Rising Star Roadtrip: Golden Plains’ Emma Weiner prepares to add more gold to collection in senior year

Emma Weiner is chomping at the bit to begin her senior season as she looks back at her already storied last two years in 1A
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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REXFORD, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - State track and cross country meets bring all kinds of athletes together. From cities as big as Wichita, to towns as small as Rexford. Nonetheless, success can be found at all levels. Just ask now Golden Plains senior Emma Weiner.

“I just remember at one point last year just laying down and my eyes were closed. I was like ‘oh my gosh there’s so many people. I can’t wait to get back home where there’s nobody,’” Weiner said.

In just the last two years Emma Weiner has won five individual gold medals in track and cross country, making her one of the most decorated 1A girls runners in recent history.

" expected that I could do pretty well, but I never would’ve guessed in my wildest dreams that I’d end up here,” she said.

Now as Weiner prepares to add to the medal collection for her final season of high school running, she has to wait to compete as she battles through an offseason injury. A nagging shin splints injury turned into being more, as an x-ray revealed Weiner had a stress fracture in her right leg, sidelining her for the first meet of the season.

But with Weiner’s track record, this minor injury doesn’t compare to past injuries. As the saying goes, many kids in western Kansas are built tough - but what she did to win her first of those gold medals is unheard of, as what was thought as just a sprain turned into much more.

“She had twisted her ankle a little bit on the stairs, but we didn’t think it was a big deal,” said Golden Plain head coach Mindy Fleckenstein.

“There was probably like a half mile left [of the 2022 state meet] and I don’t know if I stepped on something, stepped on it wrong or if it had just had enough, but it hurt really bad,” Weiner said. “I knew I had to keep going because I was in the lead at this point so I couldn’t just stop.

“I made it through the weekend, and I iced it a lot. Even the doctor said, ‘I don’t really think it’s a break.’ But he said we will just x-ray it to be sure. He x-rayed it and told me ‘you broke your leg.’”

Weiner not only competed in the state meet with a broken left fibula. She won by 25 seconds.

“I remember telling my coach, ‘How am I going to get up to the podium?’ Weiner said. “So that was my biggest concern in the moment.”

Now as Weiner’s return to running is on the horizon, she’s ready to do the only thing she has done for the last two years: Win.

The Golden Plains Bulldogs begin their season at Goodland on August 31.