Throwback Thursday: The first St. Joe 5K

This week's Throwback Thursday features photos and memorable faces from the inaugural SJO 5K, then known as the St. Joseph Community Festival 5K. In the months ahead, visit the race's official website here for information concerning this year's upcoming race.

The Sentinel, courtesy of PhotoNews Media, has more than 250,000 images from more than a decade and half of sport coverage and athletic events in St. Joseph. As space and time allows, we will share photos, memorable moments and treasured images from the massive collection of images of sporting events in our files for your weekly paper.

Brothers, Aaron, left, and Caleb Ball sprint out of the gate
With a turnout that exceeded organizers' expectations, 194 finishers ran in the first St. Joseph Community Festival 5K Saturday, August 9, 2008. Brothers, Aaron, left, and Caleb Ball sprint out of the gate ahead of the pack at the start of the run. The race featured a great course under perfect running conditions and over 40 door prizes for participants from area merchants. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Jim Acklin runs inaugural SJO 5K
Jim Acklin, superintendent and former SJO cross-country coach, heads to the finish line. Acklin won the men's 45-54 age group with a time of 17:29.00. Today, Acklin coaches college running as the head cross country coach at Danville Area Community College and serves as a trustee for Ogden. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Ryan Thompsen runs to a 5th place finish
Ryan Thompsen runs to a fifth place finish in the Male 15-19 division at the St. Joseph 5K Run and Fun Walk. Thompsen finished the course at 17 minutes and 55.72 seconds. Thompsen running career did not end after high school or his stint at North Central College in Naperville. He went on to win the 2016 5K title at Illinois Marathon and finished the marathon event in fourth place in 2017. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Finishing together
Jennifer Ball, Sherry Nagy, Kate Morgan, and Sandy Bayles raise their arms as they head for the finish line. Over 190 runners and walkers participated in what would be come the first of an annual community event in St. Joseph. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Jolee Paden runs SJO5K
Jolee Paden, left, holds off Sidney Megeff, who runs to a third place finish in the Female 14 & Under division. Proceeds from the race/walk were donated to the St. Joseph-Ogden High School and St. Joseph Junior High cross-country programs. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Nicole Mannen runs to a seventh place finish
Nicole Mannen runs to a seventh place finish in the Female 14 & Under division. Mannen finished the course at 26:30.03. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Runner Landon Vowels eats a post-race snack
Landon Vowels devours a banana after finishing his race. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

*** Editor's Note: This following paragraph was removed from the story due to the PhotoNews archive shuttered by Covid-19 pandemic. "The PhotoNews online archives are searchable by name, date and event. Use the search tool on this page to find current and nostalgic file photographs."

Transitions: Bobby Divan of St. Joseph

Robert “Bobby” E. Divan, 50, who worked at AJ’s Station as the head mechanic, passed away in his home on Sunday, April 14, 2019, in St. Joseph.

Bobby was born August 20, 1968, the son of Robert S. Divan and Gail L. Martin-Divan. He attended Flatville Grade School and South Vigo High School in Terre Haute, IN.

Bobby enjoyed being with family and friends, walking his dog and listening to music. He also enjoyed going to the demos and camping, fishing, and riding motorcycles and three- or four-wheelers as well as collecting various furnishings for his home.

He formerly worked for Mike’s Garage and Towing on North Fourth Street for 20 years.

Visitation will be held tomorrow, April 19, at Freese Funeral Home in St. Joseph from 4 to 7 pm. Funeral services will be Saturday, April 20, 2019, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Stearns-Fithian Cemetery. Memorials may be made out to the family to help with funeral expenses.

Bobby is survived by his mother and stepfather, Gail and Kem Curits of LaGrange, Indiana; stepmother, Robin Divan of Urbana; girlfriend, Laurie Ferguson of Farmer City; sisters, Kimberly Divan-Abel of New Braunfels, Texas, Tera and Chris Swisher of Sidney and Samantha Oesch of Fort Wayne, Indiana; brothers, Jesse and Sheila Divan of Urbana and Joshua Divan of Urbana; children, Karen and Freddy Davis of Griffin, Georgia, Jamie and Joey Moore of Barnesville, Georgia, Alexandra Divan and Joseph Ragle Jr. of St. Joseph, Robert Divan and Amy Gibbons of Champaign, Hailey Huskey of Waggnor and Denver Huskey of Sidney; grandchildren, Michael, Herman, Brayln, Dillon, Lucas, Calvin, Aubree, Zaiden and Lylah; and nieces and nephews, Amber and Tommie Gonzales, Leslie Shaffer, Jesse Divan, Shawnna Utley, Nicole Divan, Dagen Gonzales, Joshua Swisher, Tommie Gonzales, Taniya Colon, Rayden Vasquze, Jayden Divan, Zayliehn Mancias, Kysleigh Cavos, David Leiding, Brayden Swisher, Koby Divan, Kayla Divan and Kallie Mae Divan.

