Shippensburg grad Neely Spence Gracey shines at Boston


On Monday, April 18, more than 30,000 people registered to run in the 120th Boston Marathon.

Shippensburg grad Neely Spence Gracey stands in Fenway Park following her ninth-place finish in the women's race at the 120th Boston Marathon on Monday.

It was the third-largest field in the event's history, which dates back to 1897. In the two elite races, which are run by pro marathoners who must qualify for the event, Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men's race with a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds, while Atsede Baysa captured the women's race in 2:29:19.

However, locally, one name among the elite women may be recognized by some. The top American finisher on the women's side was Neely Spence Gracey, a Shippensburg University grad who finished ninth overall in the race, with a time of 2:35:00. During her time at Shippensburg, Spence Gracey, who ran under her maiden name Spence in college, captured eight collegiate national titles.

Spence Gracey is also the daughter of Shippensburg track assistant coach and former Olympic marathon runner, Steve Spence. When Spence ran in the 1990 Boston Marathon, he was living in Hanover and ran the race on the same day Spence Gracey was born. Spence later went on to represent Team USA in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, finishing 12th.

Local competitors: For the majority of the competitors in Boston for the Patriot Day tradition, running in the Boston Marathon is a chance to fulfill a goal, a challenge or a dream, to run and complete one of the most iconic marathons in the world. A number of people from York County took part in the race, competing in any of three categories of runners.

Here is a list of all local participants who completed the 26.2-mile race.

Joe Klinedinst, Glen Rock (2:54:14); Damien Lynch, York (3:01:50); Nathaniel Miranda, York (3:10:41); Jonathan Pinkerton, York (3:12:38); Ryan Stasiowski, Hanover (3:13:40); Josh Jamison, York (3:14:36); Greg Cauller, York (3:15:10); Jed Heindel, York (3:15:12); Allison Longenberger, Dillsburg (3:15:46); James Rayburn, York (3:24:58); Philip Lewis, York Haven (3:27:35); Michael Eisenhart, York (3:32:04); Mary Frey, York (3:37:21); Robert Breighner Jr., Dallastown (3:44:40); Roger Miller, York (3:52:50); Andrea Velas, Dillsburg (3:53:07); Rachel Wible, York (3:53:53); Michaele Rayburn, York (3:56:23); Susan Steinberg, York Haven (3:58:00); Kimberly Anderson, Dillsburg (4:00:41); and Jill Lazar, Dillsburg (5:41:59).

There were no York County participants in the handcycle or wheelchair races.