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Ship Alumna is the first American woman to finish in 2016 Boston Marathon

Neely Spence 2

Neely Spence Gracey finishes the Boston Marathon in the top 10

April 19, 2016

By: Zach Salsgiver

BOSTON, MASS.- Just two weeks after her twenty-sixth birthday, Shippensburg Grad (12’) Neely Spence Gracey was the first American women to cross the finish line in the 2016 Boston Marathon, and finishing 9th overall in the Women’s elite race.

It took Gracey exactly two hours and thirty-five minutes to cross the finish line in her very first marathon. She ran a pace of 5:55 per mile reaching her goal of a top ten finish in the race.

Neely Spence

It was Gracey’s first marathon but she is very familiar with the race and long distance competition. Gracey’s father, Steve Spence, a Shippensburg grad and now the head coach of the university’s cross country team was an Olympic marathon runner finishing 3rd at the 1991 world championships in Japan and 12th at the 1992 Olympics.

Gracey, too, has had plenty of success on the track before this event. As a Red Raider, Gracey won 8 NCAA division two national titles. She was an 11 time NCAA All-American and ten time PSAC athlete of the year. Gracey Says this is just the beginning of her attempt to follow in her father’s footsteps.

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