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Jackson Heights’ Perez wins Quantum Feet 5K race

A member of the Los Compadres running team, Perez took the lead from Guillermo Fuentes, who finished third with a time of 16:54.06, after the one-mile mark.

“Once I passed the leader I felt confident I’d win,” Perez said.

The 3.1-mile race started on 189th Street and 75th Avenue. The runners ran through tree-lined residential streets as well as the new Cunningham Park Green Belt Trail before finishing on 189th Street near Union Turnpike.

Quantum Feet is the fourth of five races in the Queens Grand Prix Series. The Hellgate 5K in Astoria closes out the series on Saturday, June 14.

“The series has been successful in its first year in existence,” Quantum Feet race director Dominic Ortiz said. “The runners and race directors will look forward to it again in 2004.”

Perez finished third last year at the Hellgate race with a time of 16:00.

“My strategy will be to stay back and take the lead midway through, just like I did at the Quantum race,” Perez said.

The quarter-of-a-mile race begins at 9:30 a.m. just west of Astoria Park by the East River on Shore Boulevard.

Anthony Meo and Jim Mulligan placed fourth and fifth in the Quantum race with times of 17:15.11 and 17:23.03, respectively.

“I found the course to be a little hilly, but it was a nice day for running,” Meo said.

Astoria’s Mary Bogle finished first among all women racing, with a time of 20:47. She finished 38th overall out of 210 runners.

The race raised money for the Steppingstone Day School. The non-profit organization provides collaborative evaluation, education, therapy and family support services to young children with disabilities and their families.

The local track scene now shifts to Astoria Park, where Jared and Luann Mestre, the directors of the Hellgate race, expect some 200 runners. For Perez and others seeking to take first, it won’t be just another Saturday stroll through the park.

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