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Washington's Hermann, PND's Mullens win CSM Fall Athletes of the Week

After strong showings in voting earlier this week, Jayne Hermann of Washington girls cross country and Ben Mullens of Peoria Notre Dame football are our CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm.

Both athletes led their teams to postseason victories, as the Panthers qualified for the Class 2A state finals at Detweiller Park in Peoria after winning the Geneseo Sectional and the Irish football team went on the road to Kewanee and earned their first postseason win since 2015 with a 28-13 victory.

The full list of nominees can be found here.

More on our winners' performances and a Q and A with each below:

Jayne Hermann

Hermann won the CSM Female Athlete of the Week poll, earning 39 percent of the vote total. The sophomore finished fourth out of 136 runners at the Class 2A Geneseo Sectional on Saturday with a time of 19:02.60, which led five Washington runners that finished in the top 25 at the race. Hermann's fourth place finish was tied for her highest of the year, also earning the same spot at the East Peoria Invitational in September. Her time was her second-fastest three-mile mark this year, with the only quicker time being an 18:45.2 at the First to Finish Invitational at Detweiller Park. The Panthers also won the Class 2A Metamora Regional and are among one of the favorites at the state race on Saturday.

Get to know Hermann in a Q and A here:

Q. What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far?

A. My favorite memory this season has to be winning sectionals. We did not expect the result that we got, and I thought our performance showed just how strong and determined we are as a team. To go into something completely open minded and let God run the race for us is something I really value.

Q. If you had to be stranded on an island with a teammate, who would it be and why?

A. If I were to be stranded on an island with any of my teammates it would definitely be a hard choice to choose who I would pick. My team and I are very close, and I have a special relationship with each and everyone of them. Though it is not an option, I would take my whole team!! I would love to experience it all with all of them.

Q. Favorite music artist?

A. My favorite music artist is Dylan Scott; a country music artist. On our runs we love to blast the country and sign our hearts out. Country music reminds me of summer and summer fun runs so it is always a happy place when country music is playing!

Q. Favorite food?

A. My favorite food, hands down, would most definitely be steak. I have loved steak ever since I was little, and whenever I eat it it reminds me of family dinners with my favorite people.

Q. Do you have any pregame routines/rituals?

A. Before races, my team and I always pray and it is something very special to me. It's a quick breath from all of the craziness going on around us, and helps me to focus on really what I am running for.

Q. Who’s your favorite college or professional athlete?

A. My favorite professional athlete is Anna Hall. She is a heptathlon and pentathlon athlete, and a huge follower of Christ. I aspire to be her when I am older, her strive for God, and dedication to running is something that empowers me to be the best athlete I can.

Q. Who’s your role model and why?

A. My role model would most definitely be my mom. She is someone I look up to everyday and strive to be her when I am older. She is the most encouraging and uplifting person I have ever met. Though some people may think it is weird, I am not ashamed to call my Mom my best friend.

Q. Do you have any hidden talents?

A. One may think this is not a hidden talent, but going off of my favorite food being steak I am the smallest person in my family, but yet order the biggest steak, and eat it faster than the rest of my family.

Q. What’s your dream career?

A. My dream career would be being an elementary teacher. I love little kids, and being able to be around kids all day would be something that I would absolutely love. Ever since I was little I had always dreamed of being a 2nd or 4th grade teacher. I always looked up to my elementary school teachers as a built in best friend rather than a person getting paid to teach us. I would love for the kids I would teach someday to have that same thought that I had when I was little.

Ben Mullens

Mullens won the Male Athlete of the Week poll with 44 percent of the vote total. He is part of a Peoria Notre Dame backfield that has been diverse in talent this season and the junior stepped up to lead the Irish in a big way last weekend. His 176 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, from eight and 42 yards out, boosted the 14th-seeded Irish to a 28-13 win over 3rd-seeded Kewanee in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs and set up a date against 11th-seeded Harrisburg on Saturday. The PND running back has had a number of big games this season, including a 90-yard, three-touchdown game in a 42-7 win over Richwoods.

Get to know Mullens in a Q and A here:

Q. What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far?

A. Definitely that first playoff win

Q. If you had to be stranded on an island with a teammate, who would it be and why?

A. It would probably be Lawson Alwan because I've known him for a long time and we work well together

Q. Favorite music artist?

A. I really don't have a favorite artist, I listen to all kinds of music

Q. Favorite food?

A. I'm going to have to go with steak

Q. Do you have any pregame routines/rituals?

A. The only thing I do before a game that I would consider a ritual is during the special teams warmup, we try to get our jerseys as dirty as possible

Q. Who’s your favorite college or professional athlete?

A. Probably Deion Sanders because of the way he could go dominate a game and go play a different sport the next day, then dominate in that game too Q. Do you have any hidden talents?

A. I wouldn't consider by talents hidden, but I'm pretty good at basketball

Q. What’s your dream career?

A. To play a sport somewhere

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