State-seasoned Shady signs off trackIt’s rather fitting that the only way to keep Marisa Shady from competing is to have medical staff tell her it’s not advised. Shady was one of a number of Carlton County athletes who competed in the State High School track meet last weekend in St. Paul.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
It’s rather fitting that the only way to keep Marisa Shady from competing is to have medical staff tell her it’s not advised.
Shady has been a leader in the Esko track and field program for the past six years, but after collapsing following her best-ever 800-meter split during the anchor leg of the 3,200 girls relay finals at Saturday’s Class A state meet at Hamline University in St. Paul, the senior superstar was unable to perform in the triple jump.
“I passed out at the finish line and struggled to recover,” said Shady, who suffers from iron deficiency and exercise-induced asthma. “I then signed some medical papers and couldn’t do my triple jump. I wanted to be out there, but it just didn’t pan out.”
Shady, who fell to the ground in her lane for several minutes before being ushered to the infield for medical attention as the triple jump was occurring, soon recovered to lead the Eskomos to third in the 800 relay and fourth in the 1,600 relay, to go with their heat-winning and fourth overall finish in the 3,200 relay earlier.
It was in the 800 relay when Shady was able to run with her younger sister, Erika, one final time. Marisa, a state champion contender in the open 400 this season, opted to forgo the individual event and switch to the relay — to be with her sister and her team.
“She didn’t have to run with me, but she’s so selfless,” Erika said of Marisa. “To be able to run with her one last time was a special moment and very sweet of her. I’m going to miss her.”
Marisa, also a former state cross country champion, will run for Division I South Dakota State University next year. She said Tuesday she owns 18 varsity letters from her years at Esko and has been to 13 state tournament events in three different sports.
“It’s been quite a ride,” Marisa said. “I just feel really blessed to have the experiences I have had here. But I couldn’t have done this without my family, my friends, or my teammates along the way.”
Some of those teammates will graduate, as well. But Gary Beaudot, in his 23rd year coaching at Esko, said they left a mark.
“I don’t have the words, other than they’re all a great group of kids that worked hard,” he said. “They all ran their guts out.”
Moose Lake-Willow River freshman Nicole Tekippe ran to ninth- and 11th-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 events, while South Ridge freshman Gracelynn Otis was 15th in the 1,600.
“I didn’t expect that,” said Tekippe, of her first state appearance. “In the one-mile, I passed three girls in my final 100.”
“I ran my best time all season,” said Otis, in her second trip to State.
Cromwell-Wright junior Allie Cahoon, also in her second return trip to state, ran the 400 and nearly set a school record.
“I was [five-hundredths of a second] away,” she said. “It wasn’t my best race, but I’m not ashamed. Getting there is the fun part.”
Cloquet’s Thomas Udenberg said he had fun making the podium with the senior’s eighth overall finish in the Class AA shot put.
“Coach [Tim] Prosen told me I was the first Cloquet athlete to medal in over 25 years,” Udenberg said. “That feels pretty good.”
“I can’t say enough,” Prosen added. “His days are not over.”