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October 23, 2009
Vol. 51 No. 6

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In the Limelight

Young runner eyeing bright future

Casey Hess
"I always liked to run," sophomore Casey Hess said. A native of Bloomsburg, Hess said that she did not start running cross country until her junior year of high school, when her soccer coach suggested she might enjoy it.

Marty Owens, the head coach of Susquehanna's men's and women's cross country teams, was the first coach to approach her about running.

"I didn't think I was good enough to run at a college level when I was a junior or senior," Hess said.

In the fall of 2008, Hess ran with Susquehanna's cross country team, but then transferred in the spring to Colorado.

She did not run on the school's Division I cross country team. "It was really competitive;
I really started to appreciate running," Hess said.

This fall, Hess returned to Susquehanna where she has proven her place on the team many times.

"Casey is a tremendous talent [who] has yet to realize her full potential," Owens said.

"She is still learning to race and as she does her competitors should watch out. She is easy to coach as she has a true passion for running," Owens added.

"While she is learning and may not know who her main competitors are, believe me, they know who she is. In talking with Casey, as good as this year has been, we both realize that even bigger and better things are ahead in her junior and senior years," he added.

Currently, Hess has the top time in the 5k at 19 minutes, 12 seconds for the Landmark Conference and the top time in the 6k, at 22 minutes, one second, which is the fastest ever recorded in the Landmark Conference.

In 2008, Hess was named Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year, NCAA All-Mideast Honors and Landmark first team honors.

So far in 2009, Hess has earned first place in the Cougar Classic at Misericordia, 12th place at Paul Short-where she competed against Division I, II and III schools-third place at the Gettysburg Invitational, and she has also earned Landmark Runner of the Week four times (the cross country team has only raced four times this season).

On the non-competitive side of things, Hess said she is working on an environmental science degree while she is here in Selinsgrove.

"It's a really broad area," Hess said. "I know someone that I can get a job for doing fieldwork; I want to be outside doing things."

Hess was also recently appointed as the student representative for the Sustainability Committee. This organization deals with the recycling on campus, bike racks and other eco-friendly options. "We're just trying to minimize our carbon foot print," Hess said.

Like every other college student, Hess said that she usually hangs out with her friends and tries to enjoy life. A few weeks ago she went to see Jay-Z perform with N.E.R.D and a few other groups.

She said that her goal for the future is to train hard on her own and compete in one marathon.

"I love my team, we're tight. There is not one person on the team, girls and guys, that I wouldn't do something for. Marty is a really good coach. He really cares about what he does, about our health, and wants us to be the best we can," she said.

As for the cross country season, Hess said that she looked at Gettysburg from Oct. 17 as preparation for championships. That day the women finished sixth out of 28 teams.

The Landmark Championships for cross country are scheduled for Oct. 31, where the women will look to repeat as champions.



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