Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

August 28, 2013

Whirlwind schedule

Bethany Neeley returns from Junior Pan-Ams, begins college

(Continued)

“We were planning on being done with track after the all-star [Midwest Meet of Champions] meet,” Bethany said. “That was June 15.”

Her trip to Colombia meant she would miss her first week of cross country practice at Indiana, where she returned in the early morning hours Tuesday. Bethany says she feels a little bit behind, but even though she competed in the steeplechase, she’s been working out for longer distance running most of the summer.

“I went to [the Junior Pan-Am Games] having been training for this fall’s season,” she explained. “[Colombia] was more about the experience; The [steeplechase] was the least of my worries. I don’t need to do any more steeple drills and can continue training on a higher level. My goal right now is to make the varsity team [at IU], and the team has a really big goal of making it to nationals. But, right now I’m just trying to get in the flow of things and competing for the team.”

Tuesday was the first day of classes at IU. After arriving in Bloomington around midnight Tuesday, Bethany had time to get in a running workout Tuesday morning before classes.

“It was a long day,” she said. “The first day of class was a lot of syllabus stuff and learning where everything is around campus. But, no homework. So, that’s a plus.”

And, in a lot of ways, a trip to another continent to compete in an event fairly new to her was a lot like the average first day of college for an incoming freshman.

“Meeting new people was the big thing,” Bethany said. “You see these names and times from across the country, but you never really get to put faces to them. It was special to experience USA Track and Field and what it was all about and all the support. They treat you like you’re the best in the world.”

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