LIMA — It’s always good to come home.
For former Shawnee standout distance runner Tom Scott, the Fourth of July has become the ideal time to return to Lima.
Scott, who competed collegiately in both cross country and track at Ashland University, is now the head cross country coach, as well as an assistant coach for the track program.
Scott came back home last year and won the Star Spangled Spectacular’s Freedom 5K Run/Walk at Faurot Park.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old Scott defended his title as he clocked an impressive time of 15 minutes, 5.4 seconds. Scott’s college teammate at Ashland, Jacob Sussman, finished a distant second in 15:24.9. Dustin Sprague, a 40-year-old from Kettering, came in a close third (15:28.6).
Sussman is now a volunteer assistant coach for Scott.
On the women’s side, Rachel Dickman from Grand Ledge, Mich., defended her crown, winning in a time of 17:54. Sara Anderson, a 27-year-old from Lima, finished second in 18:54.5. Lindsey Maus finished third in 19:56.7.
Scott always looks forward to coming back to Lima for the holiday.
“It was nice,” Scott said. “I think I’ve ran this race every year since it started. I’ve been coming back every year. It’s always a lot of fun to get a chance to race against old rivals from high school.”
Scott, who has great finishing speed, didn’t take any chances Saturday.
“I took it out pretty quick. … (I ran) the first mile in 4:48 and at the two-mile I was at 9:30, and then I finished strong,” Scott said. “I wanted to break 15 (minutes). …That was the goal today. So, I was pretty happy.”
Scott likes to compete at different distances.
“I’ve been training pretty hard,” he said. “I’m getting ready for some summer road miles (1-mile road races). I have one coming up on Thursday in Traverse City (Michigan). Then I have one in Ann Arbor on the following Monday — the same one I broke 4 (minutes) at last year. “
Scott also has his sights set on getting a shot at the Olympic Trials in the 800 meters. To make the trials, he needs to run the 800 in 1:47.5. His best time is 1:47.9, which he clocked last year.
“I want to get that Olympic Trials time. So, I have just a little bit more to get,” Scott said.
For Dickman, winning the women’s race is becoming a routine. Saturday’s victory for Dickman marks her fifth in this event.
“I definitely felt like I had something left,” she said. “I haven’t really raced well in 2015. So, I was hoping to feel good today and go under 18.”
Rachel Dickman’s husband, Justin, finished fourth in 15:39.3. Justin, a former Van Wert standout, has won the Star Spangled Spectacular three times.
There were nearly 1,100 runners/walkers who participated in the 5k Saturday.The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.