Running with the Lions: Carrell signs scholarship to run track and cross country at A&M-Commerce

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

July 14, 2007 - In a normal week, Sulphur Springs distance runner Kasie Carrell runs enough miles to make it to Commerce and back. In just a couple of months, it will be a one-way trip.

Carrell, who graduated from SSHS in May, signed a combination athletic/academic scholarship on Wednesday to run track and cross country at Texas A&M-Commerce.

A three-time regional qualifier in cross country and two-time regional qualifier in track, Carrell mulled over dozens of college offers before deciding on A&M-Commerce.

"A lot of people were recruiting me, but at A&M-Commerce I could get an athletic and academic scholarship. Their tuition was already a good price, too," Carrell said. "They have some good runners coming in, too, so it will be good competition on the team and in the area."

Carrell is the second SSHS distance runner to sign a college scholarship, as Graham Northcutt committed to Texas A&M in College Station in the spring. Carrell had been thinking about running collegiate track for the last couple of years.

"I started thinking I would be able to do it my sophomore year," he explained. "I got a little better and starting running with Graham. I got a lot more competitive that year. I realized I could be pretty good some day."

Carrell leaves SSHS with the third-fastest time in the 800-meter run (1:59.42) and one of the top 10 times in the 1,600 (4:38.08). He qualified for the regional meet in both events the last two years.

In college he hopes to stay with the middle-distance events, but since he has also ran a marathon, his coaches may move him to the 5,000 or 10,000 meters.

"They talked about high distance events, but I'm sure once they see me, they'll see I should do mid-distance," Carrell explained.

His high school coach, Andy Holt, agreed.

"As far as college goes, they run the 1,500 meters, which I think would be more up his alley, and maybe the 3,000," Holt said. "Those are the two distances I think he could probably run best. From what I've seen from Kasie the last four years, his best events are probably those that rely on some speed and endurance."

While Carrell and Northcutt have taken with them some of the fastest times in school history, they leave behind a work ethic that Holt said can be passed down for years.

"Having Graham and Kasie leading the pack has been pretty special for me as a coach," Holt explained. "The mileage they put in every day is something for those younger guys to emulate. They only take a couple of weeks off a year. Their work ethic has set them apart."

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