Sentinel Staff Report
Article Launched: 03/06/2008 3:00:00 AM PST

Christopher Ratliff of Santa Cruz ran a pace of just over six minutes per mile for 26.2 miles to take fifth overall in the 30th Napa Valley Marathon on Sunday.

Ratliff finished in 2 hours, 39 minutes, 46 seconds, but even that wasn't good enough to win his age group. He had to settle for second in the men's 35-39 group behind overall winner Juan Ramirez of Santa Ana [2:32:12].

Andrew Creely of Santa Cruz also finished second in his age group, men 50-54, and was 62nd overall [3:04:29] in the race of 1,759; and Peter Stanger of La Selva Beach was second in the men's 55-59 group and 124 overall [3:17:22]. Julian Sunn of Santa Cruz finished fifth among men 20-24 [3:22:00, 161st overall].

In a race that served as a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in women's marathon, Erin Murphy of Santa Cruz managed to take second in the women's 45-49 age group and 27th woman overall with a time of 3:28:51. Patricia Evans of Aptos finished in 3:54:07 for third among women 55 to 59 and 577th overall.


The Harbor High club team opened the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League season with a strong push led by Lainey Aldridge's second-place finish among varsity girls Sunday. Teammate Jaima Jolin took eighth on the Fort Ord course under mostly sunny skies.

Among the varsity boys, junior Jesse Nickell took 21st and Erik Young took 29th.

The Pirates finished fifth of 10 teams in the Division I standings. Kirby finished 12th of 25 in D-II.

Mark Howland of Santa Cruz won the Pro single speed division at the third race in the CCCX cross country series Saturday at Fort Ord. He completed five laps in 1:53:14.

Howland was one of just three Santa Cruz County riders to win a division in the increasingly popular races. Richard Latorraca of Capitola won the Expert 55+ race, finishing five laps in 2:11:27, and Geoff Drake of Aptos won the 45-54 division in 1:57:33.