WEEPING WATER – Lauren Wehrbein won athletic races throughout her youth career.
She would continue her track and field successes at Morningside University for the next four years.
Wehrbein participated in a signing ceremony Friday morning at the Weeping Water Activities Center. The WWHS senior will compete in athletics at Morningside, with a focus on sprint events such as the 100, 200 and 400 meters. She said she looks forward to wearing the Sioux City school uniform to college meets.
“When I went there for a visit, it really felt like home,” Wehrbein said. “I always wanted to race in college, so when they said they were interested in having me on the team, it was really exciting. It was a dream come true to know that I could continue to run.
Wehrbein said she enjoys the sport because of the physical and mental challenges it presents. Sprinters should focus all their energy on running as fast as possible over short distances. They also experience a rush of adrenaline as they wait for the tee shot to go off at the start of each run.
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“I love competition,” Wehrbein said. “The feeling of getting into your blocks and getting ready to start a race is something you don’t find in any other sport. I love the anticipation of getting ready to run.
Wehrbein started her prep racing career on a high note when she won multiple cross country medals as a rookie. She became the second Weeping Water girl to beat 21:30 in a five-kilometre race, and she earned a fifth-place finish in the league meet. She qualified for the state meet and finished 36th in the field of 143.
Wehrbein competed in basketball and track and field as a freshman and competed in all three sports as a sophomore. His path to a college career was nearly derailed last year after a growth plate injury to his hip. She finished a cross-country race as a junior before the pain got too bad to continue her season.
Wehrbein underwent surgery to correct the growth plate in November 2020. She spent eight months recovering from the surgery, which meant walking the school halls on crutches. She coached the student basketball team in her freshman year and missed her track season in order to continue recovering.
Wehrbein was cleared to race last summer and competed in her first sprint events in over a year. She said she was thrilled to be able to participate in a sport she loves again.
“It was amazing,” Wehrbein said. “I started crying because I was so happy. After having to sit down for so long, I was really grateful to be able to run.
Wehrbein will compete in his senior track season this spring for the Indians. She will have the opportunity to be one of the team’s top scorers in several events.
Wehrbein plans to major in business at Morningside with a possible major in administration or management. She is a recipient of the Nebraska School Activities Association Academic All-State Award and has won several Weeping Water accolades for her classroom work. She has participated in numerous 4-H activities and won ribbons at Cass County herding events.