An Unbroken Stride

Jackelyn Severin

Jackelyn Severin

She began running the streets of Brookings as a kid. Although she has always been a Jackrabbit fan, she did not always plan to attend SDSU. Now, through hard work and perseverance, Becka Mansheim is one of the greatest female runners in SDSU’s history.

The official slogan for South Dakota State’s athletic program is “Passionate. Relentless. Champions.” In order to be an athlete at SDSU, one must be determined, persistent and driven.

Senior cross-country and track and field runner Becka Mansheim certainly has all those qualities. Her career at SDSU is filled with many accomplishments, from setting school records to earning titles such as track athlete of the meet at the Division-I Independent Championships. Even though she is talented and motivated, Mansheim is a humble South Dakota girl who grew up right here in Brookings.

In high school, Mansheim was a Jackrabbit fan, but she never thought she would end up at South Dakota State University.

“SDSU was probably last on my list,” she said.

After looking at other schools, she decided to give SDSU a chance because of its nursing program. She was attracted by the amount of traveling that runners got to do compared to other schools, and was actively recruited in high school by then cross-country coach Paul Danger.

“His enthusiasm is what got me here more than anything else, and in the end, it just felt right,” she said.

Mansheim started running competitively in the seventh and eighth grades, but her love of running first stemmed from her father.

“When I was in elementary school, I would go running with my dad in the mornings on his two-mile route.”

She was also inspired by her older siblings who participated in sports.

Mansheim likes running because there is always room for improvement.

“It is something that makes you feel good … and there is also that good feeling you get after having a great race.”

Rod DeHaven, SDSU’s cross-country coach, has seen Mansheim grow as a runner and believes that she has all of the qualities of a good athlete.

“She is very determined both athletically and in school. She has common sense and is very grounded. She knows that she needs to keep working harder and has done so for the past three years.”

In turn, Mansheim believes that DeHaven has been a great coach and has used his knowledge and experience to bring the cross-country team to the Division-I level.

Mansheim plans to keep running competitively after she graduates in May, but right now she is focusing on winning more meets and doing the best she can for her team. Last weekend, Mansheim placed 73rd in the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. Mansheim will compete again in the SDSU Classic at Edgebrook Golf course on Saturday, Sept. 30.

#1.884249:1684405236.jpg:Image: An Unbroken Stride:Becka Mansheim stretches before going for a run.:#1.884248:600146212.jpg:Image: An Unbroken Stride:Becka Mansheim practices in preparation for the SDSU Classic Invitational on September 30.: