Chesterton Tribune

Bishel breaks BSU school record in the 5K, Ballinger earns All-America honors at USI

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Former Chesterton standout Ali Bishel broke the Ball State 5,000 meter record and CHS grad Mary Ballinger earned All-American honors at the NCAA Division II National Championships during the past week.

Bishel broke the Ball State school record in the 5000-meter run at the Alex Wilson Invitational. She crossed the finish line at 16:21.66 to finish third in the meet. The top-four finishers clocked NCAA provisional times.

The old BSU record in the 5,000-meter run belonged to Jill Scully. Scully’s time of 16:31.26 was set in 2006.

Bishel placed 16th at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayettesville, Ark. in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:53.92.

Bishel was named Mid-American Conference track athlete of the week on Feb. 4, when she moved to second on the all-time BSU track and field top ten list in the 3000-meter run (indoor / 9:43.59).

University of Southern Indiana sophomore Mary Ballinger finished second in the women's 5,000 meters Saturday evening at the NCAA II Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Ballinger finished the race with a time of 17 minutes, 11.21 seconds. Her finish is the highest at the NCAA II Indoor Championships by a Screaming Eagle in the women's 5,000 meters in the program's history.

Ballinger and teammate Heather Cooksey led the field throughout the first six laps, but Abilene Christian University's Winrose Karunde took the lead midway through the race and distanced herself from the field in the final 10 laps to win the gold.

“Mary ran an incredible race," Head Coach Mike Hillyard said. "You have to be happy when you come in as the seventh seed and finish second.”

Ballinger will be named All-Americans when the list is released by the USTFCCCA Sunday. This marks the second All-America honor for Ballinger after she finished 17th at the NCAA II Cross Country Championships last November.



Posted 3/18/2008