Cassidy Teuscher’s lungs don’t always cooperate with her goals as a cross country runner. Courtesy
Cassidy Teuscher’s lungs don’t always cooperate with her goals as a cross country runner. Courtesy

High School Sports

This Nelson standout copes with one of the worst diseases for a runner

By John English

Special to the Star-Telegram

September 12, 2017 01:07 PM

Cassidy Teuscher knows how to handle adversity.

The Trophy Club Nelson cross country athlete has emerged as one of the top distance runners at her school in in just her sophomore year, and she’s done so with one of the most difficult issues that could possibly affect an athlete who relies heavily on endurance.

“My biggest challenge is definitely having asthma,” Teuscher said. “Having a breathing problem isn’t ideal for a runner, but I’ve been able to get it mostly under control. Every once in a while I’ll have a race where my lungs start to get tight and I wheeze the whole time — those races aren’t fun.”

Pushing through the start of an asthma attack might be the toughest part of some of my races.

Cassidy Teuscher

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Teuscher finished 14th individually at the Southlake Invitational with a time of 18:22.30 last weekend and was 12th a week before at Marcus I with a time of 18:24.00.

But her asthma has taken some time to get used to and is still a work in progress.

“Most times after a really tough race, I’ll have an asthma attack once I cross the finish and stop running,” Teuscher said. “Pushing through the start of an asthma attack might be the toughest part of some of my races, but after doing that at practice time and time again, it has begun to be less of a problem.”

Teuscher said she takes precautions and said she is getting it under control.

“I still carry my inhaler and have to use it each time I race, but I feel more comfortable and more in control of my breathing than I used to,” Teuscher said. “Being able to identify when I’m having an asthma attack and when my lungs are just getting a little tight has definitely benefited me so far this season.”

Teuscher’s older brother, Ryan Teuscher, was a standout for Nelson and now runs at the University of Oklahoma.

Coach Jason Spoor, who coached both athletes, said his goal is for Cassidy this season is to run a sub-18 minute race and qualify for state, and said he does not place any added expectations on the Nelson sophomore because of the successes of her older brother.

“I don’t think she feels any added pressure,” Spoor said. “The expectations she has for herself are high, but she and Ryan are two different runners. She is a serious competitor, and she has her own objectives for the season.”

Teuscher said her goals for the season are pretty much in line with Spoor’s goals for her.

“Since I am one of the younger runners on the team, I have more time to improve, but that isn’t changing my mindset for this season,” Teuscher said. “By the end of the season, I would like to have lowered my time into the 17’s and be running at the state meet with my teammates. I also want to stay in good enough shape where I can shine in track season later this school year.

“A lot of our varsity team is made up of underclassmen, so I’d like to see all of us reach a level of training where we are able to compete with other teams and runners that have more age or experience on their side.”