Palisades High School Runners Capture the First

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This trophy will be awarded annually during the 5/10K Will Rogers Run to the team of high school runners who have the fastest 5K time.

Lemen Trophy by Having the 3 Fastest Runners in the 5K

This year for the first time, high school runners could register for the 5K as a team in the Will Rogers Run on July 4.

Palisades High runners proceeded to win the inaugural Lemen High School Run trophy.

PaliHi edged out Loyola by 50.2 total seconds. In order to compete, a high school needed have at least three athletes running. The fastest three times were added to determine the winner.

Pali’s Brett Bailey went 17.35, Alec Schmitt ran 18:27 and David Tobin had a 18:54, giving the team a time of 54:54.65.

Loyola had Nathan Mars running a 18:28, and Tyler Ratkovich and Mark Valencuela had identical times of 18:39, giving the team a 55:44.85.

The high school competition and the winner’s trophy is dedicated in honor of Dick Lemen, a longtime Palisadian and a track coach at Palisades High for many years. He was also a member of the Ridge Runners, a band of about 20 local runners who originated the Fourth of July Will Rogers Run in 1978.

In a 1990s feature article by Matt Purdue (“They’re Running the Show”), Dick explained why the group organized the 5/10K races. “It’s a good opportunity for us to put something back into running. Also, it’s good for the community and we enjoy doing it.”

Lemen died in 2017 and is survived by his wife, Karen, and two adult children, Carly and Jeff (a member of the Palisades Rotary Club).

Next year, race organizers are hoping for even greater participation in the Lemen High School Run and are inviting students from Santa Monica, Brentwood, Crossroads, University, Venice, St. Monica and Wildwood to register as a team and run. Visit:


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