Local runners go 1-2 in Air Force half-marathon




By David Fong


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB — A pair of former Miami County distance-running standouts were the top two finishers in the Air Force Marathon half-marathon last weekend at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Tippecanoe High School graduate Jason Salyer won the event in 1:13.34 (5:37 per-mile pace). Miami East High School graduate Jack DeFord was second in 1:13.55 (5:39 per mile). Both competed in the 24-29 age group.

Salyer was in third place at both the 5-mile (26:55, 5:23 per mile) and 9-mile (50:52, 5:40 per mile) marks, but was able to close the distance the final 4 miles for the victory. DeFord was in fourth place at the 5-mile mark (26:56, 5:24 per mile), but had moved up to second place by the 9-mile mark (50:52, 5:40 per mile).

Salyer was an All-Ohioan at Tippecanoe who finished third at the 2008 Division II state cross country meet as an individual as the team finished as the state runner-up. He also competed on the Tippecanoe track and field team. He went on to run at Bowling Green State University, where he earned Mid-American Conference first-team honors for the Falcons.

DeFord was a four-time MVP at Miami East, earning all-conference and all-district honors his last three seasons for the Vikings. He also competed on the school’s track and field team. He went on to run cross country at Wright State University following his graduation from Miami East.

The two runners competed against 4,176 runners in the half-marathon and 223 in their age group. More than 15,000 runners competed in the overall event.

Contact David Fong at dfong@aimmediamidwest.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong