Athlete of the Week: Marissa Ellenbecker, Edgar - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athlete of the Week: Marissa Ellenbecker, Edgar

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EDGAR (WAOW) -- Edgar freshman Marissa Ellenbecker is one of those rare breeds that likes to run -- she's one of those cross country runners.

"It's not like you need rules and stuff," Ellenbecker said. "You just go out there and run."

"I zone out," she added. "I don't even think that I'm running." 

And what makes her special is that she's really, really good at it.

"Oh my gosh, she's incredible," Edgar cross country coach Dennis Webb said. "Marrissa's just a natural. She just has just an incredible engine. Her cardio is incredible. She's just an overall great athlete."

Combine those gifts with an even, happy-go-lucky personality, and Edgar's cross country team may have a record-setting state champion on their hands.

"I want to go to State and place in the top 20 and just get faster," Ellenbecker said.

In last weekend's SPASH invite, Ellenbecker came in second in a photo finish -- just behind first, but well in front of some of the best runners in the state, helping to lead the Wildcats to seventh-place finish among 21 teams.

"I just wanted to use it all and make sure I did my best... and it was really close," Ellenbecker said with a hint of disappointment.

If her coach has anything to do with it, it won't be long before close finishes like that are landslide victories.

"As she gets more mileage in, it's just going build her endurance, her strength," Webb said. "She's like the perfect engine right now, but if I add those things, she's going to be just over-the-top good"

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