Runners rumble around Cape campus for Bill Degnan 5K

July 20, 2023

West Chester, Pa. runner Owen Parsons, 15, took off early to the front of the pack July 16 at the Bill Degnan 5K and found himself with local company in Jason Baker, 15, of Cape. Parsons, who just finished his freshman year at Delaware’s Archmere Academy, ran ahead of Baker, who also just completed his freshman year. Parsons ran 10:22 in the Division II 3,200 meters at the state championships in May, while Baker went 10:01 in Division I and returned a week later to run 10:09 at the Meet of Champions. But it was Parsons who had the edge on the Cape campus. Parsons hit the finish in a time of 17:43 for the overall title, while Baker was second in 17:59 to win the 14-19 age group. Martin Rodriguez, 41, of Selbyville finished third and won the masters title in 18:39. 

Emily Clarke, 23, of Cedar Crest, N.M., finished fourth and won the overall female title in 19:12, while second went to Payton Bovee, 21, of Reno, Nev., in 20:24 to win the 20-24 age group. Cape Henlopen graduate and Bill Degnan Scholarship winner Alexa Dougherty, 18, of Milton was the third female, running 22:37 to win her age group. Dougherty will attend the University of Delaware. Lisa Sherman, 49, of Washington, D.C., captured the female masters title in 23:59.

A total of 152 participants turned out to honor one of the best and most popular teachers Cape Henlopen has ever seen, Bill Degnan, who died during the 1995-96 indoor track & field season when we were co-coaching. Bill was a husband, son, brother, uncle, teacher, coach and friend to so many who still miss him. Not a day that goes by that I don’t think of coach Degnan.

The Bill Degnan scholarship goes to a track & field senior athlete each year. This year, Dougherty shared the award with Trey Leggins.

From first-year scholarship winner Jamie (Hill) Loucks to Dougherty and Leggins 26 years later, a part of Bill Degnan’s faith in human spirit lives on in all the award winners.

Dam Mill 5K 

Better known as the Best Little Race in Delaware, the Dam Mill 5K has been happening in Millsboro since 1982. It is one of the oldest races in the state. Proceeds of the Saturday, July 22 event will go to the Millsboro Fire Company. The popular post-race party is known for the DQ Blizzards that Dairy Queen of Millsboro presents to each runner at the finish. It has been more than 10 years since the small-town event reached the 200 mark, but through Thursday, it looks like we’ll have a shot at 200 participants.

One of the popular aspects of the race is the Dam Mill Hall of Fame induction held during the post-race awards ceremony.

In 2003, the Seashore Striders celebrated the race’s 20th anniversary by introducing the Dam Mill Hall of Fame. The first class comprised the founders: Gary Brittingham, Graham Living and Donna Rogers. Last year, 83-year-old Jack Noel was added for providing 40 years of magic to the race. Come on out and see who’s inducted this year. 


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