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McCluskey, Schweikert repeat grandmaster titles

August 17, 2014
By JAY W. BENNETT ( , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - While Julius Kogo captured his fifth straight News and Sentinel Half Marathon title on Saturday during the 28th running of the 13.1-mile race, a quartet of other runners also had fantastic winning efforts as well.

Last year marked the first time in race history a senior grandmaster division (60-and-over) crown was awarded and it didn't change hands thanks to the effort of Vienna, Ohio resident Terry McCluskey, who successfully defended his title.

The retired 66-year-old, competing for the third successive year in Parkersburg, posted a winning time of 1 hour, 27 minutes and 36 seconds. That clocking was nearly identical to his victory a year ago, for which he also earned $750, when he completed the course in 1 hour, 27 minutes and 38 seconds.

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Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Terry McCluskey, of Vienna, Ohio, repeated as the News and Sentinel Half Marathon senior grandmaster division winner. The retired 66-year-old competed for the third straight year.

"It went smooth. It went very smooth," McCluskey said. "Perfect conditions, the best I've ever had here. It was just beautiful, low humidity, easy moderate temperatures, blue sky, a pretty sky and great water stops everywhere.

"There are more water stops than I can count and just great support out there and the volunteers, traffic control, you name it, it was just a great day to run."

Although he wasn't 100 percent sure, McCluskey said he believes he's competed in Parkersburg about 20 times. It's a place he plans to continue running as long as his body will allow him to do so.

"It gets harder every year just because I get older, you know," he added. "I was old to begin with. Now I'm getting older. It's harder for me, especially because I peaked 20 years ago.

"I'm just hanging on, but I love it. The people, it's just a great community of runners and fans, people and everybody you meet. I can't give it up. It's just too much fun."

Malone College graduate Nik Schweikert, a 27-year-old from Canton who was competing in Parkersburg for the third time, posted a winning effort of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 32 seconds to repeat as the top American finisher.

He once again earned $1,000, but finished a little slower than his 2013 clocking of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 25 seconds.

Ravenswood's Jeff Weiss, who is 28, collected $500 for his runner-up time of 1:09.23.

Despite battling an injury, 40-year-old Kenyan and Ohio resident Richard Kessio's time of 1:08.59 easily was good enough to win the master crown and the $750 top prize. West Newton, Pa., resident Scott Reamer left town with $400 after finishing in 1:19.18 to place second in the master division.

"My race wasn't very good. I had a little bit of a problem with my back (muscles),"said Kessio, who injured it three days ago. "I found this race on the Internet and I thought I could win the master (division).

"Yesterday (Friday) we went through the course (in a car). I liked the course and hopefully next year I'll come back again."



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