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Stephanie Bruce

NAZ Elite runners Stephanie Bruce (left) and Kellyn Taylor train on a trail at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff.

Much like her teammate Rory Linkletter faced in his professional debut, NAZ Elite's Kellyn Taylor will be up against a tough field when she takes on the New York Marathon in November.

NAZ Elite announced earlier this week that Taylor is set to compete in the world major against a field that includes the defending champion Mary Keitany, and U.S. Olympians Des Linden and Jared Ward.

In fact, all four champs are returning to defend their titles, as Lelisa Desisa looks to keep the men's marathon crown, and Manuela Schar and Daniel Romanchuk seek to repeat in the wheelchair races.

Meanwhile, NAZ Elite announced Friday that Linkletter will run a fall marathon on Oct. 20.

The news of Linkletter's marathon debut came on the same day the rookie ran his first race for NAZ Elite, taking sixth place at the Pan Am Games 10,000 meters in Lima, Peru, with a time of 28:38.49. NAZ Elite selected the Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Linkletter's first 26.2-mile contest.

Linkletter, representing Canada at the Pan Am Games, sat in fourth place halfway through Friday's 10,000m championship race. He dropped back to seventh before crossing the finish line in sixth. Ederson Vilela Pereira won the race in 28:27.47.

NAZ Elite also recently announced that Stephanie Bruce and Scott Smith will run the Chicago Marathon in mid-October. It will be the first time for both running the world major for the team.

Taylor's last time in New York, in 2017, resulted in an eighth-place finish in 2:29:56. Shalane Flanagan won the 2017 edition, leaving Taylor as the second American woman to cross the finish line.

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Mike Hartman can be reached at 556-2255 or at mhartman@azdailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @AZDS_Hartman.

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