posttrib
OBLIGING 
Weather Updates

College track: CP grad Kleinaman recovering from injury for St. Joe’s

storyidforme: 49128796
tmspicid: 18270204
fileheaderid: 8096567

Updated: June 14, 2013 6:25AM



Athletics is about life lessons.

Crown Point graduate and current St. Joseph’s College track standout Morgan Kleinaman knows that first hand.

Kleinaman, who reached the IHSAA state championship meet with her 3200 meter relay team, came to college with the intention to be the Pumas 800- and 1500-meter runner.

But coach Bill Massoels thought her services would be better suited running the 5000.

“She came to us from Crown Point as a distance runner and swimmer from high school,” he said. “We were fortunate to get Morgan because of her academic success. There were some Top Division III programs after her but at the end of the day she wanted to run Division II and I’m happy she did.

“We started watching her as a junior. She was good but we could see she was not a 2:18 (time) 800 or a 5:10 (time) 1600 runner. So I knew we were going to have to (move her to the 5000) and I touched upon it (during her visit), but I also didn’t want it to be a deal breaker.”

Massoels let Kleinaman run the 800 to start her college career. Her top time freshman year was 2:35.67 at the Indiana Little State championships in April 2011. That was only good enough for 10th in her heat and 32nd overall at that event.

Soon, she realized if she ever wanted to finish in the top eight in conference she would have to run a longer distance.

“I wanted to do the 800 because that’s what I left high school doing,” the elementary education major said. “He told me what he thought then he gave me the choice. It was a live and learn thing. I came to talk to him near the end of the season and said you were right and he said I knew it but I wanted you to try it because that’s what made you happy.”

Massoels said the experience was something she will take with her for the rest of her life.

“I remember she came in two-thirds though the season and she comes in and I just chuckle and she doesn’t want to say it. ‘We’re going to move up the 5? OK.’” he said.

“She works her tail off; she’s an excellent student and she’s a good kid on campus and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

She worked through that and now she’s running really well. Would I change anything? No. Because I’m not the type to say you are going to do the 5000 and too bad. That’s a life lesson. She’ll be able to use that as a teacher and when that young man or young woman isn’t getting it she will have that in her memory bank and she’s going to have that knowledge to do what’s right.”

Kleinaman ran a career-best 19:05.12 in the 5000 run her sophomore year. She also finished ninth in the Little Indiana State championship meet in the 5000.

An injury to her hips has slowed her down this season.

She sat out all but one cross country meet this past fall to recuperate and has slowly returned to form in the 5000 this spring. Her best time this season was a 19:32 (15th place) in the Indiana Little state meet.

But the small obstacle hasn’t got in the way of her goals. She did match her season-best time in the preliminaries of the Great Lakes Valley Conference meet on May 3-4 in Romeoville, but she didn’t duplicate that in the finals, finishing 24th with 19:54. As a team, the Pumas finished fourth behind first-place Indianapolis, Bellarmine and host Lewis University.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.