A little cold couldn’t stop supporters of the Vineyard cross country team Saturday, as dozens braved a windy 5K at the high school course for the 16th annual 5K for KJ.

The race to support the Kevin H. Johnson Cross Country Scholarship Fund is held in honor of cross country runner Kevin H. Johnson, who lost his life at the age of 16 in a car accident.

As runners lined up for the start of the race, regional high school cross country coach Joe Schroeder said it was one of the coldest 5K for KJ races has been a part of. He encouraged runners to remember Mr. Johnson and all other Vineyarder cross country runners as they made their way through the course.

At the starting line. — Ray Ewing

First across the line with a time of 18:34 was regional high school senior cross country runner Sam Fetters. But it wouldn’t be his only time crossing the finish line. After winning, he ran back into the woods to run alongside his brother John, cheering him along as the pair crossed the line.

“The trails were the nicest they have been in days,” Fetters said. “They’re better than they were during the cross country season. Everyone ran super well. It was amazing.”

Even through the cold and wind, Fetters had a positive outlook on the race.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “It was a nice day, very sunny.”

Sam Fetters crosses the finish line to take first place. — Ray Ewing

Not far behind Fetters was the first overall women’s finisher, Caroline Schroeder, with a time of 21:29, paced by her husband Michael Schroeder (Coach Schroeder’s son).

“It was fun to be paced by my husband, especially,” she said. “Usually, he’s ahead of me and I’m doing it solo, so it was really fun to run together.”

For runners who didn’t make a podium finish, the race was an opportunity to support the team and remember Kevin Johnson. Runner Donna Creighton warmed up for the race with a five mile run, and continued through the trails for the extra 5K to support the team.

“It’s a great cause,” she said.

More pictures.