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28th Annual Seagull Six Road Race

Woods Hole, MA, April 3, 2005

O'Brien and Palmer Take Men's and Women's Titles in 28th Annual Seagull Six

by Courtney Bird

Conor O'Brien, 23, of Boston was the first finisher and Michele Palmer, 23, of Wellfleet was the top woman at the 28th Annual Seagull Six 5.74-mile Road Race held on Sunday, April 3 in Woods Hole.

It was a very close race among the men's leaders. O'Brien and 18-year-old Justin Ladner of Falmouth ran neck and neck through the first 4 miles, with Ken Gartner, 44, of West Falmouth trailing behind by about 15 seconds. Near Nobska Light with about a mile to go, O'Brien pulled ahead of Ladner and finished in 31:30. In the meantime Gartner caught Ladner in the home stretch and finished second in 31:45, one second ahead of Ladner. Seagull Six Co-Director Mike Norton, 34 of Waquoit finished fourth in 32:10.

In the women's race, Palmer ran unchallenged and finished in 37:35, good for 14th place overall. Nearly two minutes later, Ali Smrcina, 17, of North Falmouth and Falmouth High School crossed the line with a time of 39:16. She was followed by Lindsay Ruthven, 29, of Falmouth (41:15) and Mary Peabody, 50, of Dennis (41:25).

Falmouth High was well represented at this year's Seagull Six. In addition to the strong performances of Ladner and Smrcina, Michael Stone, 18, of East Falmouth finished in 34:40 which placed him 7th overall.

Although the sun poked out about an hour before the race, the reverberation from the FTC cannon at the start must have shaken the clouds. A light rain began soon thereafter, and it continued for much of the race. But most runners found the conditions ideal. In addtion, there was a good turn out for the 2.5 mile non-competitive walk held in conjunction with the event to raise money for women's health programs in Falmouth.

There were 121 finishers in this year's Seagull Six. The race has been staged annually by the Falmouth Track Club since 1978, and this year's edition was sponsored by Lawrence Lynch Corporation, Falmouth Podiatry, Falmouth Physical Therapy, Sherwood Mortgage, and the Market Street Bookshop. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Falmouth High School track program.

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