TERRE HAUTE —
How many Fast Track Mile wins can TaPring Goatee attain before it’s all said and done?
No one knows, of course, but Goatee would love to find out.
Goatee, a former IHSAA cross country state champion at Terre Haute North, earned her fourth Fast Track Mile victory in the women’s race on Thursday. With five career races under her belt, Goatee has an impressive winning percentage of 80 percent in the annual July 4 event.
“The Fast Track is fun. It’s a challenge. It’s not long or short distance, it’s right in-between. It’s fun to face all of the people and it’s fun to redeem myself every year. It’s something I look forward to every year,” said Goatee, the defending champion.
The men’s race was won by Riley Stohler, a senior-to-be at Terre Haute South. It was Stohler’s maiden victory in the Wabash Road Runners-sponsored event, which was run for the 31st time.
“I just got done with a couple high school races and I had some leftover speed, so I thought I’d get in this race and win it. It was a good win,” Stohler said.
Goatee, 19, who just recently completed a stellar career at North and who will continue to run for Vincennes University this fall, was not challenged in the women’s race. Goatee’s winning time was 5 minutes, 22.1 seconds, 17.9 seconds ahead of runner-up Mallory Sanders.
Goatee wanted to get a head of steam to start the race and the race is something Terre Haute natives can identify with.
“I knew there would be a lot of competition and I was kind of scared as to who might be here. I came with the gameplan to start fast just in case there was a train and pick it up from there,” Goatee said.
A train disrupted the 2011 race, which was won by Cassie Hunt. Once the Wabash Avenue crossing was cleared without locomotive interruption, it was Goatee who did her best impression of a runaway train.
“The field took off fast together, but then people died off. I’m not used to that. I’m used to people being right there with me until the end. It was kind of interesting not having someone right there with me, but I stuck it out and kept pushing,” Goatee said.
Goatee had enjoyed a successful middle school career prior to her first Fast Track win in 2009, but given the prominence of Fast Track Mile, the 2009 win was the first time many area had heard of the running prodigy.
Goatee has a lot of respect for the race and wants to continue running in it as he she continues her career.
She joined the ranks of four-time Fast Track Mile winners Mary (McElroy) Schnieders and Hunt with her win on Thursday. Hunt is the only five-time winner, but Goatee would love to match Hunt’s records and then some.
“I’d like to see how many times people can challenge me. I want to see how long I can win it or lose it. I want to put it on the line. It’s a race that people love. I’ll keep coming back,” Goatee said.
Stohler had a closer shave in the men’s race, but his winning time of 4:33.1 proved to be a comfortable margin in the end.
Stohler, 18, out-paced South teammate Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s Peter Davis to the finish line. Bertoli finished 5.3 seconds behind Stohler to finish as runner-up and Davis was six seconds behind in third place.
The race didn’t go to plan for Stohler, who had intended to lurk behind the lead group before he made his move. It turned out that he comprised the lead group instead.
“I was going to sit behind the top group and just kick it in the last 400 [meters]. But I felt good, so I kept going. I like it out front better, so I got out front and kept cruising,” Stohler said.
Like Goatee, Stohler noted the intermediate distance and the unique road race conditions that took some getting used to, but he is proud to count himself among the Fast Track Mile winner’s club.
“It’s a little different. It’s on concrete. There’s a lot of traffic and you get kind of nervous and you get pressured so it’s good I won with a lot of people around,” Stohler said. “There’s been a lot of good winners in the past, so this means a lot.”
Mike Farrell was the Masters winner on the men’s side with a time of 4:45.1. Farrell finished seventh overall. John Mirth was the Grand Masters victor with a time of 4:52.6. Mirth was 10th overall.
Wendy Mirth was the Masters winner on the women’s side with a time of 6:22.5. She was 19th overall. Marianne Richter was the Grand Masters winner with a time of 7:09.9.
Tom Orman (11:47.2) and Stacey Smith (12:07.8) were the men’s and women’s winners in the track walk, respectively.
In total, 415 runners and 19 walkers competed in the event which runs through downtown along Wabash Avenue with the finish line at Gilbert Park.
Goatee becomes third four-time winner of women's race
TERRE HAUTE —
How many Fast Track Mile wins can TaPring Goatee attain before it’s all said and done?
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