PHS Track & Field: Moenkedick 2nd in Discus at State
By John George
There is something to be said about ultra-competitive people. Their drive to be the best and compete at a high level is something to appreciate. But in sports, all too often these ultra competitive people tend to have an unsportsman-like quality. They don't like to lose, and they don't like people who beat them.
Then you take Perham's Elisa Moenkedick. Ultra-competitive, and a good sport.
That's why it wasn't a surprise to see Moenkedick with a smile on her face at the Class A State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul on Friday.
Moenkedick, a junior who finished third in the discus at the State Meet last year, was leading the field Friday after her second attempt in the prelims traveled 135'4". That distance held up until the second round of the finals when Fulda's Amy Paulzine had a throw of 138'10".
"I was hoping my best throw would hold up, but I knew she (Paulzine) had it in her (to throw farther)," Moenkedick said. "Part of me was hoping that throw would hold, but part of me really didn't think it would."
When Moenkedick's final attempt traveled just 123'4", she knew this wasn't her year to be a State champ.
"I'm a little disappointed since I came in here ranked first," she said. "But finishing second at State is nothing to be frustrated about. I knew coming in that she had a better PR (personal record) than I did, so part of me was wondering when she'd have a big throw."
Moenkedick had the top throw entering State with a toss of 133'6" from her section meet. She had broken her own school record at the sub-section meet last month with a throw of 136'9". Paulzine, meanwhile, had a throw of 122'4" at her section meet, and her best toss at State prior to her championship throw was 127'7". But she did have a throw of over 140 feet earlier this year.
But instead of sulking, or breaking down after realizing she had finished second, Moenkedick went to get her discus from her last attempt, and smiled as she walked to hug throwing coach Eryn Moser. She wasn't bitter, sad or angry. She was a little disappointed, but knew she gave her all.
"I think I'm too competitive to be satisfied with anything that I've done," Moenkedick said. "I am always hoping to be a little bit farther and hoping to improve a little bit more."
Moenkedick has won just about every meet she's competed in this year - she was second at the Hamline Elite Meet, however.
Her competitive fire has emerged from growing up with a competitive group of siblings. Both of her brothers, Kenny and Phil, are accomplished wrestlers at North Dakota State, and Concordia, respectively. Her younger sister, Katrina, is a freshman and teammate of Elisa's on the volleyball and basketball teams.
"They're competitive in everything they do, whether it's the dad, the brothers or the sisters," said Moser. " It's everything - like getting the cows milked the fastest, I don't know."
Moenkedick is also coming off successful volleyball and basketball seasons, and her competitive nature is coupled with athleticism and a frame that is well-suited for the discus.
Moser said that Moenkedick was able to work a little in the off season with former Olympian and Concordia grad Kris Kuehl.
"She was able to pull up a little something more, and I think that really catapulted Elisa into this season," said Moser, who was Kuehl's college roommate.
Moenkedick has a pretty good practice partner, too. Senior Heather Schultz has the top mark going into the state meet in the shot put (39'10").
This is the third state track meet for Moenkedick. She was third in the discus last year (130'9").
Her goal was to be standing at the top of the awards stand when this year's medals were handed out in the discus. She came close, but finished one-spot to the right on the podium of where she wanted to be.
"I hope I can win it next year, but we'll see when the time comes," she said.
(Fargo Forum reporter Kerry Colins contributed to this story.)