Start Strong, Finish Strong: Armstrong duo takes top honors at Savannah River Bridge Run

From our freshmen to our alumni, Armstrong has a strong tradition of success that goes beyond the classroom. On December 7, freshmen Pablo Salcedo Castro and alumnus Alisa Meier both took top honors at the Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run in downtown Savannah, competing against more than 5,000 runners.

Castro, a first year student of health and physical education, took first place in the men's 5K division with a time of 17:02.

“My only strategy was to run . . . Run fast,” said Castro.

No stranger to winning races, Castro was recruited from Malaga, Spain by Armstrong's cross-country team and helped the Pirates finish sixth at the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Championships in October, marking the best finish for the team since the reinstatement of the program in 2009. Castro placed 11th individually and earned second-team All-Peach Belt Conference honors.

Castro's victory in the Bridge Run kept the title in the Armstrong family as fellow Pirate Christian Davis won the men's 5K last year. Alex Martinez, Castro's teammate, secured a second place finish just 56 seconds shy of first place.

“We ran to keep Armstrong on top,” said Castro.

Meier, who graduated from Armstrong in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in fitness management, nabbed first place in the women's double pump with a time of 1:03:03, despite her fractured elbow.

“It's three times over the bridge,” said Meier.

Meier was recruited from the Ukraine by Armstrong's women's tennis team. She began running when she finished her fourth season of tennis, and after she took second place at her inaugural 5K, she was hooked.

“I never expected to like running, I use to hate running.” said Meier.

Meier's love for running followed her to graduate school at Boise State University in Idaho where she obtained her master's degree in kinesiology. While there, she was recruited to run for the Boise State Track Club and helped take her team to nationals where she ranked in the top 20 out of 500 runners. Meier now works at Memorial Health Fitness One as a fitness and wellness specialist, a job that she secured because of her internship there as an undergraduate at Armstrong.

From start to finish, Armstrong holds a strong tradition of achievement. No matter the venue, a Pirate never settles for anything but victory, and lucky for us, we have some very persistent Pirates.