Villager and high school student share top honors at Running of the Squares 5K

The top male and female finishers in Saturday’s Running of the Squares 5K were separated by nearly four decades and a foot in height.

But they had two things in common – strength and speed.

Eighteen-year-old Leesburg High School student William Troupe Jr. blazed through the 3.1 mile course at Lake Sumter Landing in 17 minutes and 36 seconds. His pace was an amazing 5 minutes and 40 seconds per mile.

Runners take off Saturday morning at Lake Sumter Landing

Troupe bested fellow Yellow Jacket student, 17-year-old Tylan Christopher of Fruitland Park, by nearly a minute. Christopher finished in 18 minutes and 25 seconds.

Debbie Settani, 57, of the Village of Country Club Hills, finished ninth overall and was the first woman across the finish line. She clicked off a pace that was only seconds over seven minutes per mile, finishing in 21 minutes and 53 seconds. Settani moved here from Connecticut.

Debbie Settani and William Troupe Jr. were the top finishers Saturday morning.

Harry Hughes of Ocala, at age 89, had the distinction of being the oldest runner to participate in the race.  He finished in 54 minutes and 52 seconds.

This year’s Running of the Squares 5K featured a new course at Lake Sumter Landing. The start and finish was moved from the square to the intersection where TooJay’s and Sonny’s restaurants are located.

The horn sounded at 8 a.m. sharp, with the Villages Cheerleaders on hand to give the runners a rousing sendoff.