Former IU track star, Olympic hopeful Ludlow captures American Record

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(June 3, 2015) –  Innate competitiveness, raw talent and the ability to take adversity in stride, has positioned Molly Ludlow (formerly Molly Beckwith) Molly among the world’s best middle distance runners.

“Just missing the Olympic team was the first step to me really getting that confidence that I was that close and I know that I can do it,” Ludlow said.

“She’s stronger than she’s ever been, she’s more fit than she’s ever been, she’s faster than she’s ever been,” added her coach, Ron Helmer, IU’s director of track and field.

The former IU star took a step closer last month, running the third leg of the 4x800m at the World Relays in the Bahamas, helping Team USA take gold and capture an American Record.

“The four of us together we thought we would win, but never in a million years did we think we would get the record,” Ludlow said.

Ludlow came to IU on a soccer scholarship and despite taking second at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 800m as a senior, it took some convincing she belonged.

“The first time she broke 2:00, ran 1:59 or whatever it was, I think that was the one where she said to herself, ‘wow, I could do this,’” Helmer, who coached Ludlow at Indiana and continues to coach her as a professional, said.

A pivotal 2012 season took Ludlow to the 800m finals of the Olympic Trials, and two-tenths of a second from making the Olympic team.

“At 790 meters I thought we pulled it off,” Helmer said.

“My body went from in a position to where I was going to make the team to me thinking about all of that stuff and then my shoulders came up and my body starting losing control and it happened in a split second and I was just as shocked as everyone else was,” Ludlow said. “For a year you couldn’t mention it to me without me just breaking down into tears.”

The 2013 season gave Ludlow a chance to rehab from knee injuries, something that ended her college soccer days, and take time off running to walk down the aisle, marrying former University of Indianapolis basketball player Reed Ludlow.

“ It’s been a year and half since we got married so it’s been great,” Ludlow added, with a big smile.

On June 4, Ludlow will switch things up, moving from the 400m oval track to the road for the Indianapolis Monumental Mile, a course which will run just steps outside the downtown Indy condo she shares with her husband.

“I need to take a risk this season, I have one month until USAs and I need to hit the world standard in order to make the world team,” Ludlow said.

White she’s toeing the line for a trip to the World Championships this August, her sights remain set on that Olympic berth next summer and beyond.

“To be one of the top 10 Americans of all time, she needs to break 1:58 and I think she can be one of the top 10 Americans of all time before she’s done. How far up that list she finds herself, I don’t know,” Helmer said.

For information on the Indianapolis Monumental Mile, click here. http://www.monumentalmarathon.com/mile/

Following the Monumental Mile, Ludlow will head south to the Music City Distance Carnival, where she aims to break the two-minute mark. Live streaming of the race is available here.

You can keep track of Ludlow’s progress by following her on Twitter or Instagram.

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