Skyhawk Men's Cross-Country/Track | Mary Ballinger - Volunteer Assistant Coach
Mary Ballinger enters her third season with the Skyhawk cross country/track and field staff after a stellar professional and college career.
Ballinger, a professional distance runner, NCAA Champion and nine-time NCAA All-American, begins her second season as assistant coach for the men’s and women’s programs.
The 2015 cross country season brought the highest team finish in seven years, multiple school records, and the first individual OVC Conference Champion for the program. Junior Ann Asipan led the team with the dominating win in 17:03 for the title. Asipan also posted a 9th place finish in the NCAA South Region to become the Skyhawks first All-Region honoree. Improvements were made in the classroom as well with the Skyhawks earning the highest overall team GPA in program history- 3.66.
Her experience as a successful professional with ZAP Fitness/Reebok and as a student-athlete for the University of Southern Indiana - along with her background as a nutritionist - allows her to positively impact the Skyhawk athletes in many important areas.
During her professional career with Zap/Reebok, Ballinger set a club record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase of 9:51 and qualified for the 2013 USATF Outdoor National Championship. Ballinger also competed on the international stage at the prestigious Diamond League Meet in Birmingham, England. Debuting at the 10k distance at the 2014 USATF 10K Road National Championship, Ballinger placed in the top-20. Under the guidance of nationally renowned Coach Peter Rea, Ballinger set personal records in every distance event.
Prior to becoming a professional athlete, Ballinger worked as a nutritionist in Indiana.
While competing for the University of Southern Indiana, Ballinger was a standout student-athlete and was named the ‘Region Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year’ in 2009 by the USTFCCCA. At the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships, Ballinger bested the field by 15 seconds to win the national title in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Her success brought her a total of nine NCAA All-American honors in cross country, the mile, the 5,000 meters, the 3,000 meter steeplechase as well as the DMR.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition while earning Academic All-American status as well as GLVC Scholar Athlete of the Year awards in the classroom.
Ballinger is currently working on a Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences.