CHS’ Madden running east to Terre Haute after
Colleen Madden capped off her high school cross country career Nov. 7 at the IHSA state meet in Peoria.
Five days later, the Carlinville High School senior announced where she will be attending college: Indiana State University in Terre Haute.
Her coach at Indiana State came to Peoria to see her run in the state meet.
Madden qualified for state all four years, the last two under the tutelage of head coach Charlie Helton. She will run cross country and track for Indiana State coaches John McNichols, Kyle Walsh and Angela Martin.
She was one of three Carlinville athletes to medal at state, placing 18th with a time of 18:12. She placed 23rd at state in 2014 with a time of 18:23. In the 3200-meter run at the state meet in Charleston last year, Madden finished 15th.
In addition to her current coaches, Helton and girls track coach Shelly Wills, family members joining Madden for her letter of intent signing included her parents, Elise Schwartz and Paul Madden, stepfather David Schwartz, brother Jake Schwartz, grandparents Karen and Larry Smith, grandfather Richard Katich, grandfather Kirby Bates.
Madden made two visits to Indiana State, the second an official visit.
“I had an opportunity to meet the team and see all their athletic facilities,” Madden said. “I really hit it off with the girls I could tell I would make a lot of friends there. I loved the cross country coaches they made me feel at home right away.”
She visited Northern Illinois University in DeKalb as well, but her heart was set on Indiana State.
“As soon as I set foot on Northern Illinois University, right away I knew I was going to Indiana State. I just realized that was the place for me.”
Helton says the Sycamores have what it takes to make Madden successful as a student-athlete.
“I think she’s going to really enjoy it,” Helton said. “It’s a beautiful campus and a beautiful cross country course over there too. I got to meet her (college) coach at the state meet – he’s pretty excited,” Helton said.
The days of high school long distance running may be over, but track season still remains next spring. Helton appreciates here dedication to the sport.
“She was pretty dedicated long before I got here,” Helton said. “She’s gotten two state medals since I’ve been here, her speed has definitely improved and she’s overcome a couple of bumps in the road and kept on going.
Madden will always have fond memories of her high school career.
“It was amazing – I had some really good coaches all four years,” Madden said. “I’ve been able to improve every year pretty much.”
The Cavies’ girls cross country team qualified for state this past year, taking 10th place, led by the senior duo of Madden and Jacey Roper.
“The team hadn’t made it (to state) in several years,” Madden said. “For all of us to make it my senior year was a dream come true.”
Helton is looking forward to see what lies ahead for one of his top female runners the past couple of years.
“I’m anxious to see what she does at the college level,” Helton said. “It’s going to be fun to go over and watch some races.”