Madi Muma has already left her legacy on the state track meet.
Two years ago, the Lincoln East senior won the first of her back-to-back all-class gold medals in the girls 800-meter run by running the sixth-fastest time in state history — 2 minutes, 13.22 seconds.
Muma then defended her Class A title last season in a classic race and finish with Lincoln Southwest’s Carson Fischer as they ran shoulder-to-shoulder nearly the entire race before both lunged for finish line and fell to the track in their final desperate attempt to win.
On first day of the 2018 meet, Muma joined her younger sister, Jenna, on a state record-breaking 3,200 relay team that churned out a 9:12.70. They’ll both be on the Spartans relay foursome again Friday morning looking for the same type of result.
Up to this point, however, Madi’s senior year has not measured up to the standard she set as a sophomore and junior. Injuries and illness affected her in the preseason and early season, so regaining her form has been a slow process.
Madi was unable to win titles at the Lincoln Public Schools or Heartland Athletic Conference meets, and advanced to state as an extra qualifier in the 800 after finishing fifth at districts with her season-best time of 2:21.55. She did not run the 1,600 at districts after placing second and fourth at state the last two years in that event.
“I’ve been kind of disappointed with my times this year,” said Madi, a South Dakota recruit who missed track season her freshman year because of knee surgery.
So can the Burke Stadium magic kick in and drive her to a third straight 800 title and something close to her 2017 or 2018 time?
“I don’t know, I hope so, that would be great,” Madi said, laughing. “Both of those races were pretty special. Right now, if I can get under 2:20, I’ll be happy with that.”
While Madi is anxious to get to South Dakota and push the reset button on her running career, she’s also going to savor the final meet she’ll run with her younger sister, the defending 1,600 Class A champion. In addition to the 3,200 relay on Friday, they will also be together on East’s 1,600 relay in the final event of the meet on Saturday.
“It’s really special. I’m so lucky the last two years having Jenna as a running partner,” Madi said. “It’s been incredible.
“It’s going to be bittersweet this weekend,” she added. “It will be fun, but at the same time, I know it will be over soon.”
Jenna ran a 5:03.23 last year to win the 1,600 as a freshman. She’s currently leading the state with a 5:07.97, ahead of where she was one year ago.
At the junior high state meet last weekend at Gothenburg, their eighth-grade sister Kylie Muma ran a 5:07.16 to place second in the 1,600. Another future Spartan, Berlyn Schutz, won it with a record time of 5:01.08.
“There’s my motivation to get my time down,” Jenna said. “I’m shooting for something under five minutes and the school record.
“I feel a little bit of pressure (being the defending champion),” Jenna added. “I’ll just go out and give it my best effort, that’s all I can do.”