NEW: MENNO SENDING QUARTET TO HART RANCH
JEREMY WALTNER – PUBLISHER
One more race to run.
That’s what Morgan Edelman has been thinking this week as she prepares for the 2020 State Cross Country Meet at Hart Ranch in Rapid City this coming Saturday, Oct. 23. The Menno senior will join 122 other Class B runners from across the state scheduled to cross the 5,000-meter course in a race that begins at 10 a.m. MST after placing 13th at last week’s Region 3B meet in Platte.
“I’m trying to make the most of it and cherish every moment,” said Edelman, who as a junior last year made a decision to forgo volleyball and focus on cross-country. “I’ve really been trying not to take any race for granted because I know it could be my last, especially with the corona thing.
“It’s kind of crazy,” she continued, thinking about that final race and the emotion — and the stakes — that will go with it. “It’s my last year, it would be really nice to place.”
Whatever happens on Saturday, Edelman will go out as a runner to be remembered for the Wolves. She has qualified for state every year since she was a seventh grader, when she placed 12th in all of Class B, and brought home another medal last fall when she finished 17th.
“I’ve always looked up to Morgan,” said Ashton Massey, a freshman who will join Edelman on the course at Hart Ranch on Saturday. “She’s such a great role model and it’s fun to run with her. I look up to her in every sport; she’s such a great athlete.”
Massey has enjoyed a breakout season for the Wolves, running as strong or stronger than Edelman and challenging her as the best distance runner in Menno. At last week’s region meet, Massey finished 11th — two places and 11 seconds better than her Edelman.
“We really push each other; it’s great,” said Massey.
Edelman welcomes the competition.
“It helps that we push each other at practice and at meets,” she said. “It’s nice to have a teammate at the same level as you.”
Massey said this season has been better for her because of a change in the way she things.
“Last season I struggled; it was hard for me to get in the right mindset,” she said. “I was hard on myself mentally. This season I’ve been a lot nicer to myself. I learned how to stop being so hard on myself and stop thinking so negatively.
“It’s everything,” she said of having the right mindset. “If you can’t think right, you can’t run right.”
While Massey is simply excited to compete in Rapid City — the farthest she has ever traveled for a cross-county race — doing well would be a bonus.
“I would love to place; that’s always the main goal,” she said. “But I would like to be as close to that as possible.”
Edelman and Massey will be joined by sophomore Kadeyn Ulmer and freshman Julius Carr, who finished 13th and 20th, respectively, in Platte last week. Carr was originally counted 21st and one place outside the qualifiers, but a correction after the race gave him his place in the state field.
“It was really fun,” head coach Cindee Mutchelknaus said of the experience at the region meet. “It was bittersweet to watch Morgan run her final region meet, knowing she’ll be graduating, and those young guys did really well.”
Menno’s boys were also represented by freshman Isaac Fergen (30th), seventh grader Erick Buechler (35th) and seventh grader Izayah Ulmer (50th).