Meet Mike Bedell…

After he collapsed yards from the finish line at the District 2 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 27, Elk Lake senior Mike Bedell rebounded at the PIAA Championships on Saturday. He finished seventh in Class AA in 16 minutes, 49 seconds to earn a state medal and help the Warriors capture the team title.

School: Elk Lake

Family: Father, Rich; mother, Alicia; sister, Lainey; brother, Hunter.

After what happened to you at districts, how were you able to come back at states and finish seventh? I was cleared to race Friday morning. The support I got from the team was great. I just wanted the chance to run at states and medal. I didn’t have a lot of expectations after districts. I knew the team needed me, though, so I had to step up. The team runs better when I run.

Did what happened at districts enter your mind at any time during the state meet? At two miles, my legs felt kind of weird. So I backed out for about 10, 15 seconds. Then I realized it was normal running pain, so I kept moving on. Otherwise, during the race, all I kept thinking about was that I wanted to finish.

The girls team also won the state title earlier in the day. How much did that motivate you guys? It gave us a lot of motivation and confidence. We do the same workouts and worked just as hard and just as long as they did. So we knew we were as prepared as the girls were. Plus, if we let them beat us, they never would have let us live it down.

What does it mean to you to have both teams be state champs? It’s pretty huge. We’re a tiny school. Even if we came away with a top-three finish, it would have been a very good day. So to come away with two (titles) is impressive and pretty awesome.

Who’d play me in a movie? Jerry Seinfeld.

Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Steve Prefontaine, Usain Bolt, President Obama.

One word to best describe me: Motivated.

Post-graduation plans: To go to college, although I’m unsure where. I’d like to major in sports medicine and physical education. I plan on running.

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