Presented once again by Radford University Athletics and E.C. Pace Company, the third annual Highlander Pride Weekend went off without a hitch April 25-27. The weekend, which featured a series of special events supporting the student-athlete scholarship fund, raised a record net of over $95,000 to benefit Radford student-athletes and brought together the Radford athletic department with university faculty and staff, alumni and the New River Valley community.
“Highlander Pride Weekend has become a signature event for Radford Athletics,” said Scott Davis, Radford’s Associate Athletic Director for Advancement. “It’s an opportunity for our alumni and friends to be back on campus, with the sole purpose of raising scholarship funds in support of our outstanding student-athletes. In three years we have now raised over $250,000! To everyone who participates in the Red & White Gala, Highlander Open and Highlander Half & 5K races we say ‘thank you.’ Your contributions are directly impacting the lives of our student-athletes and providing them with the best collegiate experience possible in the classroom and in competition.”
The weekend kicked off on Thursday, April 25 with the Red & White Gala presented by English Meadows Senior Living Community. The jam-packed event was held at The Dedmon Center and was comprised of a silent auction, dinner program and live auction. The dinner program included words from Highlanders’ Athletic Director Robert Lineburg, Scott Davis and Jessica Wollmann, one of Radford’s decorated student-athletes (women’s soccer).
Festivities continued on Friday, April 26 with The Highlander Open presented by Atlantic Bay Mortgage. Twenty-four teams comprised of sponsors, former student-athletes, donors, athletics staff and coaches met at the Pete Dye River Course in Radford, Virginia for a spirited round of 18 holes. Once play concluded, a post-event reception sponsored by the Fraim Family Foundation was held with awards and raffle prizes.
Everything culminated on Saturday, April 27 with the Highlander Half Marathon and 5K races presented by Carilion Clinic. A record 320 runners participated in the races and support was provided by student-athletes, as well as campus and community volunteers. It was the second year for the Highlander Half Marathon and the new course began at the Dedmon Center, weaving runners through downtown Radford into the surrounding neighborhoods and parks.
The 5K race also began with a tour around the Athletic Complex where runners, strollers and dogs ventured on the path along the New River passing Veterans Field, the Radford Community Garden and Dudley’s Landing. The two races met in Bisset Park where they crossed the finish line to immediately enter the Rollin’ on the River Food Truck Rodeo. The Food Truck Rodeo, a joint effort launched by the Radford Visitor’s Center, Thai This, New River Adventure and Radford Athletics boasted over 25 food trucks, vendors, community organizations and family-friendly activities.
Brandon Bishop (Pembroke) won the men’s half marathon with a time of 1:23:31.1 and current Radford student Allison Brennan captured the women’s race in 1:42:49.0. Collin Munsey (Pearisburg) crossed the 5K race first in 18:06.4 and Hannah Altizer (Riner) took the women’s 5K in 20:35.6.