Morgan Wedekind can beat you in the heat, but she’d rather not. The Valley Center senior said she doesn’t really consider herself a warm weather runner.
“I like the fall,” she said. “I like 60 degrees, maybe even 50s …”
“It was really hot and that took a lot out of me,” Wedekind said. “I started cramping and stuff. I just kind of wanted to go out and see what I could do my first race.”
Valley Center claimed the first four spots in the meet – thanks to Kayla Barton (second, 16:38), Kalee Owens (third, 16:50) and Shelby Marten (fourth, 16:58) – to dominate runner-up Flint Hills and third-place Circle.
In a way, Wedekind considers her senior season one of redemption. Last fall she won every race she entered except the state meet – which she had already won as a freshman and sophomore. Bishop Carroll’s Kaelyn Balch beat her by about 28 seconds.
“I just think I had a bad race that day,” Wedekind said. “Not to say if I’d had a good race I would have won, but my time was down for what I expect out of myself.”
Wedekind also battled stress fractures last spring, but she didn’t mention that Tuesday.
“I’m working really hard in practice, just trying to get better,” Wedekind said.
The boys’ side was much closer. Buhler took the team title with 26 points, three fewer than runner-up Valley Center.
Wichita West sophomore Dominick Fonseca won the individual title, finishing the five-kilometer course in 18:15. It was his first varsity victory.
“Yeah, with my slowest 5K time,” he said. “That’s weird.”
Fonseca finished 18 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Valley Center’s Colton Durham (18:33). Buhler’s Nate Horton was third at 18:56.
A consistent top 10 runner in most meets last year, Fonseca said he wasn’t completely happy with his performance.
“No, I think I could have ran faster and ran smarter,” he said. “I knew there wasn’t going to be anybody to push me and I had to run by myself. That always hurts.”