Morzenti ran his first Fourth of July 5-mile in 2012 at age 12. He ended Ben Heck's four race win streak in 2017, after finishing second to him in 2016, and began his own streak.
Dunsmuir’s Chris Morzenti won his third straight men’s 5-mile title and broke the course record at the July 4 5-mile run in Mount Shasta as Siskiyou County runners took three of the four races. Mallory Ward of Yreka won the women’s 5-mile, and Madeline Towner of Weed surprised the field in the girl’s 2-mile race.
Morzenti ran his first Fourth of July 5-mile in 2012 at age 12. He ended Ben Heck’s four race win streak in 2017, after finishing second to him in 2016, and began his own streak.
Coming to the finish line, Chris saw the race-time clock and knew he had a shot at the record. He kicked harder and crossed the line in 24:59, breaking by three seconds Tim Nelson’s 2005 record of 25:02. Nelson later won the 5000 meter race at the 2010 U.S. Track & Field Championships.
Morzenti holds the Mount Shasta High School 1600 meter record with his 4:15.29 effort in 2016. Now running for UCLA, he clocked a 3:46 1500 meter time this spring, the equivalent of a 4:03 mile.
MSHS distance ace Alex Ramirez finished second in 27:55.
Mallory Ward had a stellar career running for Yreka High School. She won the women’s 5-mile race in 34:31., after finishing fourth last year.
The Wards had a winning day as her father, Frank Ward, won the 55-59 division in 34:28.
Former Siskiyou County resident Tami Beall (Frisbie), age 50, finished second in the 5-mile with a 34:29 time. Now an Arcata resident, Beall holds the women’s 50-54 age-group record.
Marissa Bonivert took the 16-19 division, covering the 5 miles in 37:28. She had a standout 4-year career at Mount Shasta High School and will move on to run at Humboldt State next year.
Running against girls up to 18 years old, Madeline Towner surprised the field as the 13 year old finished first in 14:05. Mount Shasta’s Nathaniel Bekaert was the second boy to finish the two-mile race. He won the 14-15 division with a 12:51 time. The two young runners will help high school teams if they continue to compete.
Dwight Roberts, a 92 year old from Yreka, tried to defend his 90+ title, but finished second to 90 year old Harry Daniel, a young whippersnapper from Redding.
Jimmy McCullough of Mount Shasta returned to defend his 75-79 men’s title, winning the division with a 45:16 time, 40 seconds faster than last year.
A new age group record was set by Joann Hall of Redding. She broke her own previous record in the women’s 75-79 age group by almost five minutes, finishing in 45:07.
Lois Calma of Shasta Lake shed tears of joy when her name was drawn as the winner of the Subaru Impreza given away in a drawing after the race. She was all smiles when she sat in her new car. Calma said that she’d been driving a big SUV and longed for a smaller car.
The festivities drew 830 runners and almost 2,000 walkers and went off like clockwork under sunny skies with temperatures in the 60s.