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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Running down a dream

Thursday, November 11, 2010

By CAREY FOX

Times Sports Editor

(Photo)
Clay City High School graduate, Adam Schroer, has qualified for the NAIA National Cross Country Championship.
Taylor University senior Adam Schroer has had plenty of ups and downs during his collegiate running career with the Trojans. Injuries have taken their toll at times and haven't always allowed the natural talent that he flashed while at Clay City High School to shine through. However, it's only fitting that Schroer will have the opportunity to end his collegiate running career on a transcendent note as he runs in the NAIA National Championship Meet this weekend in Portland, Ore.

Schroer qualified for the national meet by placing sixth at the Mid-Central College Conference championships on a snowy course in 35-degree weather at South Bend's St. Patrick's Park where Bethel College hosted the event. Schroer powered through the final two miles to post a time of 25:58, which also earned the Bowling Green, Ind. native All-MCC honors. Schroer passed five other runner over the final miles to secure his berth to the national meet.

Head coach Ted Bowers was excited for Schroer's accomplishment. "Adam has endured so many injuries during his career here at TU that it is very satisfying to see him be able to finish in such fine fashion after literally wondering at times if he could continue running. In addition to Adam's performance, our team had an excellent day and we came away pleased with our season."

"It's kind of beyond my expectations," Schroer said by telephone on Monday evening. "As a runner I didn't expect much, but it's been a real blessing to make these strides."

That Schroer has been able to cap his college career at the highest level is a testament to his mettle and love of running. The former Eel has battled through a number of stress fracture injuries over his career and lost his junior cross country season to the injury.

"I feel like I made a lot of slow improvements (over my career), but I just never got to show them because I've had a lot of injuries," Schroer said. "I felt like last summer (2009) I was more prepared than ever before the season, then I found out I was injured. It's been difficult.

"It was frustrating not to realize the payoff in cross training," Schroer said of the injury prior to his junior season. "There were a lot of little things that I did to improve before the season, but it's pretty special to see the payoff."

While at Clay City, Schroer was a member of the Eels' teams that reached the semi-state level in 2005 and 2006. He placed 15th at the regional level as a junior where he ran a five-kilometer time of 17:03 and in 2006 as a senior, he was 20th in the Bloomington North Semi-state with a time of 17:20.

Running in the Mid-Continent Conference Meet, Schroer admitted that the snowy conditions were a bit unusual, but that he enjoyed the change of scenery.

"It was kind of comical," Schroer said of the Mid-Continent Conference Meet conditions. "Stepping out on the course, it was the first time I've run in the snow, it was kind of fun really."

While at Taylor University, Schroer has also excelled in the classroom along with his teammates. Schroer was an Academic All-American last year and an NAIA Scholar Athlete, which goes to athletes with a grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher.

"When you join an NAIA school, there is a real emphasis on academics and our team has a deep rooted belief in academics," Schroer said.

The 55th Annual Men's and 31st Annual Women's event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash. on Nov. 20.

Both the reigning women's team and individual national champion will be returning to defend their titles. California State-San Marcos headlines the 32-team women's field.

On the men's side Malone (Ohio) will try for its fourth-consecutive and fifth overall team title among the 32-team field. Twenty-three of the 32 qualifying men's teams won their respective conference/independent/unaffiliated group races and eight additional teams earned an at-large berth to the national event.

"I'm real excited to experience (the national championship meet)," Schroer said. "To compete in my last cross country meet in the national meet, I just want to give it my all and see how I can do on the national stage."