Islanders News · Crown City Classic Recap

by Andres de la Lama

After much preparation and coordination, runners and spectators participated in the 44th Annual Crown City Classic on this year’s Fourth of July. This race, founded by Dan Orr, John O’Brien, and Kathy Loper in 1975, has preserved its unwavering patriotic spirit for several decades. This year, the 12K and 5K run/walk collectively attracted nearly two thousand runners nationwide to the historic city of Coronado. Checking in at 6:30 AM at Tidelands Park, participants were ready at the starting line by 7:00 AM to start the 12K race in three heats according to speed. Following shortly after the 12K heats were the 5K heats, and all runners were making their way down Glorietta Boulevard.

As there were three different heats, there were runners racing at various paces. Many also ran to display their patriotism, speed, or just enjoy their holiday on-island. In the faster heats, many of the younger runners would be seen competing in cross country and track races in high school/college.

The turnaround point for the 5K occurred next to the Coronado Municipal Golf Course near the corner of Vista Place and Glorietta Boulevard, which the fast-pace runners reached in less than nine minutes. Participants in the 12K (7.4 miles) did not make their turnaround until past the Naval Amphibious Base on the Strand. Both races finished at Tidelands Park, where all finishers received a medal.

After every runner crossed the finish line, the awards ceremony took place at 8:30 AM, where the top three male and female finishers in each race were awarded with a medal.

The top three male finishers in the 12K run (picture above) were Brandon Shields from Temecula, CA (3rd; right), Andrew Falkiewicz from San Diego, CA (2nd; middle), and Joshua Litwiller from Carlsbad, CA (1st; left). Shields finished in 41:25 (Mile Pace: 5:34), Falkiewicz in 40:31 (Mile Pace: 5:26), and Litwiller in 39:39 (Mile Pace: 5:20).

Of the female runners in the 12K, the top three finishers (pictured above) were Sandra Pflughoft from Temecula, CA (3rd and 18th overall; left), Katie Barrett from San Diego, CA (2nd and 15th overall; middle), and Alexandra Watt from Encinitas, CA (1st and 11th overall; right). Pflughoft clocked a time of 46:13 (Pace: 6:12), Barrett a time of 45:52 (Pace: 6:10), and Watt a time of 44:47 (Pace: 6:01).


In the 5K run/walk, shorter distance accounted for faster times. The top three male finishers (picture above) were Cameron Hylton from Temecula, CA (3rd; left), Robert Hernandez from Fresno, CA (2nd; middle), and Ryan Shields from Temecula, CA (1st; right). Hylton finished with a time of 16:04 (Pace: 5:11), Hernandez with a time of 15:54 (Pace: 5:07), and Shields two seconds faster with a time of 15:52 (Pace: 5:07). Both Hylton and Shields are both seventeen years olds and cross-country stars at Great Oak High School in Temecula.

The fastest female finishers (not pictured) in the 5K run/walk were Bessy Leszczynski, who finished in 27th place overall with a time of 19:31 (Pace: 6:17); Kaili Zink-Hernandez, who finished 26th overall with a time of 19:20 (Pace: 6:14); and Meghann Cook, who finished 12th overall clocking 18:38 (Pace: 6:00).

Congratulation to all finishers in the 12K and 5K races.