Saturday, October 16, 2004

Carskadon runs into NKU record book with style


Kentucky colleges: Former Tracy Inman makes all-GLVC

By Neil Schmidt
Enquirer contributor

Running experts might not recognize the name Tracy Carskadon, the one rewriting Northern Kentucky University's record books, for she now runs under her married name.

Then again, the cognoscenti didn't know of her when she was Tracy Inman, either.

They couldn't have seen her coming because there was no trail to trace. Carskadon not only wasn't recruited out of Oak Hills; she didn't even run cross country in high school.

She went out for the team her second year at NKU on a whim. Her boyfriend, Ryan Carskadon - whom she married this July - was then one of the top runners on NKU's men's team. Tracy had fared well in a two-mile race she and Ryan had entered for fun.

She has since become the first NKU woman to earn all-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors and earned coach Steve Kruse's acclaim as the top female runner in NKU history.

"If you would have told me about this in high school, I would have laughed at you," Tracy said.

An admitted "band geek" at Oak Hills, she didn't participate in any sports. She took up jogging with Ryan in college after they began dating.

Her first season, Carskadon was NKU's No. 4 runner. Last season, she led the team and finished eighth in the GLVC. This fall, she has won two meets - helping her team triumph both times - and her 18:38 at the Greensboro Invitational bettered Lissa Faulkner's 5K school record by 17 seconds.

"She's got a very efficient stride," Kruse said. "It's just natural. ... She continues to get better."

Carskadon aims next for the GLVC Championships, which NKU will host next Saturday at A.J. Jolly Park.

Her husband has graduated, and though she is a junior eligibility-wise, Carskadon is scheduled to finish her education degree in the spring. She tentatively plans to begin graduate studies so she can use her final year of eligibility in 2005.

"This has been so great," she said. "I really don't want to leave the team."

NKU BASKETBALL: The annual "Meet the Norse Night" will be held 6-9 p.m. Thursday in Regents Hall. It will feature intrasquad scrimmages by both the men's and women's teams. In addition, athletes from every NKU sport will be in attendance to meet the public. The event is free to the public; Skyline Chili will provide free three-ways.

NKU WOMEN'S TENNIS: Senior Lindsay England and sophomore Kari Goodrich have been named all-GLVC. It's the second time England has earned the honor. The Norse placed third at the GLVC Championships last weekend.

TMC VOLLEYBALL: Junior Laura Wiegele (Mercy) leads the Association of Division III Independents in digs this season with 610 (6.22 per game), and her career total of 2,109 is nearing the school record of 2,222 held by Jenny Boerger (1990-93).

TMC MEN'S SOCCER: The Saints (6-7-1) have won three consecutive games, all by shutout. Sophomore goalie Chris Saban (Elder) has four shutouts this fall.

Top events this week

TMC football at Kentucky Wesleyan: Saints won this game 37-0 last year.

TMC women's soccer vs. Palm Beach Atlantic, 7 p.m. Thursday: Senior Night for the Saints.

NKU volleyball vs. Indianapolis, 2 p.m. today: Indy stood 8-0 in GLVC play entering Friday.

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This weekly notebook spotlights NKU and Thomas More sports. E-mail neilcschmidt@yahoo.com




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