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River Falls Days races a hit

Pictured are the winners of this year's River Falls Days 2-Mile and 10K races July 15. Shad Gausman of West St. Paul was the winner in the male division in the 2-mile with a time of 10 minutes, 11.98 seconds while 13 year-old Morgan Prigge of River Falls was the women's winner with a time of 13:36.59. Jason Finch of Hudson took the 10K title in 31:37.26 while Samantha Sundstrom of Sauk Rapids, Minn. was the women's winner in 37:49.96. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Two-hundred and twenty-nine competitors took part in this year's River Falls Days 10k and 2-Mile races Saturday, July 15, along a new route featuring the start and finish lines on Maple Street next to city hall.

Forty year-old Jason Finch of Hudson won his fourth overall 10K title with a winning time of 31 minutes, 37.26 seconds. Finch, a five-time All-American at UW-Eau Claire, won three straight River Falls Days 10K races from 2012-14. He placed second last year, and first in the men's division, while pushing his then 4-year-old daughter in a stroller from start to finish.

Twenty-six year-old Eddie Stenger of Woodbury finished just 22 seconds behind Finch Saturday to place second with a time of 31:59.76 while 15 year-old Mason Shea of River Falls was third in 37:10.78 to capture his second straight 15-and-under division title.

Saturday's top female runner was bride-to-be Samantha Sundstrom of Sauk Rapids, Minn., with a time of 37:49.96, good enough for fourth place overall.

Sundstrom, who is getting married this Saturday, July 22, in Sauk Rapids, was a three-time All-American distance runner at St. Cloud State University. She wore a white shirt with the words, “Runaway Bride” on the front and sported a white veil before it fell off one mile into the race. She was joined by friends and members of her bridal party who ran the race with shirts that read “Team Bride.”

Sundstrom said the timing of the River Falls 10K one week before her wedding made it a perfect fit for her and her friends to take part in, and someone did return the veil she lost near the one-mile mark.

In the 2-Mile Race, 29 year-old Shad Gausman of West St. Paul was the overall winner with a time of 10:11.98 while 15 year-old Joey Madsen of River Falls was second in 11:35.48. Thirteen year-old Morgan Prigge of River Falls won the women's title with a time of 13:36.59.

For complete River Falls Days 10K and 2-Mile results, go to www.gopherstateevents.com.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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