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Races shaping up in Corporate Challenge

By CHUCK LANDIS - clandis@chronicle-tribune.com

Through the first weekend of the 23rd Corporate Challenge, a three-team race has developed in the American Division, while Insurance Management Group has dominated the National Division.

City of Marion leads the American through six events with 600 points but followed closely by Wal-Mart Distribution Center with 570 and General Motors with 530. City of Marion built its lead by winning the softball tournament and 5-kilometer run.

Wal-Mart, last year's champions, actually won more events, capturing disc golf, golf and the basketball hot shot. GM won the time predicted walk.

IMG is the defending National champion and well on its way to repeating after accumulating 605 points while second place YMCA has 500 and Conduit has 490. IMG won four events: softball, 5K, golf and hot shots in the opening weekend.

YMCA had one win in disc golf, while Conduit captured the time predicted walk.

Corporate Challenge, sponsored by the Grant County YMCA and Marion General Hospital, continues with bowling at 8 p.m. Friday at Crest Lanes and then Saturday with indoor volleyball at the Y and tennis at the Indiana Wesleyan University courts. The teams then assemble Sunday at Matter Park for the final events, a CEO corn hole, relay race and tug-of-war, and closing ceremonies.

Libby Root, Corporate Challenge Director, said enough points are available to change the standings, and volunteer points is one way teams can make up ground quickly. Volunteer points are awarded based on the number of people from the various teams who assist in staging the events.

"The first weekend we have the most opportunity to get points," Root said Wednesday afternoon. "We still ave four events that can make or break anybody ... so it can go either way - it's so close.

"And then there is the opportunity to get volunteer points" she added. "One thing I was surprised with how many people we had volunteer this year. The volunteer points a team can get for every event, and those can make a difference on your total."

Closing ceremonies begin around noon Sunday at Matter Park and the public is invited to attend.