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Mount Airy's Daniel Romanchuk makes history with men's wheelchair victory at Boston Marathon

From Sun staff and news services

Daniel Romanchuk won the men's wheelchair race at the Boston Marathon on Monday with the fastest time ever by an American.

Romanchuk, who who grew up in Mount Airy and started training with an adaptive sports program in Baltimore at age 2, crossed the finish line on Boylston Street in an official time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, 36 seconds.

Romanchuk is the youngest winner of the race at 20 years, eight months and 12 days and is the first American winner since Jim Knaub in 1993. He finished three minutes ahead of Japan's Masazumi Soejima, who was second in 1:24:30. Marcel Hug was third, coming in at 1:26:42.

“I knew it was possible, it was just a matter of everything coming together,” Romanchuk said.

Romanchuk, a student at Parkland Community College, in Champaign, Illinois, became a world champion for the first time last year when he won the Chicago Marathon men’s wheelchair race Oct. 7.

Romanchuk's victory breaks up the recent dominance of Hug and Ernst van Dyk, who between them have 14 Boston Marathon victories. Hug had won the previous four Boston races.

Tatyana McFadden, an Atholton graduate and five-time Boston Marathon champion, finished second in the women’s wheelchair division despite flipping over early in the race. McFadden crossed the finish line in 1:41:35, almost seven minutes behind winner Manuela Schar.

McFadden, 29, tweeted that she “fell on the train tracks today due to a wet first half of the race.”

Schar, meanwhile, is on her way to a sweep of the World Marathon Major women's wheelchair races.

Schar won Boston for the second time Monday, finishing in 1:34:19 with no one else in sight. She is already the defending champion in Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. If she wins in London in two weeks, she will have swept the series.

Schar, a 34-year-old from Switzerland, was about six minutes slower than the record she set in her other Boston victory, two years ago.

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