JACKSON – Under sunny skies and cool temperatures, the 24th Annual Freedom Fest 5K Run/Walk kicked off the July 4th celebration in the City of Jackson on Saturday morning.

The event was canceled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The race, however, returned with a smaller-than-normal field of runners with 54 entries registered for the event.

Jonah Phillips, a 21-year-old from Chillicothe, Ohio native, who led from start to finish, was the first to cross the finish line in a time of 17:04.04.

Corey Culbertson, a Waverly, Ohio native, won the race in 2019 in 15:54.6.

Jackson, Ohio resident Dutch Byrd was the second-place finisher in a time of 17:50.2, and coming in 46 seconds behind Byrd in 16:34.8 was Michael Sawicki of Westerville, Ohio.

Also placing among the leaders were Chris Hughes of Jackson and A.J. Sibole of Waverly, Ohio. Hughes finished fourth in a time of 18:51.9, while Sibole was fifth in 19:26.1.

At 64-years young, Jackson’s own George Sellers, along with Baron Griffith at 21-years old and 52-year-old Rob Ervin of Wellston, finished in the top 10 of the race. Sellers placed seventh in 19:38.4, while Griffith came in eighth in 20:19.3, and Ervin was 10th in 20:26.

The oldest competitor in the race was Greg Ervin. The 73-year-old Jackson, Ohio native placed 39th overall in a time of 34:49.1.

The top female finisher was Abbey Mohan of Chillicothe. The 19-year-old crossed the finish line in a time of 19-minutes, 33.5-seconds.

Mohan finished in sixth overall in the field of 53 runners.

The next female finishers were Waverly Ohio’s Sydney Reed and Samantha Reed. Sydney placed 15th overall in a time of 20:21.6, while Samantha was 23rd in 24:18.8.

Jackson’s own Parker Davis crossed the finish line in 24:24.5 and finished 25th overall, while Adriana Navarro, also of Jackson, was 27th overall in 25:58.2.

Plaques were awarded to the top three male and female finishers, with medals awarded to the top three finishers in all age divisions, outside of those winning plaques, in both the male and female categories.

The sponsors of the events coordinated by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce include Four Winds Community, Iron City Pipe & Supply Company, Southern Ohio Monument Company, Adena Health System, Ruoff Mortgage, The Telegram, KW Kelly Wiley Group, The Filling Station, Virgil Hamilton Insurance, Cole | Kirby & Associates, LLC, Mayhew-Brown Funeral Home, Ohio Valley Bank, Mark Porter, Sheward-Fulks Insurance Agency, Inc., Local Gallery Solon & Spa, Holzer, Appalachia Realty, and Sport-About.

The proceeds earned for this year’s race will go toward the sponsoring of community events by the Jackson Area Chamber Of Commerce.

*- See complete results of the race at tristateracer.com



Top-Five Male Division

1. Jonah Phillips, 17:04.4

2. Dutch Byrd, 17:50.2

3. Michael Sawicki, 18:36.1

4. Chris Hughes, 18:51.9

5. A.J. Sibole, 19:26.1

Top-Five Female Division

1. Abbey Mohan, 19:33.5

2. Sydney Reed, 21:50.4

3. Samantha Reed, 24:18.8

4. Parker Davis, 24:24.5

5. Adriana Navarro, 25:58.2