Tuesday, May 24 , 2016, 8:31 pm | Mostly Cloudy 59º

Gabriel Hilbert, Marina Vorderbruegge Win 15th Platinum Performance State Street Mile

1,000 entrants help raise funds for the District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program’s Crime Victim Emergency Fund

By Megan Rheinschild for the State Street Mile |

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

At the 15th Platinum Performance State Street Mile on a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning in downtown Santa Barbara, Gabriel Hilbert of La Palma and Marina Vorderbruegge of Turlock won the HOKA ONE ONE Elite Miles in 3 minutes, 55 seconds and 4:36, respectively. Both race champions earned $750 in their road debuts for the classic distance.

In addition, the men’s Elite Mile produced an event record-tying six men under the coveted 4-minute mark (2013 also had six sub-4).

“What a great day to run a Mile!” said race director Megan Rheinschild. “Like past editions, we saw not only exciting competition and fast times, but also hundreds of families as well as dogs with their owners enjoying the event in beautiful Santa Barbara.

“In addition, we paid out a record $4,000 in guaranteed prize money thanks to HOKA ONE ONE.”

In the men’s race, over the point-to-point gradual downhill course, local favoriteTommy Schmitz led the field through the ¾-mile mark in 2:57, and in the final 440, Hilbert, 2013 UC Santa Barbara grad Juan Paredes and 2013 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grad Aric Champagne made their moves to the finish line with Hilbert, 22, holding off Paredes, 3:55 to 3:56.

“I didn’t do any research on the field beforehand, and I tried to stay smooth running downhill and started kicking hard with about 200 yards remaining,” recounted Hilbert, a recent Long Beach State graduate and 2013 Big West Conference 800-meter champion.

Marina Vorderbruegge finished first in the women’ division of the 15th Platinum Performance State Street Mile. (Fritz Olenberger photo / www.olenberger.com)
Marina Vorderbruegge finished first in the women’ division of the 15th Platinum Performance State Street Mile. (Fritz Olenberger photo / www.olenberger.com)

In the women’s race, Vorderbruegge, 22, who runs for California State University Stanislaus, was the class of the field as she beat runner-up Rosa Del Toro of Mission Hills by four seconds, 4:36 to 4:40. Defending champion Katja Goldring took third in 4:43.

“I love Santa Barbara; loved the course!” said a happy Vorderbruegge, whose husband, Dawson, finished fourth in the men’s Elite Mile (3:58). “At the halfway point there were three of us and later I began to pull away. This was my first road Mile and it is always great to win.”

In the Masters races (40 and older), former Santa Barbara resident Todd Straka, 47, from Boulder, Colo., and local Desa Mandarino, 43, won their respective races in 4:27 and 5:22. Straka was also second in the age-graded male Master, just edged by Goleta’s Mark Fennell, 53, who clocked a 4:39 or 93.82 percent age-graded, while Mandarino was the top female age-graded Master (85.89 percent); both took home $175.

For Straka, the Masters win was particularly sweet.

“It feels really good because my family and father were here to watch me and I also set a personal best in my hometown,” he said.

The event ended with the popular, tail-wagging Dog Mile, the unofficial world championship for man’s best friend. Geoffrey Gray and dog Hank Mardukes and Brian Duff and dog Kadym finished in a dead heat to share the win (4:32). Kasey Urman and her dog returned to claim another women’s title in 5:29; the pair holds the female runner and dog course record of 5:02 set in 2012.

The event, which had 13 heats, had approximately 1,000 entrants, with a large field in the YMCA Family Fun Mile. All proceeds from the event go directly to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program’s Crime Victim Emergency Fund.

The Platinum Performance State Street Mile is also a Bring Back the Mile Featured Event, showcasing the best Miles across the country and throughout the year.

Race Results


  1. Gabriel Hilbert (CA), 3:55, $750
  2. Aric Champagne (CA), 3:57, $250
  3. Dawson Vorderbruegge (CA), 3:58, $150
  4. David Cardona (CA), 3:58
  5. Cody Jordan (CA), 3:59

Masters Men Age-Graded (40 and older)

  1. Mark Fennell, 53, CA, 4:39, $175, (93.82 percent)
  2. Todd Straka, 47, CO, 4:27, $100 (93.60 percent)
  3. Brian Nelson, 56, CA, 4:52, $75 (91.80 percent)


  1. Marina Vorderbruegge (CA), 4:36, $750
  2. Rosa Del Toro (CA), 4:40, $500
  3. Katja Goldring (CA), 4:43, $250
  4. Valerie Sanchez (CA), 4:46, $150
  5. Erin Gillingham (CA), 4:53
  6. Erika Schaeffer (CA), 4:56

Masters Women Age-Graded (40 and older)

  1. Desa Mandarino, 43, CA, 5:22, $175 (85.89 percent)
  2. Liz Groom, 42, CA, 6:03, $100 (75.31 percent)
  3. Heather Reed, 44, CA, 6:17, $75 (74.08 percent)

Click here for complete results.

— Megan Rheinschild is race director of the State Street Mile and director of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program.

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