By WARREN DILLAWAY - firstname.lastname@example.org
HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP —
Mallory Kreider, an Edgewood High School graduate, competed in her first Big Ten championship event on her home turf Friday afternoon at Spire Institute.
Kreider recently expressed excitement she would make the team and be able to run at Spire Institute and her dream came true earlier in the week when she learned she would be running the 3,000 meters Friday and the 5,000 meters today at 12:30 p.m.
The distance specialist finished 14th in her heat of the 3,000 meters, narrowly missed a personal best performance.
Kim Kreider, Mallory’s mother, said it is exciting to have her daughter running such a high level competition in her own backyard.
“It is amazing. We are very proud of her,” she said. “Having it (the meet) so close is just amazing.”
Ohio State Coach Khadevis Robinson said Kreider has earned her opportunities, is very dedicated and works hard.
Robinson said the indoor track season has been designed to prepare Kreider for a good performance in the 10,000 meters which he sees as her best rest.
“We’re just getting her ready to hit a good (10,000 meters),” Robinson said of his training plan that includes a lot of multiple race weekends at the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.
While the athletes are working hard to create personal best performances meet organizers are working hard as well.
Rusty Douglas, facility manager at Spire Institute, has been working hard to make sure the meet comes off without a hitch. “This is our biggest event (weekend) of the year,” he said.
Setting up each event and making sure all equipment is available for athletes, the media and spectators makes for a challenging weekend, he said.
The biggest challenge is making sure the 200,000 square foot complex remains clean, he said.
Retired Edgewood cross country coach Ed Best was envious of the facility and the fact it was built after his coaching years were completed.
“It just makes me wish I was 20 years younger,” he said. “I would have died for a facility like this.”
Monica Gary, a longtime Cleveland area high school coach who went on to spend more than 11 years as an assistant coach at Purdue University, echoed those sentiments.
“It would have been fantastic,” she said of the facility.