Age Doesn’t Bother 13-Year Old Guthoerl In Female 5K Win
photo by: Photo by Seth Staskey
WHEELING — Age doesn’t matter when it comes to the 5K Twin Pops Run for Health in downtown Wheeling.
Triadelphia Middle School’s McKenna Guthoerl, 13, proved just that on Saturday as she raced past the field to claim first place in the annual event as she crossed the finish line on Main Street in a time of 21:50.
“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into,” Guthoerl said. “I kind of just did what I do every race. I started out in a pretty fast jog to get out of the funnel so I’m not getting my shins kicked by other people’s heels. In the middle, I try to just do my thing.
“If I need to speed up I do or if I need to slow down, I slow down a little bit,” she added. “I try to stay at the same pace for the most part though, but in the end, I full-out sprint and that is what you saw at the end (Saturday). I just try to go as fast as I can.”
Guthoerl was only 6 years old when she did her first 5K but it wasn’t until recently that she truly found the love for running.
“I remember doing a 5K at 6 years old with my pap,” Guthoerl said. “The first one I remember really trying to win was when I ran a couple of Woodsdale 5Ks and I got first in those. Since then I’ve been really inspired to run a lot. I run track and cross country at school. I really started wanting to compete with running about 9 or 10 months ago when I ran a 5K at The Highlands. I got first and I thought to myself, ‘Wow! I can really do this!’ I think it was a good move for me.”
It certainly was. Guthoerl’s game plan worked to perfection on Saturday as she patiently waited to turn on the burners and then, just like that, it was over.
“At the very beginning there were two girls in front of me trying to sprint,” Guthoerl said. “I knew they couldn’t keep that pace very long so I just kept my pace and passed them at maybe the half-mile point. Another girl sprinted to get in front of me about halfway through the race and I knew she couldn’t keep it up and I was able to get in front of her a little later on and I led the rest of the way.
“It was my first time running this race but I have done a lot of other 5Ks.”
Not only did her plan for this race work but Guthoerl seems to have a pretty impressive plan for her future, as well.
“I’m planning on running cross country and track throughout high school,” Guthoerl said. “I’d like to try to get a college scholarship. Cal U. has a really good program for that. I just want to do whatever it brings to me.”
The rest of the top 10 for the female 5K division included Tina Seech (22:17) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chloe Meholovitch (22:46) of Shadyside, Lydia Fuchs (23:43) of Beallsville, Andrea Wright (24:34) of Wheeling, Angela Rehbein (24:44) of Wheeling, Kacey Wesolowski (25:45) of Wheeling, Myla Lawrence (25:53) of Wheeling, Alana Collins (26:32) of Wheeling, and Meredith Meholovitch (27:07) of Shadyside.