Tony Simmons

Maggie Bartlow, 17, was the fastest runner at FSU Panama City’s 2024 Torch Run, finishing first place overall with a time of 18 minutes and 8 seconds. A junior at North Bay Haven Charter Academy in Panama City, Bartlow said she really enjoyed the relaxed approach to the Torch Run because everyone was there just to have fun. 

“I’m a competitive cross-country and track runner, so I really don’t feel like I’m having fun unless I’m pushing myself,” she added. “If I took it easy and relaxed, at the end I’d be like, ‘I could’ve gone faster! Why didn’t I go faster?’ So, I decided I’d leave it all out on the course and that way I’d know I would be satisfied with myself.” 

The Torch Run, an FSU Panama City tradition since 1989, was for the third year a timed 5K run spearheaded by business administration student Zach Murzyn and the new Intramural Sports Coordinator Antonne Williams. The race wound through Carl Gray Park and the campuses of FSU PC and Gulf Coast State College on Jan. 20. 

The first male finisher, Caden Vandermeulen, 20, came in with a time of 19 minutes and 41 seconds, making for his second year coming in as the Torch Run’s second-place runner. A Marketing major in his second year, he said he was very excited to race here again. 

“I just love running in general and I really like getting into 5Ks and marathons,” he said, adding that he drove in from Tallahassee the night before the race.  

All proceeds from registration fees will benefit the FSU PC Promise Scholarship Fund, which was established as part of the FSU PC Promise, a commitment to accessibility and student success by making the cost of achieving a four-year degree possible. The FSU PC Promise Scholarship provides free tuition and fees to students who are residents of NW Florida and whose combined family and student income is less than $60,000 or are Pell eligible. 


5K Overall: Female - first place Margaret (Maggie) Bartlow, 17, with a time of 18:08 (5:49/mile). Males - first place Caden Vandermeulen, 20, with a time of 19:41 (6:20/mile). 


14 & Younger: Female - 1st Layla Mills, 14, 29:24; 2nd Valerie Downing, 14, 33:30. Male - 1st Michael Koch, 14, 20:09; 2nd Growen Patrick Koch, 11, 26:25.          

15-19: Female - None registered. Male - 1st Casson Ballard, 16, 25:26; 2nd Finnegan Schmitz, 15, 26:12.                 

20-29: Female - 1st Ashley James, 24, 27:31; 2nd Hannah Pimentel, 27, 27:38. Male - 1st Alex Cole, 22, 20:01; 2nd Garrett Verkaik, 23, 22:02. 

30-39: Female - 1st Rebecca Meehan, 32, 22:59; 2nd Anna Gann, 32, 23:10. Male - 1st Lexus Roulhac, 31, 21:57; 2nd Michael Reeks, 32, 21:58. 

40-49: Female - 1st Amy Helms, 46, 22:38; 2nd Colleen Koch, 45, 26:29. Male - 1st Zachary Messer, 42, 22:29; 2nd Damon Parrish, 47, 23:50. 

50-59: Female - 1st Kelli Mills, 52, 25:07; 2nd Kerrianne Edwards, 53, 36:57. Male - 1st Marek Bakun, 51, 22:32; 2nd Ken Thrasher, 58, 23:57. 

60-69: Female - 1st Elizabeth Arnold, 60, 36:50; 2nd Ana Thrasher, 60, 43:35. Male - 1st Barry Mines, 61, 25:49; 2nd Terry Morris, 66, 26:29. 

70-79: Female - 1st Diana Woods, 73, 32:10; 2nd Lois Oswald, 70, 43:11. Male – None registered. 

80 and Older+: Female - None registered. Male - 1st Charlie Hooper, 80, 57:03.


Photos by Andrew Wardlow