ANSONIA – Ansonia senior Skyler Marker committed to run for Indiana University East on Friday, which she thinks will keep her motivated during her college years.
“I feel very honored just to have the opportunity,” Marker said. “I feel like going through nursing school this is going to help me stay focused and keep me doing something that I love.”
Marker, the daughter of Matthew and Tonya Marker and Heather and Doug Jones, will run for both the IU East cross country and track and field teams. In track she expects to run the middle distance events.
The Ansonia senior gained a love of running from her grandfather Bill Marker and was excited to have an opportunity to pursue her passion at the collegiate level.
“It keeps me motivated, and it keeps me focused,” she said. “And it’s a good stress relief for me so I love doing it.”
Ansonia track and field coach Craig Riethman agreed with Marker’s idea that running while in college will help her become a better student.
“I think it’s going to be very challenging to balance her school work with running track and cross country, but I think she has the right mindset for that,” Riethman said. “There’s so many life lessons in track and goal setting and setting up action plans that I think track and cross country at the next level is going to really open up her mind to see what is really out there.”
IU East cross country coach Brett Crowley liked the mindset he saw in Marker and expects her to fit right in with the Red Wolves.
“She’s somebody that as we’ve done our research is a hard worker, isn’t easily distracted when things don’t exactly go her way and from that standpoint has overcome some injuries, too,” Crowley said. “We really feel very strongly that she’s a good fit, good character all the way around for our team and for our program.”
The determination that Marker showed to battle through her injuries is one of the reasons why Ansonia cross country coach Jason Wright expects her to succeed in college.
“She had to battle through some injuries this past year,” Wright said. “With cross country that can be very difficult because you have to put a lot of miles in every week, and so I think the biggest thing for her is her toughness. She’s able to fight through injuries and do those kind of things that other kids seem to struggle with.”
Marker, who hopes to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, fell in love with IU East during a visit with her friend Morgan Young.
“I completely fell in love with the campus,” Marker said. “I have a lot of friends there. Everyone is super nice. The facilities are great. They’re great with just how they show you how to do things and they’ve helped me out every step of the way.”
Marker is the second Darke County runner from the class of 2017 to commit to IU East.
“We’ve really enjoyed a lot of success here for this class in Ohio,” Crowley said. “Skyler will be joining Brooke Perreira from Greenville – two runners who have been solid 5K 21-minute runners.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.