UNLV Track & Field prepare to say farewell to senior star Emma Wahlenmaier

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Senior Emma Wahlenmaier poses at the 200m start line during a practice on April 8, 2022. Photo by Jordan Anders-McClain

Senior Emma Wahlenmaier established herself as a Rebel back in 2018 when she began competing in the outdoor season for UNLV’s track & field team, since then she’s only continued to flourish on the track. 

When Wahlenmaier first began running competitively, it was a love-hate relationship. With a steady pace and strong team bond with all her teammates, it quickly dissolved the hate and she fell in love with the sport. 

“There are a lot of people that have supported me that I am extremely thankful for,” Wahlenmaier said. “First are my parents, they always make sure that I get what I need to be

successful; they are the absolute best.” 

“Next would be my coaches and friends. I have had a lot of coaches throughout my years at UNLV and every single one of them have pushed me to be a better athlete and person.”

Wahlenmaier grew up in the valley as a Las Vegas native, attending Palo Verde High School during the start of her track career. 

During her junior year as a Panther, she went on to run a 2:20.15 800m race, three seconds shy of the school record. To this day, Wahlenmaier still holds third place for the school record in the 800m race. 

Making her name at the school known wouldn’t stop her junior year, earning her spot on the leaderboards in three different races her senior year. 

Wahlenmaier went on to steal first place for the 1600m (5:06.72) and the one mile (5:12.57) along with taking third place for the 3200m with a time of 11:25.08. 

Notably, Wahlenmaier was a part of the 4x800m relay team that holds third place for the school records during her freshman year in 2014. The team ran a collective 9:52.31. 

The following year, Wahlenmaier’s 4x800m relay team went on to break the top record, taking first place on the leaderboard with a time of 9:43.73. 

While in the process of breaking school records, Wahlenmaier was recruited for both UNLV’s cross country and track & field teams, taking her running career to the collegiate level.  

“When I was on my recruiting visit at UNLV,” Wahlenmaier said, “I felt if I attended the university I would be well cared for by my coaches. This family atmosphere is what led me to

choose UNLV.” 

Wahlenmaier only competed in the outdoor season her first year as a Rebel, running in four meets including the Mountain West (MW) Outdoor Championship meet. During these meets, she ran a season-best of 4:45.18 in the 1500m at the Mountain West Challenge. 

Her momentum continued throughout her outdoor season a year later, when she improved her 1500m time with a new race time of 4:43.39 in the UC Riverside Classic meet. 

During the 2019 outdoor season, she helped the 4x400m relay team to a fourth-place finish of 3:57.12 at the UNLV Invitational. 

In the 2020 indoor season, Wahlenmaier competed in the 400m, 600m, mile, 4x400m relay, and the Distance Medley Relay. She helped UNLV finish sixth in the Distance Medley Finalist at the MW Championships. 

Wahlenmaier’s main event for track remains to be the 800m, which she has managed to improve on every season. Her current personal best for the race is 2:06.26. 

“The 800m was the event that originally made me fall in love with track when I first started running eight years ago,” Wahlenmaier said. “In highschool I never broke 2:20 but now my time is 2:06 as of April 14th and I still plan on lowering it before my season is over.” 

“It’s crazy to look back at how much progress I have made in this event, and this has proven to me that if I work hard and dedicate myself to a goal, I can achieve it.”

As Wahlenmaier looks to graduate this semester, she’ll miss all the travel trips the team takes for meets and spending all that free time with her teammates, along with doing workouts with her training partners. 

With her four years spent at UNLV and on the track, Emma Wahlenmaier will be missed from the program but she’ll be leaving knowing she left a mark at the school.

She’ll be leaving UNLV with a Bachelor in Psychology, something she has thoroughly enjoyed since high school. Post graduation, Wahlenmaier will either pursue a masters in psychology or start a career in medical sales but she is still unsure which path she’ll take. 

Message for Incoming Freshman: 

“Make goals early even if they seem outlandish at the time. Write them down and

find someone to talk about them with. The sooner you envision yourself achieving

these goals the sooner you can achieve them.”

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