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Beyond Bounds: Late-Bloomer Keaton Wendroth Squashes Injury Bug

Keaton Wendroth2 (credit: Caleb Williams,
(credit: Caleb Williams, )

The details say a lot.

Junior Keaton Wendroth knows the exact date he finally overcame the second injury that contributed to keeping him out of the collegiate cross country scene.

"The first day I was able to get out and run again was Dec. 1, 2011," said the standout runner from the University of St. Thomas.

Think he missed it much?

You see, though Wendroth is in his third year at St. Thomas, this season is really his first full CC season, and he's showing serious late-bloomer success.

A hip bursitis issue during his senior year of high school at Rochester Mayo had him skipping his freshman year of CC to stay healthy and focus on the Tommies' indoor and outdoor track season.

keaton_wendroth web mug UST
Keaton Wendroth (credit: University of St. Thomas)

But even when he came out to compete last year for the Tommie CC squad, a torn tendon took away that chance.


All he's been doing is winning multiple races this fall, being named MIAC Player of the Week, finishing seventh at the MIAC Championships, and taking ninth at the Regional meet to qualify for the Nov. 17 National meet in Terre Haute, Ind.

"I knew if I could stay healthy, I could give it a good run this fall," he said. "It's great to be on the team, and be with teammates every day. The toughest thing in the past was to let teammates down when you're injured. To help the team out is what I'm most happy about."

He took time out of his busy schedule preparing for Indiana to share more about his passion for wake boarding, Chevy trucks and running 90 miles a week.

What was the highlight of your career at Rochester Mayo?
I actually wasn't much in high school. I was a really late bloomer. I was the Big 9 Conference Champion in the mile - the 1,600.

Interested in coming back for the fall of your fifth year at St. Thomas for CC?
I'm at the point academically where if I can speed it up a little bit, I can certainly graduate in four years. But I'm considering coming back.

What was the peak of your training this summer?
June was low mileage. But I did some lifting. In July I was doing about 55 miles a week. In August I ramped it up to 90 a week.

Surprised with your multiple victories this fall?
I'm thrilled with it. More importantly, I think we've really been coming along as a team these past couple weeks. We bumped up a few spots in the region and we're looking tough.

Tough leading a team that Ben Sathre really put on the map?
It's always in the back of your mind. Everyone knows Ben, and he's the best this school's ever seen, and potentially ever will see. It's tough to back that up. We don't as a team, our front-runners, we don't talk about it too much. I believe you have to treat each season as a new starting point.

What do you credit for your running success?
I would have to say the reason is 90 percent because of hard work. I feel like I've been coming from the bottom. Never been at the top in high school until senior year – I'm a late bloomer. I've developed that competitiveness in me now. It motivated me to learn from the older guys.

What's your major; career goals?
I'm a business leadership/management major and I'm very undecided right now for my career (Wendroth has a 3.85 GPA). I know I can't be sitting at a cubicle. I need to be moving and need to have a lot of contact with people.

What makes Lake Koronis in Janesville, Minn., your favorite place to be?
In the summer, I do a lot of wake boarding and I love to fish – I just like being outside. I'm interested in cars and that type of thing. I wouldn't call myself a grease monkey, but definitely hands-on.
I drive an Audi A6. It's a 1999, it's outdated, but I treat it like it's brand new. It's been my only car since I was 16.
My favorite car would be a Chevy truck – I'm definitely a pick-up guy.

Which artists dominate your playlists?
I'm definitely a straight country guy. My top artists would be Brantley Gilbert, George Strait, and Eric Church.

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