A story in yesterday’s Columbus, Ind., Republic, reports on a local graduate who has found success as a member of the Grace College track team. Ben Rankin, who became Grace’s first male cross country All-American since 2003, is one of three athletes who is featured. A portion of the story appears below. Click here for the complete article.
Going the Distance: Local grads make transition to college
Balancing a new academic schedule, keeping up with the laundry and going grocery shopping for the first time are usual concerns of a college freshman.
No parents are in their dorm rooms reminding them to go to class or to finish that essay they’ve been putting off for two weeks. A million social activities are trying to pull them away from their top priorities, and trying to maneuver their way through a college campus can be harder than it looks. Throw in the anxiety of being a first-year collegiate athlete and the list of adjustments gets even longer.
Former Columbus North runners Ben Rankin, Sierra Lax and Chandler Steward all managed to have smooth adjustments to becoming collegiate cross-country and track athletes at their respective schools.
“In high school, academics came a little easier with balancing running, but college is harder,” said Lax, who competes at Belmont. “I think I’ve done a nice job with it.”
Lax and the other two former Bull Dogs all had solid first seasons on the track and cross-country course. Grace College coach Jeff Raymond knew Rankin would do well in his first year but said it was a pleasant surprise to see Rankin compete as the school’s top runner and become Grace’s first men’s cross-country All-American since 2003. …
Raymond does more interval training at Grace, which is something that Rankin enjoys. Rankin felt like former North cross-country coach Rick Weinheimer prepared him well for college training, but said one thing he had to get used to were the longer races.
A normal high school cross country race is 5K (3.1 miles), but Rankin was running an 8K (5 miles) once he got to college. The first race was pretty intimidating for Rankin but learned how to pace himself for the longer races later on in the season.
“I had to mentally challenge myself into pacing, and I had to realize what kind of race it was because it’s a lot different that than the 5K,” Rankin said. “Halfway through, I started getting a little better, and I was smarter with my races.”
Click here for the complete article.