Jamestown High grads have strong showings at Blue Talon 5K – Daily Press

Jamestown High grads have strong showings at Blue Talon 5K  Daily Press

Thursday’s 17th annual Blue Talon Bistro Turkey Trot 5K was essentially a reunion of the fastest recent Jamestown High School grads from the Eagle cross country and track teams. Two of the top three men were JHS grads and the third now has Jamestown ties. And two of the top three women were JHS grads.

The Thanksgiving Day tradition attracted more than 2,000 runners to the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and the campus of the College of William & Mary, with the start and finish in front of the host Blue Talon Bistro restaurant on Prince George Street.


Pierce Kapustka, 20, of Santa Rosa, Calif. won the men’s division (of 956 total) in an official time of 16:06, followed by Wyckliffe (John) Vogel, 21, of Williamsburg, second in 16:08, and Rylan Flint, 23, of Williamsburg, third in 16:33. For the women, Maeve Stiles, 20, of Norfolk won that division (of 1,058) in 17:48, followed Caroline Bauer, 18, of Williamsburg in 17:57 and Kirsten Long, 21, of Williamsburg in 18:34.

Other leading Jamestown grads in the top 20 were Luke Tompkins, 18, of Williamsburg [JHS class of 2022], fifth overall in 16:57, Paul Glass, 21, of Williamsburg, 15th overall in 18:01, and Paul Vogel (current student) 17th overall in 18:30. The top three overalll women all made the top 20 finishers. Besides those Eagles runners, Bruton High grad Jacob Lohr, 20, of Williamsburg was fourth overall in 16:48, and 2017 Warhill High grad Spencer Conti, 23, of Arlington was eighth overall in 17:06.


Of the older runners, Sean Bush, 32, of Williamsburg was the sixth runner below 17 minutes with his time of 16:57, and John Lomogda, 53, of Norfolk was seventh overall in 17:05, with probably the highest age grade of the day.

The official times by chip timing company EnMotiv appeared to be about 10 seconds or more off. Justin Long, father of Kirsten Long, who supplied the two photos accompanying this article (of the top three men and women accepting their race awards) sent a photo of Kapustka crossing the finish line with the digital clock reading 15:56, with this text message, “I think the times are a bit off. Pierce ran 15:55 (see photo). John Vogel ran about 15:58 and Kirsten ran 18:23).”

For Kirsten the time was a huge PR, so the difference between the official 18:34 and her actual 18:23 is significant. Bauer texted, “Yes I agree with times being a bit off. The clock said 17:37 or 17:38 when I finished as well.” Bauer was given an official time of 17:57, but texted, “but it’s all good! It was fun.” The leading runners’ Garmin watch times also confirmed that the official times were off.

Kapustka is a George Washington University junior and is dating Long, also a junior at GWU. Vogel is a JHS grad now attending Christopher Newport University (along with Tompkins) and Flint is a 2017 Jamestown grad, who graduated from the University of Maryland in 2021. For the women, Bauer, the fastest high school female distance runner ever on the Peninsula, graduated in 2022 and is now a freshman at the University of Florida. Long was a 2020 Jamestown grad.

The only runner of the six overall award winners not connected with JHS was Stiles, a 2020 Maury High grad and a Virginia state individual cross country champion, now a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She competed as an individual qualifier the previous Saturday in the NCAA national cross country championships at Oklahoma State. She has PRs of 4:48.37 for the mile, 9:34.78 for 3,000 meters and 17:51 for 5K cross country.

Kapustka graduated from Maria Carrillo High in Santa Rosa, Calif. in 2020, and was originally from Atlanta but moved to California when he was 12. He emailed, “While I liked California, I missed living in the big city so I looked at colleges in the larger cities.” COVID kept him from a senior year of high school track, but his high school best times were 2:00 (800 meters), 4:18 (1,600 meters), 9:27 (2 mile), and 15:47 (5K). ln college, he has improved those times to 1:55 (800), 3:52 (1500), 4:12 (mile), 15:25 (5K) and 25:20 (8K cross country).

About the race, Kapustka emailed, “The weather was honestly perfect for a 5K [still in the 40s at race start, but warming quickly to almost 60 for the post race awards party]. I just went out with the pack for the first mile, and at the mile mark John and I broke away from the pack. And the start of the last mile I surged and was able to break away from John.”

Flint emailed, “I’m all done with school now and living in Williamsburg [while working in Newport News].” While most college running grads move exclusively to the roads, Flint still enjoys cross country races, and competed against CNU’s Tompkins and Vogel at an invitational at CNU in September, and at the Paul Short Invitational in Lehigh, Pa. in October.


“I’ve been doing the Blue Talon Turkey Trot since 2018. I really like the atmosphere and think it’s a fun race to do. So this year it was great to run it again, but also have some friends and old teammates to race against. I think it was kind of spontaneous all the Jamestown athletes running it, but also it feels like everyone in town shows up to do the Turkey Trot.”

Tompkins, son of JHS head coach Mark Tompkins, had Jamestown bests of 16:28 (5K), 4:37 (mile) and 2:00 (800 meters). His freshman year at CNU had him run 26:47 for 8K cross country, where he was the top freshman on the team. He made the varsity top seven, and competed in the NCAA Division 3 South Regional hosted by CNU on the Lee Hall course in early November.

Long emailed, “Throughout high school I ran PR’s of 5:12 [mile] and 19:35 [5K]. While there was not an effort made to have a JHS alumni ‘reunion’ at the race, it is always great seeing many members of the team, and having the opportunity to run with them again. Yesterday was a beautiful day for a race. Throughout college so far, I have run 4:46 [1,500 meters] and 19:25 [5K] making this race a huge PR.”

The Blue Talon Bistro gave beautiful cutting board awards to the top three overall men and women, but also to the top three Masters (ages 40-and-over) men and women. The top three Masters men were John Lomogda of Norfolk (17:05), Marcus Holmes of Williamsburg (19:06) and Brian Szabos of South Riding (19:20).

The top three Masters women were Renee Merchant of Norfolk (20:44), Eda Kininger of Williamsburg (22:05) and Deelyn Robinson of Williamsburg (22:41).

Lomogda, the manager of the Running Etc. shoe store in Norfolk, emailed, “I came over because I wanted to break 17 and I’ve known this is a large, fast competitive race where I could have some people around me. I’m training for USATF Masters Indoor Championships in March and preferred a 5K over a 10K [the Tidewater Striders had a 10K race in Virginia Beach on Thanksgiving Day]. Overall I loved the race and the course. Really cool engraved cutting boards too. I would definitely do it again.”


Rick Platt is president of Colonial Road Runners.