As the 40th Bear Run came to a close, a familiar face stood atop the leaderboard.
As the 40th Bear Run came to a close, a familiar face stood atop the leaderboard as Eric Putnam, Head Coach for the men and women’s cross country and track and field team and Coordinator of the Bear Run, won his 11th Bear Run overall with a time of 14:59.
This year Putnam took home his first Bear Run victory since the Spring Bear Run of 2008. Putnam’s aforementioned time also served as the first time a winner ran a sub-15 second time since Chris Reiss’ overall mark of 14:42 back in the 2012 Spring Bear Run.
Meanwhile, Lisa Culbertson, an SSU alumna, set a new Bear Run mark for the women’s division and a personal best with a time of 17:19 to repeat as the women’s division champion and 19th overall in this year’s Spring Bear Run.
Culbertson is a former two-time NAIA Cross Country All-American and the current 5000 meter record holder with a time set just one-tenth of a second off of her personal best time of 17:09 set during the 2014 Fall Bear Run. Culbertson’s victory ties her with Nina Di Tragila for the most Bear Run victories in the women’s group. Both runners now hold four victories each.
In addition to Putnam and Culbertson’s accomplishments, Bri Tudor and Breydon Gates were honored with the Larry Mangus Award, an award given to the top male and female SSU student runners.
Tudor is a senior and a member of the cross country team and track and field programs. She finished 67th overall with a time of 23:25. Gates, also a senior and a member of the cross country team and track and field programs, finished 5th overall with a time of 15:34 barely edging teammate and fellow senior Jeremy Anderson by four one-hundredths of a second.