John Niederhaus was the first runner across the finish line for Saturday's Lake Monona 20km Run, clocking one hour, nine minutes and 13 seconds for the 12.4-mile lap around Lake Monona. George Hanson was second at 1:10:06, followed by Michael McLoughlin in 1:11:07.
The most impressive performance, however, was turned in by the fourth-place overall finisher: With a time of 1:12:59, Cassie Hintz, 19, dominated a strong women's field by a margin of more than eight minutes over second place.
This is not to diminish the efforts of Emily Farrell (second among women at 1:21:21) and Wendy Miller (third in 1:24:39). Both women improved on their second- and third-place times from the 2006 Lake Monona 20km.
But with this result coming on top of her victory margin the previous weekend in the women's division at the Crazylegs Classic (more than three minutes in a distance of eight kilometers, with a time of 27:43 that put her 17th overall out of more than 9,000 male and female finishers), Hintz appears to have established herself as the prohibitive female favorite in almost any area road-running race she cares to enter. And it is not much of a stretch to project her as the overall winner at one of the 10K or 5K races that dot the local calendar.
Complete results from Saturday's Lake Monona 20K, including 185 female and 268 male finishers are available here.