Senior Morgan Wedekind attributes cross-country successes to her family, former coaches

Then-sophomore cross country and distance runner Morgan Wedekind leads a line of Tulsa runners around a corner en route to a win in the women's 8000-meter run at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational track and field meet in Ahearn Field House Jan. 24, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The women’s cross-country season is coming to a close. In just three weeks, the Wildcats head south to Lubbock, Texas, for the Big 12 Championship.

When they get there, they hope to rally behind Morgan Wedekind, senior in communication sciences and disorders.

According to teammate Kayla Doll, junior in kinesiology from Garden City, Kansas, Wedekind has become comfortable filling the leadership role within the cross-country team this year, with seven of the 13 girls on the team being freshmen. Doll said she has benefited greatly from Wedekind’s mentoring.

“Morgan taught me a lot since she was a year older when I came in as a freshman,” Doll said. “She helped me with the transition out of high school and always is setting a good example. She knew a lot more than I did when I came in. I’ve learned a lot from her.”

Wedekind began her running endeavors in Valley Center, Kansas, in the seventh grade. She attributes most of her success to her support system, including her family and her past coaches throughout middle and high school.

“My parents and sisters have been a very big support system, along with my two high school coaches,” Wedekind said. “My parents try to come to all of the meets, except for when traveling gets in the way. My coaches from middle school and high school still text me to this day before every meet to wish me good luck and then they always ask me how I did.”

Wedekind’s support system has helped lead her to a decorated career at K-State. Last year, she placed 10th overall in the Big 12 and 23rd in the region. She has also been named Big 12 Runner of the Week twice this season.

Wedekind said much of her success comes from the training that they endure throughout the season.

“Every day kind of changes,” Wedekind said. “It depends what our focus is. Usually about two times a week we will have a workout which includes mile repeats, 1000’s repeats, lactate thresholds or progressive runs. Then we will have a long run after which depends on the season, how far we go. Usually about 11 to 15 miles, anywhere in that range.”

K-State head cross-country coach Ryun Godfrey, who is going into his third year at K-State, said there are several different aspects that contribute to Wedekind not only as a competitor, but a person.

“Running is a big part of her life,” Godfrey said. “But it doesn’t define her. She has really strong faith, she’s a good student and a really good teammate. She has so many different aspects that are important to her. Because sometimes people get too wrapped up in one aspect, I think she’s done a good job of having some balance.”