Rachelle Boone and Danielle Carruthers are more than just some of the best runners in their events at IU. They are also some of the best runners in the country. The two juniors have trained and raced together during the past three years here at IU. As members of the 2000 and 2001 Big Ten Championship 4x400-meter relay team, these women have proven that they not only are fine athletes, but devoted to their team as well.\nNeither Boone nor Carruthers began racing until her freshman year of high school. Since then, these ladies have climbed mountains athletes only dream of reaching. Last year at the Big Ten conference meet, Boone dominated the competition in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She currently is ranked in the top five in the NCAA for the 200- and 60-meter dashes. Boone holds the IU records in both events. \nCarruthers, although not yet having claimed an individual Big Ten Championship title, is ranked first in the NCAA and fourth in the world for the 60-meter hurdles. Carruthers also holds the record for her event at IU.\nBoone came to IU from Norfolk, Va. She and her 3-year-old son, Kobe, hope to return to Virginia after Boone has finished her degree -- unless she goes on to compete professionally. Boone has recently switched from a major in sports medicine to general studies.\nCarruthers, whose career as a professional hurdler is looking more and more promising, hopes to compete in the 2004 Olympics. The Paducah, Ky., native is majoring in sports management and will compete with the team again next year. Carruthers devotes all of her spare time to the Indiana Track Club. Through this program, Carruthers coaches children of all ages in their sprinting techniques and abilities. Through athletes like Carruthers, the attendance at the IU track and field home meets has grown. Many of the children Carruthers coaches come and support IU's team. \n"The kids treat us like superstars," Carruthers said. "I help them, and they help me. I instruct them, and they come and support all of us."\nBoone and Carruthers are looking forward to the Big Ten meet, but their focus is on the NCAA two weeks after the Big Tens. Both ladies are training differently than others on the team with hopes of racing to their maximum ability at nationals. \n"We've been dominating our events," said Boone. "While everyone else is tapering now, we'll be tapering for nationals."\nIs there still fear about the stiff competition? Yes and no, Carruthers and Boone said. They are both looking forward to the competition in hopes the competition will speed up their times. \n"Every fear is an ounce of opportunity," Carruthers said. "We just need to go out and use our tools; we just have to do it right."\nBoone and Carruthers have continually trained together and hope to always stay in close contact if they do not have the opportunity to train together professionally someday. The All-American athletes have shared a lot. They even believe their team friendship is one of the reasons for their success. \n"We're the only team that talks to each other before a race," Carruthers said. "We're so silly. We relax each other."\nBoone and Carruthers will run their last indoor track and field home meet, Hoosier Hills, at the Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse Saturday.
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