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Ethiopia’s Diriba wins women’s crown

Morgantown’s Moskal wins as top U.S. runner

August 16, 2015
By BRET BEVENS (bbevens@newsandsentinel.com) , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - At first it looked like the women's side of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon might be competitive as five women broke out ahead of the pack - Buze Diriba, of Ethiopia, and a quartet of Kenyans Hannah Wanjiru, Lilian Mariita, Cynthia Jerop and Susan Jerotich.

This was the 29th running of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon and the race belonged to Diriba. Diriba, in her first News and Sentinel Half Marathon, turned in a time of 1:12.56 to take overall medalist and take home the grand prize of $3,000. With this win Diriba was also named the Road Runners Club of America national champion.

"It feels good to win," Diriba said. "The course is fun."

Article Photos

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba breaks the finish line tape to win the women’s title of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon. With the win, Diriba was named the Road Runners Club of America national champion.

As the race started Diriba, Wanjiru, Mariita and Jerotich as well as Aubrey Moskal of Morgantown set the pace throughout the first mile. By the two-mile marker, Diriba's lead had extended to 10 yards over Wanjiru and Mariita.

As the runners crossed the Little Kanawha River, just past the two mile marker, Dirbia had opened a 25-yard lead over her closest competitor, Wanjiru.

By the third mile marker, Diriba was lengthening her lead and had a time of 15:28. By the halfway point of the race, Diriba had opened up a comfortable lead over the Kenyans.

Further back in the race, Moskal was making her move in the more hilly regions of the course.

"My coach and I had decided to go out with the lead pack and see where we were," Moskal said. "The first mile was a little bit quicker than I was comfortable with so I pulled back a little bit and just decided I'm from West Virginia, I can run those hills pretty well. So when it came to the hills that was where I was going to be strong and started picking them off there and it worked pretty well."

At the seven-mile marker, Diriba had a time of 37:16 and had built a 100-yard lead over Wanjiru, who was in second place for the majority of the race.

By the 10 mile marker it was clear that Diriba had taken total control of the race, with a time of 55 minutes. Looking back at times to check her competition, Diriba was cheered on by the fans that lined the 13.1-mile course through Parkersburg. The 12th mile took the leader a cool six minutes as she passed the water spot at the 11th mile mark she had a time of 61 minutes. The pace kept up on the next mile as at the last marker Diriba was clocked at just under 67 minutes.

Wanjiru came in second place with a time of 1:13.43 and the runner-up prize money of $2,000.

Moskal was the top American. She missed second place by 11 seconds, clocking in with a time of 1:13.54.

"It's great," said a happy Moskal. "I could never be more happy to be first American, especially being from Morgantown. Being my home it feels great to represent Morgantown and West Virginia."

Susan Jerotich came in fourth place with a 1:16.31 time. The third and fourth place winners took home $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

In the female Masters division, Amy Eddy of Williamstown clocked in with a 1:39.34 time and in second place was Becky Elliott of Columbus, Ohio, with a time of 1:44.19. The Masters winner took home a cash prize of $750 and runner-up won a $400 prize

In the female Grand Masters division, Sherri Martin of West Alexander, Pa., was first with a time of 1:27.42 and Janalee Stock of Athens, Ohio, was runner-up with a time of 1:45.18. The Grand Masters winner earned a $750 grand prize.

 
 

 

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