to run a smooth race, no pain,” said David, who completed in the 5K and 10K in college. “This was my first outdoor run since the indoor season. I wanted to see how my body would react.”
Plantersville’s Israel Melendez won the male masters in 37:04 while Corinth’s Donald Didonato was the grandmasters champ in 39:57.
Corinth’s Julie Milligan was the female masters champion in 45:50 while Hope Shull of Henderson, Tenn., took the female grandmasters in 52:47.
Jay Poindexter of Michie, Tenn., won the male wheelchair title in 45:23. The female wheelchair champion was Corinth’s Courtney Fortune in 1:08.45.
Make mine 29
Corinth’s O’Neal Hutson, 62, and Lane Fowler, 50, have one thing in common. They’ve both completed in every 29 Coca-Cola Classic 10Ks. They are the only ones remaining to have accomplished the feat.
“I used to line up in the front, now I get as close to the back as possible,” Hutson said, then laughed.
Added Fowler, “I used to try to compete, now I just participate.”
– Race results in today’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.