Hilbert, Vorderbruegge triumph at State Street Mile

Gabriel leads the Elite Men's Division at the end of Sunday's State Street Mile. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Gabriel Hilbert leads the Elite Men’s Division at the end of Sunday’s State Street Mile. (Presidio Sports Photos)

 

Former Long Beach State 800-meter runner Gabriel Hilbert appreciated the down-hill nature of the Platinum Performance State Street Mile on Sunday, leading a competitive Elite Division to win with a sub four-minute time of 3:55. Hilbert, a former Big West Conference champion on the track, felt that the race’s downhill course was beneficial to his time.

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“It’s easy,” Hilbert said with a smile. “The downhill felt so smooth.”

Dawson Vorderbruegge and Marina Vorderbruegge were 4th and 1st in the men's and women's elite race, respectively.

Dawson Vorderbruegge and Marina Vorderbruegge were 4th and 1st in the men’s and women’s elite races, respectively.

Hilbert was also not intimidated by the fact that this was his first-ever road mile race. He took the lead with 300 meters left in the course, and used his 800-meter strength to maintain his position.

“I felt in control the whole time,” Hilbert added.

Hilbert’s personal record in the 800 is a blistering 1:47.

Finishing in second-place was 2013 UCSB grad Juan Paredes. Running for So-Cal Elite track club, Paredes clocked in at 3:56 and decided to make his move during the race’s halfway mark.

“There was still a big group with us, and I knew I needed to go,” Paredes said.

The effort wasn’t enough to catch Hilbert, but was still an improvement over his 4th place finish in last year’s race.

Cruising to a 1st-place finish in the Women’s Elite Division was current CSU Stanislaus runner Marina Vorderbruegge. The San Diego native reported being nervous before the beginning of the race.

“I was a little intimidated, to be honest,” said Vorderbruegge. “A lot of Southern California girls are so fast.”

About halfway through the race, Vorderbruegge made a mental adjustment that helped propel her to victory. “I was feeling a little bit tired, and I was kind of doubting myself,” Vorderbruegge said. “But I just told myself to suck it up.”

With about 500 meters to go, Vorderbruegge realized that she had a shot at winning. “I told myself ‘just kick as hard as you can’,” she added.

Rosa Deltoro finished second while last year’s champion, Katja Goldring, came in third.

Vorderbruegge still has one meet left to run in her CSU Stanislaus uniform, so she is planning on donating her prize money to Turlock’s Chirho Track Club in order to avoid an NCAA violation.

Vorderbruegge’s husband Dawson also participated, finishing fourth in the Men’s Elite Division. The two were celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary.

The top three Masters Elite Women, led by winner Desa Mandarino, middle.

The top three Masters Elite Women, led by winner Desa Mandarino, middle.

Crossing the finish line first in the day’s Masters Divisions were local San Marcos teacher Desa Mandarino with a time of 5:22, and 47-year-old Todd Straka with an impressive time of 4:27.

It was Mandarino’s second time running the course of the morning. She first recorded a time of 5:18 while running in the 40-to-49 age group.

While Straka crossed first, Goleta’s Mark Fennell is considered the Elite Masters winner with an age-adjusted time of 4:39.

The event’s family mile race featured nearly 500 participants. Among the tidal wave of runners were Pete and Laurie Maxwell, who ran the race with their three daughters. Today was the family’s seventh consecutive time participating in the State Street Mile.

“The girls have been running this since they could walk,” said Laurie Maxwell.

Maxwell also spoke of the diverse age groups that participated. “It’s so inspiring to see the 60-plus runners, because you hope to someday be one of them.”

The fan favorite dog mile came down to the wire, ending in a tie between owners Geoff Gray and Brian Duff, who ran with their dogs Hank and Kaydom, respectively.

The Dog Mile, the unofficial world championship in the event, finished off the day's racing on State Street.

The Dog Mile, the unofficial world championship in the event, finished off the day’s racing on State Street.

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