He was proceeded in death by his paternal grandparents, Clarence and Callie Mae Divan of Danville; maternal grandparents, Chuck and Pat Martin of Chino Valley, Arizona.; father, Robert S. Divan of Flatville; and brother-in-law, William P. Abel, husband of Kimberly Divan Abel of New Braunfels, Texas.

Transitions: Ruth Williams, 96

Ruth L. Williams, a former employee at St. Joseph High School, once sang with the Sweet Adelines. Williams passed away on April 10 at the age of 96.

The daughter of William “Bill” Hartman and Ollie Denhart Hartman, Ruth was born west of St. Joseph on Aug. 11, 1922.

She attended Illinois Commercial College and later landed her first job at Sullivan Chevrolet automotive dealership in Champaign. From there, she moved on to Collegiate Cap and Gown. She then went to work at a restaurant in St. Joseph before becoming a dedicated employee at the high school, where she worked for 32 years.

At the age of 20 she married Murray Williams who preceded her death on June 30, 1980.

Ruth loved country music and dancing. She enjoyed her family and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by a daughter, Margaret “Kay” Charles (Ron) of St. Joseph; five grandchildren, Angela Mumm of Cape Coral, Florida, Vicki Sparks (Larry) of St. Joseph, Bob Mumm of Cape Coral, Florida, Jodi Williams of Nashville, Tennessee, and Melissa Williams, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and four great-grandchildren, Kayla Sparks and Brandon Sparks of St. Joseph and Grace Vilar and Michael Vilar of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Ruth was preceded in death by her son, Bill Williams; two brothers, Ernie Hartman and Bill Hartman; and a sister, Helen Lowe.

She was laid to rest on Monday, April 15, 2019, at Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview, with David Barcus officiating.

Memorials can still be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Three home games to test SJO softball this week

If you haven't been to a St. Joseph-Ogden softball game yet this season, you really need to get over to Randy Wolken Field this week. The Spartans, now 13-1 after defeating Sacred Heart Griffin 19-8 and Mattoon at their invitational last Friday, play three back-to-back home games starting today at 4:30p, at 5p tomorrow and again Wednesday at 4:30p.

The top-ranked Spartans start their three-day home stand today against Unity, who will enter the contest with 15-3 record. Ranked at #10 in the April 8 Class 2A Illinois Coaches Association poll, the Rockets have a lot to prove against the #4 ranked Spartans.

Both teams have defeated four common opponents so far this season. Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin, Villa Grove, Mattoon and Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley have all fallen prey to the two members of Illini Prairie Conference.

The Rockets shut out two of the four, Mattoon and BHRA, and allowed 13 runs against the other two teams. While SJO has allowed 17 runs against those teams, they put a combined 44 runs, five more than Unity, on the scoreboard against the same four teams.

With less than 24 hours of rest, SJO will be back on the field for a rematch against Mattoon on Tuesday. The Spartans, led by junior Hannah Dukeman defeated the Green Wave 15-5 to win this year's Mattoon Invitational title.

SJO tallied more the 17 hits during the game and freshman Kennedy Hudson pounded her first home run of the 2019 season.

In what could be the most challenging of the three games this week, the ladies will close out the homestand against Mt. Zion. The one-loss Braves have nine wins and a tie as of last Friday, and are ranked 20th in the ICA Class 3A poll. In addition to putting SJO's batting and fielding skills to the test, the game will surely probe the softball team's mental toughness and competitive spirit.

Here are five really good reasons to come out and cheer on the Lady Spartans this week:

The number of home runs hit in the 14 games by the Spartans so far this season. Hannah Dukeman leads the team with 10, Bailey Dowling has pummeled nine and Kaylee Ward has four so far. You don't want to miss one of these ladies clearing the bases with a game-winning grand slam sailing over Grand Ave this week.

With an ERA 1.288, number one pitcher Zoey Witruk (6 wins-1 loss) has collected this many strikeouts so far this season. It will be a treat to watch her frustrate batters as the junior pads her stats with more Ks to her already impressive record.

Estimated average attendance of the last three home games by fans. First year head coach Larry Sparks has the program playing an exciting brand of softball. Admission is free and cheering is always appreciated by the players. As always, SJO softball is worth watching.

The number of seniors on this season's roster. Hannah Lewis, Katy Poulter, Savannah Smith and Ashytn Cromwell together give the team the depth needed to make a deep post season run.

The number of losses The Sentinel expects the Spartans to have after this week of action at The Joe. You won't want to miss one or all three games starting today with friends and neighbors.

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