TERRE HAUTE —
It was a two-man race from the moment Mayor Duke Bennett fired the start gun at the intersection of Fourth Street and Wabash Avenue to start the Fast Track Mile.
Terre Haute South graduate and Indiana State bound runner Riley Stohler was unable to shake Clay City native Adam Schroer, who ducked behind Stohler and drafted for the first half mile.
The race lead bounced back and forth a couple times in the second half of the race, and the two runners ran side-by-side for a short time.
Schroer’s kick was better — or perhaps better timed — to stop Stohler from repeating as champion of Terre Haute’s holiday tradition by a margin of six-tenths of a second. Schroer ran a time of 4:25.0 to Stohler’s 4:25.6.
“He took the lead early so I was happy to just sit in behind him. About midway through I tried to take the lead, push him a little, quicken the pace,” Schroer said. “He looked like a good kicker so I wanted to stretch out the finish. I started pulling for home about 3/4 of a mile to try to take that out of him.”
Schroer now resides in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he is working toward his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.
The former Clay City track standout with a master’s degree in exercise physiology has also worked marathon training into his schedule. Schroer finished 50th overall and fourth in the 20-24 age group this past October in the Chicago Marathon with his time of two hours, 25 minutes.
“I didn’t have a clue how the mile would go today,” Schroer said. “I knew it was going on, I ran it once or twice in high school, and I was coming home to visit family so I thought this might line up well to come home and run a race.”
Schroer’s best mile time in high school was 4:42.
“It’s a best for me. I haven’t raced a serious mile in quite a few years. I’ve definitely improved,” he said.
An untimely train halted the women’s racers Friday morning near the halfway point of the race, causing the muscles of race leader TaPring Goatee to tighten up.
She still held on to tie Cassie Hunt for an event-best fifth victory in a time of 5 minutes, 58.2 seconds. Sydney Davidson was second in 6:04.8.
Goatee, one of the top junior college distance runners in the United States, wisely chose not to use her top gear after having to wait out the train.
“After the train, my legs cramped up and everything, I just had to keep pushing it,” Goatee said.
The former cross country state champion at Terre Haute North plans to spend the rest of her summer preparing for an even better sophomore season at Vincennes. She was fifth in the NJCAA national meet in cross country in the fall of 2013.
“I’m looking to come back strong in my next cross country season. I’m looking to go for the win,” Goatee said.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods cross country coach Danelle Readinger won her age group and placed fifth overall with her time of 6:11.6. The former 800-meter standout at Indiana State enjoyed the day running with her family. Her daughter, 12-year-old Addison Readinger, was 17th overall in a time of 6:20.5
“The split in the middle with the train helps me out every time, being an 800 runner, maybe not so fair to the distance runners,” Danelle Readinger said. “I knew it kind of worked to my favor so I treated it as two races. This was my best placement in about six years.”
Readinger looks forward to her sixth season leading the Pomeroys’ young cross country program.
“We recently had a middle school cross country camp, our first year for that. We look forward to doing it again next year,” Readinger said.
A huge contingent of youth runners filled the field. Proceeds of the Fast Track Mile go to Vigo County middle school running programs.