Natalie Vermeulen
Student Writer

60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, 800 meters…and one MAC Championship pentathlon winner made up this weekend. Sophomore Taylor Wiederrecht won gold in the pentathlon at the MAC Championship Indoor Track & Field meet, and her score made her nationally ranked—a goal she never thought would be possible.

“I couldn’t stop smiling for a good five hours,” Wiederrecht said.

She earned second place in the indoor pentathlon last year but didn’t expect to come back and win it this year, especially with the way her season started off.

“In December, the doctors thought I tore my achilles.  I was thinking I would have to get surgery, be out for six months, not even be able to compete,” Wiederrecht said.

But in a turn of events that she attributes to God, she was back, healthy, and ready to compete at the Conference Championship meet.

“Taylor is a great athlete and a hard worker,” said Aaron Gray, fellow multi teammate and first place winner of the Conference men’s heptathlon. “She has her struggles like all athletes but she has the ability to thrive in competition.”

This was definitely a competition in which she thrived. Wiederrecht was nervous to start out on Saturday, but that didn’t stop her from getting a personal record (PR) in each one of her events—leading her to finish in first place with a Conference record of 3,311 points.

“While I was running, all my teammates were around the track—and I’m a very loud person, as you know—so I’m running and everybody’s mimicking my yells and screaming at me, and I think that’s why I did so well,” she said.

“It’s fun to share a multi-sweep with Taylor,” Gray said. “We’re both very competitive and love to push each other in practice so for us to both hit our goal is exciting.”

Wiederrecht’s success didn’t end there, even though at first she thought it did. After winning the pentathlon, she was caught off guard when she was named the 2018 MAC Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Wiederrecht said she had walked away from the podium to take some pictures when, “all of a sudden, the Messiah section starts cheering, and I look over and they’re all pointing at me and they all start aggressively pointing at the podium. So I sprint up and I’m standing there smiling and I have no idea what’s even going on, I don’t even know what award I got.”

“I didn’t even know I could do that, being in the pentathlon,” she said.

This season, Wiederrecht chose a Bible verse to help prepare her before each meet: Psalm 62:6, which says, “He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.”

“Whatever happens, happens,” she said. “I can only do what I’ve been training for; everything else is up to Him.”