Braden goes to battle in Fourth of July 15k

Goleta’s Chris Braden edged Shaun Haley of Tucson, Ariz., by two seconds in the Semana Nautica Fourth of July 15-kilometer road race on Sunday, bringing the 19-year-old the victory with a time of 50 minutes and 36 seconds.

“It was just me and him the last 10k or so, just going back and forth. It was a battle out there,” Braden said, having bettered his time by six minutes from the year before.

Chris Braden grimaces during his last strides toward the finish line with Shaun Haley trailing close behind.

“I thought if I broke 51 that would be fantastic. I wasn’t really sure if I could do that,” Braden said. “So I’m extremely stoked about the time, really excited about it.”

Braden was a cross country and track & field athlete at Dos Pueblos High School before joining the triathlon team last year at the University of Colorado, where he helped them win a national championship.

Chrystee Bradley was the top female, completing the course in 59:21.

COMPLETE RESULTS

COURSE MAP

“Today I tried to stay with Jeff Devine and Joe (Hilton),” Bradley explained. “(Joe) ran awesome today. He went right by me. He’s like ‘go with me’ and I’m like oh-man.  It’s easier said than done.”

In the end, Bradley was right behind the pair, coming in less than a minute behind them.