Bevis bounces back, wins third Pancake title PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 13:39

 

Cheri Bevis jumps to ahead of MiKayla Knudsen and the rest of the field earlier today. Bevis won the race with a time of 63 seconds. Knudsen finished second and fainted on the stage after he race. Daily Leader photo/Earl Watt

 

By LARRY PHILLIPS

• Daily Leader

Under a cloudless, ice-blue sky, former two-time champion Cheri Bevis brought home the pancake and won her third Liberal leg of the 61st running of the International Pancake Day Race in a time of 63.0 seconds flat. That time ensured her   earning a third international title as well, beating the 67.0 seconds turned in earlier today by Olney, England’s, Jane Hughes.

Bevis, 32, won her previous races in 2003 and 2004. She was also this year’s oldest entry in a 13-woman field competing on the 415-yard S-shaped course.

Mikayla Knudsen, 20, finished second. Although 2010 Miss Liberal Sheniece Morton took third, she was only an honorary entrant in the event with Miss Kansas Becki Ronen, and third place officially went to Lindsey Moors, 26.

This win brings the running total of 35 wins for Liberal, with Olney taking the title 25 years. The race in 1980 wasn’t counted as a media truck blocked the finish line in Olney.

Olney has been running the Pancake Day race since 1445, according to legend, and Liberal first challenged the women of Olney on Feb. 21, 1950. The tradition between the two cities has continued since.

After this morning’s traditional false start to allow media to get photos and video, it was Bevis who took an immediate lead shortly after the starter’s gun fired for the real race. The temperature at the start was 32 degrees with a 10- to 12-mph breeze out of the north, and Bevis got out to at least a 10-yard lead halfway to the first turn.

Within a few strides heading for Turn No. 2, she had extended her lead to around 15 yards. Knudsen was in second by then but was unable to close any distance on Bevis.

As hundreds lining the final stretch cheered, Bevis increased her lead and crossed the finish line about 30 to 35 yards ahead of Knudsen.

Prior to the race, Bevis didn’t feel as though she was the favorite.

“I don’t think so,” she said. “I haven’t really been working out for this race like I did before.”

Bevis has given birth to two children since her last win in 2004, and she admitted after the race she was somewhat surprised.

“Yeah, I am,” Bevis said to the media hovering around her. “Because I really didn’t get in shape this year.”

She also told reporters she would not be running the Pancake Day Race again – since rules prevent anyone who has won three races another chance.

“That’s it,” she said,with a big smile. “I’ll have to retire now.”

 

 

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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