The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference will host its 2011 Cross Country Championships at Mounds State Park on Saturday, October 29. The first race, which begins at noon, will mark the 8th time that Anderson University has held the Conference at Mounds. The first championship event occurred in 1983 and the most recent was in 2001.
Located only four miles from the Anderson campus, the 290-acre park has been home for AU’s Cross Country training and racing for decades.
The Park has not only been the center for Cross Country running for AU, but for the local high schools and running clubs alike.
Senior captain Candace DeLong said she is excited about Mounds. “I’ve been running all my life,” said the Frankton High School graduate. “I expect that having the Championship at Mounds will attract local attention from both family and friends.”
Senior captain Emby Duncan (Delta High School) added, “I cannot wait to host an important meet at Mounds. It’s cool to be able to run at a place you know so well.”
Where Indiana is known for its level terrain, Mounds’ location near the winding White River supplies runners with hilly trails complemented by flat open spaces and densely wooded surroundings.
“Mounds is a great resource for our Cross Country teams,” said AU Head Coach Scott Wilson. “Being off cement is easier on the joints and having hills to run up and down makes a runner stronger.”
[Photo: The 1983 Anderson University cross-country team.]
AU Hall of Famer and retired coach Larry Maddox said “running at Mounds is true Cross Country. It is challenging, and at the same time rewarding, because it extracts from you both the best mentally and physically.”
Another AU alum who knows this place well is current Hanover College coach Josh Payne (Arcanum HS, OH/1995 AU graduate). He said, “You need to be a well-rounded runner to do well at Mounds. It is not a track on grass.”
1998 Conference Champion Monica Hostetler (Lakeland HS/1999 AU graduate) said, “I have run in parks all over the world, but Mounds State Park will always be one of my favorites. The beauty of the fall leaves and tree-lined paths made even the most grueling cross country workouts feel serene.”
Current Frankton High School CC Coach and AU athletic Hall of Famer Brian Williams (Lapel High School/1987 AU graduate) said, “I find Mounds to be a special place to run.”
Lisa (Nicholson) Bodach (Anderson Highland HS/ 2004 AU graduate) a three-time conference champion, including the 2001 year in which the conference was last held at Mounds, said, “It was exciting to see the spectators run from one spot to another during a race.”
[Photo: Former Raven Cross Country runner Lisa (Nicholson) Bodach.]
No matter what AU cross country runners find special about Mounds, memories have been made this fall through training and will continue to be made this Saturday, October 29, at the HCAC Championships.
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference is a collection of 10 schools, six from Indiana. Conference schools include Anderson University, Bluffton University (OH), Defiance College (OH), Earlham College, Franklin College, Hanover College, Manchester College, College of Mt St Joseph (OH), Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, and Transylvania University (KY).
HCAC Championships - Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park Pass: In-state plates $5 per vehicle; out-of-state plates $7
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.