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McKenzie Gelvin takes on hurdles ... and wins

Everyone knows McKenzie Gelvin is a fast runner.

The rising Forbes Road senior has racked up countless district and state accolades running for McConnellsburg's track & field team.

But this summer, she's expanding her resume even more. For the first time ever, Gelvin competed in a hurdles race, and despite being an event rookie, she took home the gold medal.

"It was just something different, and running the same events all the time can get kind of boring," Gelvin said. "(Former McConnellsburg coach) Greg Hays has been helping me with hurdles in the thought that they might be a good event for me for college."

Hays' training came to a head last weekend at the Keystone Games, where Gelvin raced to a first-place finish in the 17-19 girls 400-meter hurdles. She finished with a time of 1:04.81 in the event, which is the college distance. High school hurdles races are 100 and 300 meters.

"It was definitely difficult getting over the hurdle for the first time," Gelvin said. "It was a little nerve-racking, but I like challenges. It's just a fun event. I've really enjoyed running it. It's something I know come the season, I won't have that pressure to do well, so it's just fun."

Gelvin continued to hold down her running events this summer, as well. At the Keystone Games, she also collected first place in the 800 in 2:24.13.

Earlier this summer, Gelvin competed in the Elite Track and Field Showcase in Newark, N.J., and won the 400 in 57.71, and she ran in the "Back-on-Track Pete Wright Memorial" Summer All-Comers Track & Field Series at North Hagerstown (Md.) High School. In that series, she won the 400 (57.8), the 800 (2:17.6) and the mile (5:20.4).

"These were good meets to go to because it's a good time to try something different but also have good competition," Gelvin said. "(These competitions) help me keep fit, and I just like track so much, honestly. My life would be kind of boring without it."