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Boman departs Duluth with Park Point 5-Miler title

Duluthian Amanda Boman approaches the finish line of Friday’s Park Point 5-Miler. Boman was the top female finisher, with a time of 30 minutes, 10 seconds. Dave Harwig / For the News Tribune 1 / 2
Scott Behling of Duluth won the Park Point 5-Miler with a time of 25 minutes, 46 seconds, on Friday. Dave Harwig / For the News Tribune2 / 2

Amanda Boman bid farewell to Duluth in a positive way Friday night, running to victory in the Park Point 5-Miler women’s race.

Boman is transferring from Minnesota Duluth to NCAA Division I Portland State University and will leave for the West Coast on Aug. 7. The senior will have two years’ eligibility remaining.

“I just went out there to visit (last October), but after this winter I thought, ‘Why don’t I apply to the university?’ ” the Duluth native said. “Then I got in. Running didn’t even seem like an option, but I emailed the coach to see if I could run because I didn’t want to give up yet.”

The 21-year-old says she will receive a partial scholarship at Portland State, where she likely will continue to run the mile distance as she did at UMD and switch her business major to either marketing or women’s studies.

“I grew up in Duluth and it reminds me of Duluth. I felt like I needed a change and I wanted to get away from the winter,” she said. “I’m actually really nervous, but I like a challenge and I think this is the perfect challenge. I’m excited to be in a new environment.”

The 5-mile run was a new environment, too. Boman bettered her only previous run in Minnesota’s oldest road race by nearly 3 minutes, finishing in 30 minutes, 10 seconds on an evening with a cool harbor breeze. That was a 1:58 improvement over Katie McGee’s winning time last year on a sweltering night, but 2:20 shy of Jen Houck’s course record.

Boman says she ran alone until at least the 3-mile mark, when Superior High School graduate Leah Holmes nearly caught her.

“What started pushing me at mile 3 or mile 4 was that Leah Holmes and another runner were right behind me and I could hear them,” Boman said. “I thought they were going to pass me, but somehow I was able to stay in front of them.”

Runner-up Holmes finished 13 seconds back, while 43-year-old Lucie Sulewski of Westfield, Ind., was third in 30:29.

Men Duluth’s Behling adds 5-Miler win to resume Duluth’s Scott Behling has been tough to beat at the 5-kilometer distance, winning three William A. Irvin 5K titles since 2010 and setting Wisconsin-Superior’s school record at that distance, but now the 24-year-old is ready to stretch his legs.

Behling won the men’s 5-Miler in 25:46, running alone the whole race and cruising to the finish line 36 seconds ahead of runner-up Nick Nygaard of Duluth.

After second- and third-place finishes in recent seasons, it marked Behling’s first victory in the 43rd annual race.

It might also signal a shift in Behling’s running career. Despite not having run longer than a half-marathon before, Behling’s plan is to train for the 26.2-mile marathon distance.

He hopes to head to the high elevations of Flagstaff, Ariz., and train there this winter. That doesn’t mean he won’t be back to defend the 5-Miler, however.

“I will run this again, for sure, but I want to see how I can do in a marathon,” he said. “That’s my main goal. It’s a tough distance.”

A mass communication graduate at UWS, Behling has put off the job search until next year, when he hopes to line up a gig coaching runners.

Behling didn’t need any coaching Friday as he went to the front and stayed there throughout, despite not having training partner and Proctor graduate Matt Welch along for the race.

A dip in the temperature and a nice breeze made the run easier.

“I’m glad it cooled down a lot before the race, I was kind of worried,” he said.

Adam Swank, a 38-year-old Duluthian, was third in 26:59.

  • John Stark, a 70-year-old from Duluth, won the men’s 2-mile walk. Hibbing’s Julie Jones was the women’s winner.

43rd Annual Park Point 5-Miler Friday’s Results Men 1. Scott Behling, Duluth, 25:46; 2. Nick Nygaard, Duluth, 26:22; 3. Adam Swank, Duluth, 26:59; 4. Keith Ketola, Independence, Minn., 27:10; 5. Dave Hyopponen, Duluth, 27:10; 6. Jakob Wartman, Duluth, 27:23; 7. Patrick Billig, Roseville, Minn., 27:45; 8. Adam Doe, Fridley, Minn., 28:13; 9. Mike Ward, Duluth, 28:32; 10. Sam Johnson, Aurora, 28:42.

Women 1. Amanda Boman, Duluth, 30:10; 2. Leah Holmes, Superior, 30:23; 3. Lucie Sulewski, Westfield, Ind., 30:29; 4. Anja Maijala, Wrenshall, 32:04; 5. Bridget Hines, Duluth, 32:24; 6. Debra Gormley, Plymouth, Minn., 32:27; 7. Sarah Quade, Superior, 33:19; 8. Kayla Johnson, Oak Grove, Minn., 33:53; 9. Veronica Witikko, Hermantown, 34:01; 10. Kathi Madden, Duluth, 34:07.

2-Mile Walk Men 1. John Stark, Duluth; 2. Steven Skamser, Superior; 3. Randy Suliin, Duluth.

Women 1. Julie Jones, Hibbing; 2. Jane Gilbert-Howard, Duluth; 3. Debra Spillane, Brooklyn Park, Minn.