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
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.