J.P. Donovan of Incline Village proved he’s still one of the area’s top mountain runners Saturday morning when he successfully defended his title at the 40th annual Ponderosa Ridge Run.
Donovan, who’s entering his second season as cross country coach at Incline High School, clocked a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 38 seconds over the 9.5-mile trail course from Spooner Summit to Kingsbury.
The race attracted a field of 26 runners, including six previous champions. Donovan, a two-time winner at the Squaw Valley Mountain Run, ran nearly a minute faster than his winning time in 2013.
Brett Long of Carson City, who logged back-to-back victories at the Ridge Run in 2011 and ’12, finished second in 1:15:53.
Kari Long of Carson City ran 1:42:54 to emerge as the first woman and ninth overall finisher.
Brothers Dylan and Ryan Alexander of Los Angeles, who previously won the Ridge Run in 2009, finished together tied for third-place. Dylan Alexander recently won the California state community college 5,000-meter title when he ran a school record time of 14:41.45.
Ryan Alexander is a recent graduate of Birmingham High School, where he qualified for the 3,200 meters at the L.A. City finals.
Evan Vomund, a four-time state cross country meet qualifier for Incline High, finished fifth overall in 1:26:43.
Robin DeSoto of South Lake Tahoe, the Ridge Run champion in 2005-06, finished sixth overall in 1:28:02.
The youngest finisher in the race was Carson City’s Parker Lehmann, 11, who finished 10th overall in 1:49:07, one step ahead of his father, Sean Lehmann.
The race course features a climb of nearly 2,000 feet from the start at Spooner Summit to a point near Genoa Peak.
“I mean, a few shots was really incredible, and I really couldn’t believe that I made it, actually.”