Why she was selected:
Alyssa Edwards finished 12th overall out of 468 runners, leading Yorkville to a sixth-place finish at the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota. Edwards finished the 5K course in 19 minutes, 13 seconds.
Edwards was the first finisher at the meet held on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The meet featured 46 teams, four of them ranked in the top 25 nationally. Record sports editor Joshua Welge spoke to Edwards about the meet, and running in general. Here is an edited version of the transcript.
Welge: How do you feel about your run?
Edwards: I’m very proud of my race. I think I went out and pushed myself, even though I knew the course was really hilly.
Welge: You’ve run in some big meets. How was this different?
Edwards: Well, number one it was a 5K instead of our normal 3 miles. Second, running against schools from other states, it was more like Nike Regionals that we do toward the end of the season. I knew we were going against some great schools. I took it as a challenge.
Welge: What were the challenges of the course?
Edwards: The course itself was hilly – much more ups and downs than we are used to. We have had courses that had hills, but not as much as this one did. Also, there was the heat.
Welge: It was quite hot. How did you manage the heat?
Edwards: My team and I, we warmed up enough where our legs were ready but we weren’t going to overheat. After that, we were like ‘We have run in worse, it’s fine.’
Welge: Was this the race where you put it together?
Edwards: Yes, our first couple meets I didn’t feel like myself. Now I’m starting to feel good. I’m more confident. I’m more relaxed, I think I’m going in relaxed. I try not to worry about it.
Welge: How did you get hooked on running?
Edwards: I actually started running track in seventh grade to stay in shape for basketball. I thought ‘this wasn’t that bad,’ and I ran cross country in eighth grade. I was pretty much one of the last girls all the time. The summer before freshman year, something just clicked. I got a growth spurt, and I was able to get progressively better.
Welge: What are your college plans? Do you plan to run?
Edwards: I’m going to run in college. I want to study PT exercise science and be a physical therapist working with people with special needs.
Welge: Why special needs?
Edwards: My great-uncle has some special needs. Growing up with him has made me the person I am.