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Johnston makes a little History

June 08, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Johnston run

SHARPSBURG - Kristy Johnston and Aaron Price were looking for the right place to wade into the area's running pool.

Both decided to jump in both feet first at the 19th annual Run Through History at Antietam National Battlefield on Sunday and found that the water's fine.

Johnston shattered the 10K race's year-old record by 1 minute, 17.3 seconds to claim the women's title while Price breezed to a 46.6 second overall victory on a chilly, windless day over the hilly, historic course.

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"I moved from Oregon about a year ago and I've been wanting to do a local race," said Johnston, who now resides in Shepherdstown, W.Va. "I just like to race."

Johnston, 33, made sure the race turned into one to catch her early. She broke from the starting line, closely followed by Senoria Clarke, of Chevy Chase, Md. Johnston hit the three-mile turnaround at Observation Tower 45 seconds ahead of Clarke and slowly pulled away to the victory, finishing 10th overall in the field of 314 participants.

Johnston was clocked at 35:17.1, overpowering Sonja Friend-Uhl's record of 36:34.4 which was set last year. Johnston won the $200 first prize and a $100 bonus for setting the record. Clarke, 33, also beat the old record, finishing 12th overall in 35:50.9.

"I've run this course before while training for marathons," Johnston said. "I knew if I could run under a 5:50 pace, I thought could get it. My goal was to finish in the top 10 overall. It was just perfect weather. I've run here when it's windy and it terrorizes you."

Meanwhile, Price was also looking to find a spot in local racing. His introduction was one that will be remembered.

"I'm not used to running road races," said Price, who competed for Mount St. Mary's. "This was my first 10K. I've been more of a track runner until now."

Price chased down Mark Stickley, who owns the race's second-fastest time, at the two-mile mark and began to pull away. The 21-year-old from Adamstown, Md., stretched the lead out at Observation Tower and pulled away to win in 31:36.2, nearly two minutes off record pace.

"I didn't know what to expect," Price said. "I thought if I ran a five-minute pace, I'd be all right depending on what the leaders were running. I'm just learning what it is to be a post-collegian. It's different out there without a coach or a team, but I just love to run."

Stickley, 35, finished second in 32:22.6, followed by Jamie Dick (33:05.6) and Mo Musse (33:36.4). Price won the $200 first prize.

John Doub, 41, finished fifth overall to become the top Masters finisher in 33:45.5 while Ruth Riemenschneider was the top women's Masters runner, finishing 45th in 41:58.0.

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