Eide stands out through hard work

Mary Eide’s overall body of work throughout her St. Edmond high school career went unmatched by any other female athlete from the 2013 graduating class.

As a result of her outstanding individual efforts, Eide was recently selected as the Carol Donnelly Award winner, which is presented annually to the top SEHS senior female athlete.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting to win it,” Eide said. “I’ve watched other girls that were my role models win it over the years, so this is definitely something special.”

During her busy tenure with the Gaels, Eide has participated in tennis, track and cross country. She made seven combined state appearances in her career.

“I’ve always loved to play tennis, but cross country was probably my favorite sport,” said Eide. “I’m really going to miss working with all my teammates.”

In tennis, Eide placed sixth at the Class 1A state singles meet this past May. She previously finished third as a junior and fourth as a sophomore.

“From the start of her sophomore year, Mary made it clear she was going to be an important part of our program,” said SEHS head coach Tyler Philipsen. “Between Mary and (classmate and four-time state qualifier) Ellen (Chalstrom) being a 1-2 punch at the singles spots, it really allowed us to be in any meet.

“I was a little nervous at the beginning about Mary doing both tennis and track at the same time, but she was organized, never made excuses and communicated everything with me.”

On the blue oval at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Eide placed 11th in the Class 2A 800 as a senior. In 2012, she was ninth in the state 1500 after checking in 20th in the 800 in 2011.

Eide actually holds the St. Edmond school record in the 1500 as well.

“Mary definitely led by example, and the other girls looked up to her and wanted to be as good as she was,” Gael head coach Donn Larson said. “She put a lot of hard work into the sport, which is what you need to do to become a good runner like her.”

Eide was a reliable cross country performer as well, consistently pacing the SEHS lineup for much of her career. Her lone state experience at Fort Dodge’s Lakeside Golf Course came as a freshman.

“Mary was one of those silent leaders,” said St. Edmond head coach Mike Szalat. “She obviously worked her tail off, and you probably saw that more in the spring than any other time of the year.

“Mary always had a smile on her face and pretty much went about her own business.”

Eide’s parents, Eric and Carol, have also served as a positive influence in her life.

“My parents have always been really supportive,” Eide said. “My dad got me playing tennis when I was young, and my mom helped me more with the running.”

Outside of athletics, Eide was involved in National Honor Society and student council.

Last April, Eide was recognized by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds for outstanding academic achievement at the 11th annual Governor’s Scholar Recognition Ceremony at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines. Each high school was invited to select its senior student or students with the highest academic ranking, based on grade point average for their first seven semesters.

Eide’s future plans are attending St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.