Freshman Emily Wedlake breaks girls’ cross country course record


Sophia Keang

WA Freshman Emily Wedlake smiles for a photo.

Sophia Keang, Editor-in-Chief

Freshman Emily Wedlake broke WA Girls’ Cross Country history during Wednesday night’s home meet against Cambridge, clocking in the 2.9 mile circuit with a course record of 18:28.

Prior to the meet, the WA Girls’ team had a home course record of 18:35 earned by 2017 WA Alum Claire Widman. Thus, Wedlake ran 7 seconds faster than Widman’s previous record. This will also become Wedlake’s new personal record, averaging a time of 6:22 per mile.

“I’m happy that I’m off to a good start in the season,” Wedlake said. “I’m happy to see the team doing so well, and I’m excited to see everyone improve.”

Coming from a family of Division I running athletes, Wedlake had been exposed to the field for as long as she could remember. She had been a part of hockey and swim teams prior to participating in cross country, and first started running for Blanchard Middle School’s Cross Country team in the sixth grade.

“I like cross country because running really allows you to have a time to just think, and it’s also a big stress reliever,” Wedlake said. “Running with the team is one of my favorite things about coming into high school.”

The day after Wednesday night’s meet, teachers and peers congratulated Wedlake on such a momentous accomplishment in her running career. Particularly, Wedlake’s World History teacher, Andy Norander, suggested she join the Nordic Ski team as he sees potential in the athlete.

“Now, Mr. Norander is trying to convince me to join Nordic Ski because the last girl who broke the course record did Nordic Ski,” Wedlake said.

While Wedlake shattered the course record for WA girl runners, the fastest girl to ever run the WA home course broke the record with a time of 17:51. This time would average to about 6:09 per mile. However, Wedlake hopes to break the overall course record in the near future.

“I’m hoping I can break the overall course record someday,” Wedlake said. “But before that, I’m hoping to represent my team in more important meets.”

Even though Wedlake is only a freshman she has already considered running at the collegiate level, following the path of her parents’ footsteps. However, for the time being, Wedlake’s plans are simple. She intends to focus on her academic studies and improve her running skills in order to leave a legacy at WA.

“I’m planning to keep up with consistent training and just hope for the best,” Wedlake said.

Based on Wedlake’s level of effort, WA Girls’ Cross Country Coach Philip Archambault sees nothing but a stronger athlete in years to come. With the remainder of the season, and three years left of Wedlake’s high school career, Archambault undoubtedly realizes the potential in the rising elite runner.

“[In the future,] I expect Emily to run somewhere in the mid to low 19’s for a 5K,” Archambault said. “This will likely put her in the top 15 at the Class Meet and will hopefully move on to the All-State Meet.”

From the words of Archambault, Wedlake can be described in three words: Tenacious, focused, and fast.