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Bruce puts on the speed as first American woman done

August 17, 2019
By Tyler Bennett - Sports Reporter , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - Preparing for the upcoming 2019 World Athletics Champions starting on September 27 in Doha, Qatar, Texas native Kelsey Bruce was needing a tune-up race.

Bruce entered as a newcomer in the 33rd annual News and Sentinel Half-Marathon, but she will leave Parkersburg as the top American finisher.

She crossed the finish line with a time of 1:17:59, a pace of 5:57 a mile, finishing fifth overall and earning $1,000 Saturday morning.

Article Photos

Texas native Kelsey Bruce taps her iWatch to stop her time as she crosses the finish line as the first?American done with the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.?Bruce finished in fifth place and earned $1,000.
Photo by Madeline Scarborough

Running in the early stages, Bruce had trouble figuring out the layout of the event but was able to get into a routine later in the race.

"First time out here, it was very hilly. It was tough too, I didn't really know how to manage the course. There's no method, it seems to be thrown in random places. So you don't know whether to be conservative early, you don't know whether to attack it early," Bruce said, "So it was really tough. I mean, I enjoyed racing it. It was a good hard effort, and that's what I needed this weekend."

Placing second was Sarah Horbol from Westlake, Ohio with a time of 1:19:09, running a 6:03 mile and winning $500.

Last years top American Sarah Biehl was the third American crossing the finish line, finishing eighth overall with a time of 1:20:26 and running a mile in 6:09.

Close to her time from last year,1:20:34, the Fort Frye and Shawnee State graduate is pleased with her time.

Saying it her goal was getting a close or better time going into the run.

" I ran just about the same time that I did last year. Definitely more competitive this year, so I can't really complain about that as much. But I'm just glad to run, I just wanted to run the same time that I did last year or a little bit faster. So can't be too upset about it," Biehl said,

"For the most part, you always want to finish top American or you want to run a little bit faster, but can't complain with running about the same time."

Biehl will later participate in the Columbus half-marathon in October will be in the Olympic Trials in February 2020.

Breaking the world record with a time of 1:27:07 a week ago Saturday at Akron, Jeannie Rice was unable to break her own record.

Finishing with a time 1:40:01, Rice still finished first place in the female grandmasters 60-120 group winning $750. Disappoint in not breaking her record time, Rice is pleased with her results.

"I figured I did my best. That's all you can do. This is a tough course," Rice said, "The course is pretty tough but very friendly. A lot of people out there cheering and there's a couple of tough hills. You just have to tackle them. I've been coming here for several years I love this race, Parkersburg is a very friendly town."

Yvonne Gilders of Guysville, Ohio won the female masters 40-49 and $750 with a time of 1:45:54. Parkersburg's Mary Beth Welch was runner-up with a time of 1:46:33 and received $400 for her efforts.

Akron, Ohio's Teresa Ferguson was the winner in the grandmasters 50-59 age group, finishing with a time of 1:27:58 and $750 in earnings.

You can contact Tyler Bennett at



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