A long race like the 5,000-meter run takes a great amount of concentration in order to keep pace and be aware of other runners. Thankfully, junior Cassie Goodman has found a way to handle the 25 laps on an indoor track. “The first 10 laps, I kind of just check out – I just run, don’t look at the laps, don’t look at the time too much coming around to the finish … I know it always starts to hurt around lap 12,” Goodman said. “Once it gets down to the last mile, that’s when you kind of have to start thinking, ‘OK, you have to work a little bit harder and move your arms a little bit more. Stay relaxed, but keep it moving.’”
The strategy worked for Goodman on Saturday Feb. 15, when she won the 5,000-meter race at the Tufts University Cupid Challenge indoor track meet with a time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds. Goodman helped Geneseo sweep the 5,000-meter races, as junior Cohen Miles-Rath, battling sickness at the time, won the men’s race, posting a winning time of 15:02.
Goodman’s race came down to a duel between her and two Colby College runners.
“I went in pretty confident,” Goodman said. “I just tried to keep them [at] an arm’s length the whole race, and then at the last mile, I was able to pick them off. So it was a good race.”
Assistant coach Mike Woods was with the members of the team who traveled to Massachusetts for the meet, and before the race, he and Goodman talked about her race strategy.
“Our plan was to just to stay running 43 seconds per 200 [meters], and out of 25 laps, I think she ran 0:43 on 21 of them,” Woods said.
“She spent 20 laps sitting behind two girls … I told her, with 800 left, ‘You have to move on those girls,’ so she dropped a couple 0:42s, went by both of them, and ended up winning and running her fastest time of the year, breaking 18 minutes,” he added.
Goodman currently sits 34th nationally in the event and needs to take about a half minute off her time in order to go to the NCAA Division III national meet, a tough but doable task.
“I think it’s possible … especially [at the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet, one week before the national meet]. Going in with really good competition, I think it’s definitely possible,” Goodman said. “But also, everyone else is going to get faster these next two weeks. So, you never know; it could happen.”
The Knights are back in action on Friday Feb. 21 at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Orange and Brown Invitational and Saturday Feb. 22 at Cornell University’s Marc Deneault Invitational.