CANTON, August 27, 2023 – Simsbury High senior Luke Davis was the defending race champion at Sunday’s 31st annual Lobster Loop road race in Canton.
But he wasn’t particularly concerned with the other runners in the 3.1 mile race. He had his eyes on his two brothers, Solomon and Caleb.
The three boys train together and were set for a battle for bragging rights in the Davis household. And the Davis brothers dominated the race, sweeping the top three spots.
Luke Davis became the first runner in 11 years to win the race in consecutive years with an 18-second win over Solomon, 23, a recent graduate from Liberty University. Luke won the race with a time of 16:24 with Solomon finishing in 16:42. Caleb, 15, finished third with a time of 17:58, which was nearly a minute better than Canton’s Trevor Krzyzek in fourth place.
In the women’s race, Unionville’s Rebecca Stephenson, 51, became the oldest woman to win the event with her 20-second win over Avon’s Sarah Saindon. Stephenson finished ninth overall in the field of 456 runners and won the race for the first time with a time of 19:33.
Luke Davis, 18, became the first runner to win consecutive races since Canton’s Mike LeDuc won in 2011 and 2012. “My goal was to just beat my brothers,” Luke said. “I Just wanted to be the top brother.”
Solomon had the early lead but Luke stayed close throughout the race. Luke broke away in the final 400 meters of the race. Caleb dropped off the pace a bit but all three stayed well ahead of the rest of the field.
“I am working out with these two.” Luke said. “It’s brutal. It’s painful but I am surviving.”
Luke is coming off a junior season when he won the Class L championship in the 3,200 meters in outdoor track during the spring and finished second in the 1,600 meters. He took third in the 3,200 at the State Open and was sixth in New England.
“We push each other every day,” Solomon said. “I got back in shape to help these two get better. It’s nice to have people to run with.”
The Davis brothers now own three victories in the race. Solomon won the race as a 16-year-old in 20:16 with a time of 16:35. Solomon is the youngest winner in the race’s history. Luke was the third 17-year-old to win the race a year ago.
Stephenson, who is training for the Chicago marathon in October, had hoped to run with her daughter, Hannah, who will be a freshman this fall at Amherst College. But Hannah has been ill and wasn’t able to compete.
“I put in the strength she would have,” Rebecca Stephenson said. Rebecca was fourth at one point in the race but caught two runners to move into second place. And she noticed that the gap between her and Saindon was closing.
Rebecca caught Saindon at the top of Hill Street – appropriately named – and with about a mile to go, she took off. “I gave it all I had because I thought she would be here (pointing to her shoulder) running hard,” Rebecca said.
“I was so thrilled to win because I feel my days of winning (races) are numbered because I am 51 now,” Rebecca said.
In 2018, she won the Burlington to Collinsville 10K Race (6.2 miles) and is the first runner to have won that race and the Lobster Loop. Mary-Lynn Currier was 47 when she won the Lobster Loop in 2011.
The oldest man to win the Lobster Loop was Farmington’s Chris Chisholm, who was 51, when he won the race in 2013.
NOTES – The first Canton runner was Trevor Krzyzek, who was fourth with a time of 18:57. The first Canton woman across the line was Lauren Longley, who was third in the women’s race and 18th overall with a time of 20:14.
Members of the Canton boys soccer team ran the race with shirts remembering teammate Raheim Dante Barry Nelson, who died last Christmas with his mother in an two-car accident in West Hartford. On the back of each shirt was the number 14 and the words Forever.
2023 Lobster Loop Road Race
Overall – Luke Davis, Simsbury, 16:24 for 3.1 miles, 2. Solomon Davis, Simsbury, 16:42, 3. Caleb Davis, Simsbury, 17:58, 4. Trevor Krzyzek, Canton, 18:57, 5. Jeffrey McDermott, Farmington, 19:13, 6. Greg Vincent, Canton, 19:21, 7. Samuel Herman, Granby, 19:24, 8, Aidan O’Donnell, Somerville, Mass., 19:28, 9. Rebecca Stephenson, Unionville, 19:33, 10. Geoff Nooney, Southwick, Mass., 19:38
Top 10 women – Rebecca Stephenson, Unionville (9th overall), 19:33 for 3.1 miles, 2. Sarah Saindon, Avon (13), 19:53, 3. Lauren Longley, Canton (18), 20:14; 4. Maria Varela, West Hartford (23), 20:57, 5. Michelle Kulak, Collinsville (26), 21:15, 6. Danielle King-Watkins, Colchester (30) 21:40, 7. Lindsay Willig, Canton (31), 21:41, 8. Amber Zaharchuk, Burlington (41), 22:10, 9. Alexander Salinsky, Coventry (45), 22:21, 10. Juliana Cavanaugh, Canton (47), 22:29
There were 456 finishers.