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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Best Friends in Track Reflect on Their Marshall Careers

Kylee+Mastin+%28left%29+and+Abby+Herring+%28right%29
Wade Sullivan
Kylee Mastin (left) and Abby Herring (right)

After training and working together for three years, two Marshall track seniors are preparing to compete in their final Sun Belt Championship together on Friday, May 9, through Sunday, May 11.

Abby Herring and Kylee Mastin, who have been running for Marshall for five and three years respectively, have grown to become best friends in the time they’ve been together. They said, despite running in different events, training together has helped them to become better at their respective disciplines.

“It has helped me a ton, even if you just look at my times pre-Kylee and then after Kylee; it really helps,” Herring said. “Even though she’s racing down to the 1500, and I’m going up to the 10k, we’re able to meet in the middle for workouts.”

Herring comes from Parkersburg, West Virginia, and, has set several Marshall records during her time at Marshall.

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Indoors, she has the 1000-meter run, 3000-meter run and 5000-meter run records. The 3000 and 5000 records were both set in the 2024 indoor season, and the 1000 record was set in 2023.

Outdoors, she has the 3000, 5000 and 10,000-meter run records. This year, she broke her own 10,000 record by around two minutes at the Raleigh Relays. 

In her career, Herring has won the Sun Belt Conference Championship in the indoor 5000-meter run and was an indoor all-conference selection in three separate events. She is currently on track for two outdoor SBC titles in the 5000 and 10,000-meter runs.

Mastin, who is from New Carlisle, Ohio, said while she generally runs shorter races than Herring, their training program has helped her improve her running.

“The longer stuff I really struggle with,” she said, “,especially tempos and longer repeats, so having Abby there really pulls me.”

Over her three years running with the Herd, Mastin has set several different school records. 

Indoors, she has both the 800-meter and one mile records, setting both this season. She set the 800 record at the Marshall Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 10, and the mile record at the PNC Lenny Lyles invite in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Outdoors, Mastin holds the 800 and 1500-meter records. This year, she hasn’t broken any records yet.

Together with their coach, Caleb Bowen, Herring and Mastin have helped to bring a new culture to the Marshall track program: one where people love to run with their teammates and always strive to push each other.

“Coming in whenever I was a freshman, there wasn’t a serious ‘I’m going here to perform well’ culture,” Herring said. “I feel that some of the girls my age or in Kylee’s grade have instilled a better team culture.”

Mastin agrees with Herring, saying the culture in the program today can help with recruiting.

“It’s exciting for girls to want to come in and be on a team that is doing well,” she said. “I think that they will continue to get better.” 

With women’s sports at Marshall doing better than ever before, Herring and Mastin said being a part of that growth is great.

“It’s cool to be a part of something so special,” Herring said about the excellence of women’s sports at Marshall. “I’m from West Virginia, and Marshall is essentially home for me.”

“I think it’s definitely cool,” Mastin said. “Seeing little girls at a basketball game and thinking, ‘Oh, this is so cool. I want to be like that one day,’ gives them an opportunity and something to grow into.”

Herring and Mastin plan to stay friends and continue to work out and train together after Abby leaves due to losing athletic eligibility after this season.

To finish this season, they plan on pushing each other to even greater heights and hopefully winning a conference championship.

Coming up, Mastin will race in the 1500-meter run at the James Madison Invitational in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where Herring will pace her, hopefully, to a new school record. Herring is unsure when she will race next.

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