116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR FALLS - Libby Wedewer is one of Northern Iowa track and field coach Dave Paulsen's standout freshmen on a team picked third in this week's Missouri Valley Conference pre-championship poll.
Wedewer competed in the 60- and 200-meter dash prelims Friday and Saturday at the MVC track and field championships at the UNI-Dome - registering a third-place finish in the 200 and eighth-place in the 60 to qualify for Sunday's finals in both events. She'll also compete with teammates Sophia Jungling, Jill Bennett and Allison Hilleman in Sunday's 1,600-meter relay.
The former Dubuque Wahlert prep punched her ticket into the finals with friends and family in attendance, including her father, Kurt Wedewer, who was a defensive back and third baseman for UNI from 1986-89.
'Both of my parents attended UNI, so I always kind of knew in the back of my head it'd be pretty cool to go there,” Wedewer said. 'Of course I saw all the newspaper articles and it's just pretty cool knowing that I'm kind of continuing on the legacy.”
Despite the pandemic postponing the fall outdoor season, Wedewer quickly established herself this indoor season, winning the 200-meter dash in her debut at the Panther Invite on Jan. 9 and eventually cracking the program's top-10 all-time lists in the 60- and 400-meter dash.
'You know it's really cool just to be on those lists with some of UNI's greatest,” Wedewer said. 'It makes me more excited just because I am a freshman and I know it can only go up from here. I think honestly I owe it all to my teammates and my coach. My teammates push me in practice everyday and I think they believe in me more than I believe in myself sometimes.”
The freshman admits the training seemed endless without an outdoor season to compete in last fall, but with the help of sprints coach Diavonte Smith, she's enjoyed months of hard work finally paying off this winter.
'It was extremely frustrating not being able to get what I worked so hard for and get to see those results, but honestly I think it fired me up even more for this year,” Wedewer said. 'I was just really excited to finally be able to compete again. (Coach Smith) has really emphasized on just focusing on executing the race, but just mentally believing in yourself is the biggest thing.”
Wedewer will race in the 60 and 200 - and the 1,600 relay - Sunday at 12:40, 1:25 and 2:25, respectively. Coverage of the championships begins at 11:15 a.m. (ESPN3)