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Harris wins women’s 2-mile

August 22, 2009
PARKERSBURG — The second time competing in the the News and Sentinel 2-mile run was the charm for Sami Harris of Charleston on Saturday.

The Charleston Catholic freshman, only 14 years old, ran for the first time last year in the 2-mile, ‘‘but I didn’t do so great, 13:50,’’ she said.

On Saturday, though, she finished with all the male 2-milers in the first glut of runners to cross the finish line, with nary another female in sight, to place 32nd overall, but reign as the No. 1 female in the race with a clocking of 12:09.

Harris credited her better performance this year to ‘‘just running a lot more, getting my times better for track and cross country, so I decided to have a second go at it this year.’’ And she admitted knowing the course after last year helped, too.

This year, Harris, of course, ‘‘wanted to improve on my time, but I also wanted to have a chance to be in the top finishers.’’

But that turned into being the top finisher in the women’s field.

Harris, who runs the mile and two mile in track, saw the half marathon ‘‘advertised last year, so I came up and ran the 2-mile.’’

This year, however, ‘‘I actually wanted to do the half marathon, but you have to be 15.’’

So she opted for the 2-mile again, and enjoyed the ultimate success as the best in the women’s division.

‘‘I started out pretty much in front,’’ said Harris in describing Saturday’s race.’’ Then I fell a little bit back, but started to regain (running) with some of the guys. There was a woman who was pretty close to me in the first half-mile, but that’s about it.’’

She’s coming back next year, ‘‘but I think I’ll run the half marathon next year,’’ since she’ll be of age to run it then.

Sami and her dad Grey, 51, who was a men’s 50-54 age-bracket winner in the 2-mile Satuday in 12:26, ‘‘run a race basically every weekend,’’ she said.

‘‘I was behind her, and she was gone,’’ he said, then added, ‘‘I’m in the old-50 age bracket.’’

Sami, who set a new Kanawha County 2-mile middle-school record this past school year of 12:10, has just been running for two years now. This fall, she plans on running in the 5K division of the Charleston Distance Run and ‘‘will probably try to catch a few trail races.’’

Second behind Harris Saturday was Cindy Martinsen, 44, of Williamstown, in 12:53 and third was Hailey Miller, 12 of Millwood, W.Va. in 13:02.

In the women’s 2-mile race-walk Saturday, Donna Graham, 59, of Lowell won for the third straight year in a time of 19:48, followed by Molly Powell, 16, of Little Hocking, in 20:40 and Vickie Ullman, 50, of Marietta, in 24:11.


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