After running to runner-up finishes three straight years, Rising Sun's Caitlin Sauerhage finally broke through as the top female runner at the 30th annual Madison Courier Firecracker 10K this morning.

Sauerhage, who ran for the Shiners in High School and now runs for Valparaiso University, toured the 6.2-mile road course in 40:08.10 to finish 24th overall - just under six minutes behind the top overall male, Jeffery Johnson of Austin, Ind.

Johnson, 18, who will be a senior at Austin High School next year, clocked in at 34:17.10 in his first-ever 10K event.

The young Eagle ran stride-for-stride with runner-up Tom Webster, 30, of Columbus, Ind., over the first 5 miles of the event before pulling away in the final mile for the win.

Webster, a veteran of seven Madison Courier 10Ks, ran a 34:34.70 - his best time and best finish ever in the event.

Hanover's Justin Druba, 21, who runs cross country for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, was third overall with a time of 35:02.80.

Sauerhage was followed across the line in the women's division by Jiliane Lakin, 17, of Columbus, Ind., with a time of 40:35.50 for 25th place overall. Madison's Chelsea Stephan, 15, was third (31st overall) in 41:38.80.

The Madison Courier 10K, an official Madison Regatta event, was contested by a record field in its 30th annual running. A total of 521 entries were received with 315 runners finishing the course and 206 walkers.

Although the walk is not scored as a competitive event, the first walker to cross the finish line was Madisonian Stacy Crawley.