BY KORE SEVERANCE – STAFF WRITER
With an overall best in the 5k being 18:46 (2013) and the top time in her Centre career being 19:35, Hallie Searcy is one of the strongest runners on the women’s cross-country team. She was named Women’s Runner of the Week by the Southern Athletic Association after her race at Berea where she finished in fourth place overall out of 120 women of all divisions. Searcy has continued to help move the colonels rank up in the South/Southeast Region to fourth place after opening the season in seventh.
Searcy is a freshman from Louisville and went to South Oldham High School. She hopes to major in a science and attend medical school. Searcy has been running since the third grade. She did not expect to run cross country in college when in elementary school, but recognized she had a talent:
“I was the top girl on the team throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, and so realizing this talent God had given me; I knew that was something that I wanted to do and wanted to pursue in college.”
While Searcy does not feel that she will continue competitive running after college, the sport is still a huge passion for her: “I just really like the team aspect of the sport, it’s not something that I would want to go through college without.” Searcy plans to run 5ks and other more relaxed events after graduation.
Searcy pays tribute to her running coaches over the years: “I’ve had numerous amazing coaches throughout my running career and they’ve all really invested in me, and pushed me. Even here at Centre I have a lot of respect for Coach Owens and Coach Hagans and all the time and effort that they put into not only me, but the team as a whole and I know that they have high expectations and goals for our team.”
She also feels that the support of everyone around her, from her family and friends to teammates coaches makes all the difference: “Having the team have goals, the coaches have goals, and my own goals individually really pushes me to do my best. Also, I have the support of my family and my friends, so it’s just a really encouraging community here at Centre.”
When asked about exercise outside of practice, Searcy has found that she rarely needs to do anything: “Practice incorporates a lot outside of just running. We have our workouts on the course, or on the track, or out in the community. Then we come back and we have drills and strength training in the workout room. There’s trainers there to help us with whatever injuries we have.” Searcy has found balancing school with practice to be difficult at first while still making the transition from high school to college, but feels she is getting a better grasp on it.
Searcy finds that her faith has made all of her success possible: “I do accredit my talent and whatever success I have to my personal lord and savior, who has done so much for me and has blessed me with this talent. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that I have and all that I will without the talents and the family He has given me.”
Searcy is very close to the cross-country team as a whole: “We went on an overnight trip, which kind of broke the ice for me as a freshman and we all got to know each other really well. We went camping and we had a bonfire, it was just a lot of fun. Preseason, I got to know the guys and the girls on our team really well. We run practice with each other every day and spend lots of time together.”
Within her own class, Searcy feels at home: “I think our freshman class, especially, really bonded. We study together. It’s a lot of fun to have them as friends going into the first year of college.”
On September 30, Searcy raced in Louisville at UofL and ran her best time yet: “I ran 19:35, my fastest 5K time here at Centre. I was hoping to go sub 19:00, but there will be more meets. We have several flat course meets coming up and I’m confident that I can get it done there with the training I’ve been receiving. Overall our girls team did really well. We had six girls under 20:00, which is awesome! And the girls team beat our main competition, Rhodes (they’re in our conference). I’m excited to see where the team will go from here.”
The Centre Women’s Cross-Country Team will continue in action October 13, at the Wilmington Fall Class.