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Massachusetts man is top American in Boston Marathon

Runners fight heat to cross finish line at 2016 Boston Marathon
Runners fight heat to cross finish line at 2016 Boston Marathon

Zachary Hine had to drop out of the Olympic Marathon Trials in February because of cramps. Being from Massachusetts — South Hadley, to be precise — Hine didn’t want the same result at Boston.

He didn’t, posting a 10th-place finish, the best by an American in the men’s race. Hine’s time of 2:21:37 was about 9 minutes behind winner Lemi Berhanu Hayle, but the graduate of South Hadley High School and Cornell was pleased with his performance.

“I was hoping to finish in the top 20, but having the 10th place is even better,” said Hine, whose sister, Melissa, also ran and finished (3:16:35). “Having a great race in Boston is something that I was hoping for, and finally this was a great finish. I’ve been watching this race since I was a kid. This race means a lot to me.”

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It means a lot to Neely Spence Gracey, too. She was born in 1990 on the day of the Boston Marathon — her father, Steve Spence, ran the race that day, and finished 19th — and ran it for the first time this year.

Making her marathon debut, she was the highest-finishing American female, placing ninth in 2:35:00.

“The energy of the Boston Marathon was spectacular and I was happy to be a part of it,” said Spence Gracey, who turned 26 Saturday. “I ran conservatively based on my training coming into the race, so it was set up to create a positive outcome; 2:35 and a top-10 finish? I met my goals there.”


Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.