Indiana State graduate Dani Prince made her debut in the event with a victory in the Columbus Marathon on Sunday.
Prince’s goal was a time under 2 hours and 50 minutes, and she ran a 2:48.56.
Prince, who trains in Bloomington with the same Brooks Team Indiana Elite group that former Sycamores’ NCAA cross country qualifier Jordan Fife trains with, said she played it safe early in the race.
Her first mile was a 6:40 pace before later running some 6-minute flat miles later in the race. She averaged a 6:27.
“Being my first one, I wanted to go out pretty conservatively,” said Prince, who is also coaching the 11th-ranked Bloomington South girls cross country team in semistate action this weekend.
The thrill of winning her first ever marathon was unforgettable.
“It was awesome. I thought I could get top 3. I didn’t go into it thinking I want to win this,” Prince said. “When I took the lead with a mile or two to go, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was like ‘holy crap, I’m going to win my first marathon.’”
Because it’s early in her career, Prince said her next marathon could be quite a while down the road.
“I’ll do some indoor races this winter and may try steeplechase in the outdoor track season. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll just go back to doing 5K and 10K.”
• State-champion Otters — In case you missed the results earlier this month, the Otter Creek girls cross country team celebrated a state championship Oct. 4 at Carmel in the Large School 3K race.
North girls cross country coach Mike Dason is surely thankful to Otter Creek coach Brent Mier’s efforts as he’ll reap the benefits in coming seasons.
Seventh-grader Jessi Conley led the way with a 5th-place finish in a time of 11:17.9, besting 8th-grader Chanli Mundy’s time of 11:27.4. Mundy, formerly the school-record holder until Conley came along, was ninth.