Carrington's Logan Weninger commits to run track at MSU, Mankato

Mar. 6—MANKATO, Minn. — One of the most decorated track-and-field athletes in the state has committed to run at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

"I would say the first thing that stuck out to me over all the other colleges that led me to Mankato is just how deep and strong their roster is," said Logan Weninger of Carrington. "They just have a lot of really good talent on the team and I thought it would make a really good training group."

Weninger made the announcement in an Instagram post on Feb. 14. Weninger said his top three choices were the Mavericks, the University of Mary and the University of North Dakota. Weninger said he chose to go to NCAA Division II MSU, Mankato over NCAA Divsion I University of North Dakota because of the success that the Mavericks have had.

"I would say the skill level on the roster, you look at the times that Mankato are able to produce and the skill level that Mankato has compared to UND, Mankato, although they're D2, they're a big enough D2 school where they're ranking nationally at the D2 level," Weninger said.

As of Feb. 27, the Mavericks men's track and field are ranked No. 4 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll.

During his time with the Cardinals, the senior has competed in the 60-, 100- and 200-meter dashes; the 400- and 800-meter runs; the 4x400 and 4x800 relays; the long and triple jump; and the 300-meter hurdles. Weninger said his versatility can be an asset with the Mavericks.

Over his three years running for the Cardinals, Wenninger has 34 first-place finishes and one state title. Weninger won the 400-meter race in the 2022 NDHSAA Class B State Track and Field meet with a time of 49.71 seconds.

Weninger said he went on the visit to Minnesota State University, Mankato in the fall of 2023.

"The visit was really nice," Weninger said. " ... The first day that we were there I got to meet the coaches and I got a facilities tour and I got to hang out with some of the team. Then the next day we did a full facilities tour with a bunch of other people and I got to watch one of their track meets so that was really cool to see some of their runners there."

During the recruiting process, Weninger said he was in constant communication with Mavericks recruiting coordinator and sprints and hurdles coach Chris Parno. Weninger said he was worried about going to school so far from home, but Parno helped him deal with those concerns.

Weninger said he will be running the 200-, 400- and 600-meter dashes during the indoor season and he will be running the 400-meter hurdles during the outdoor season. Weninger said he thinks the coaches can help him improve his abilities and the mental side of the sport.

"I'll probably do more than one event but the 400-meter hurdles is probably going to be my main scoring race," Weninger said. "That's where I'm going to score the highest and I should place in conferences this coming year. But, having one main event to focus on, it sets one goal to chase after instead of multiple and it narrows your focus."

Weninger said he plans on majoring in exercise science and possibly getting a minor in coaching. He also plans on joining the Mavericks staff and working with Parno as a graduate assistant when his undergraduate career is finished.

While the Cardinals outdoor track and field schedule is not available as of Wednesday, Feb. 28, the NDHSAA lists the first track meet in the state on March 14.

Weninger said he made the decision when he did because the Mavericks coaches had a timeline they wanted to stick to.

"I was pressured with time with Mankato where they wanted me to commit by I think it was the end of February ... because they have other athletes that they were looking at too that would be transfers," Weninger said. "But they were looking at recruiting first before looking for transfers."

Weninger said he has big goals for his senior year at Carrington.

"I know I'm able to produce the times that I need to, to place at state or win state," Weninger said. "I think the main thing early on in the season is getting warmed up, being able to maintain my health and then just do what I have to do."

As of Wednesday, Feb. 28, Weninger said he is dealing with a hamstring injury that is hampering his preparations for the season. Despite that, he is determined to make an impact on the track this season.

"I would say that I'm more fueled than I have ever been at this point because ... my goals this year is to four crown at state," Weninger said. "So I'm looking to win the 200-meter, the 300-meter hurdles and then the 4 by-400, those are the goals that I set. I just feel like this year I have a lot of drive going into that."

Before stepping foot on campus at Mankato, Weninger said he plans on having a busy summer.

"I plan on doing Nike (Outdoor Nationals) again this year and that's in June ... in July there's a USA Track and Field qualifier and that's in Aberdeen (South Dakota); if I make that, I can go down to Texas," Weninger said. "I haven't decided if I want to continue into June yet. ... We're on campus for two weeks before we start doing any practices so I don't really have to be on campus early or anything like that. But I'm gonna be training this summer with team NODAK and I'm actually gonna be coaching this summer too, I'm getting certified within the next month to be able to coach. So I'll be helping coach team NODAK this summer."

Weninger said he first got into coaching during the summer heading into his junior year of high school. Weninger said he wants to coach at the collegiate or professional level.

"I want to go as far as I can with running or however far it will take me," Weninger said. "Whether that's the college level or even if I'm good enough someday where I can go and run at pro meets, that would be really cool. But once I'm done with track I want to go straight into coaching."

Weninger said the fact that he is coaching this summer will be helpful to his own progression in the sport.

"I feel like the coaching aspect will help me think things through and see things from a different perspective when I'm training," Weninger said. "It'll give me a new perspective on my own training and how I can progress and get better with my training in and out of coaching."