Class ‘A’ State Meet
“It’s really intense,” begins Jacob Carroll. “All those people. Then 30 seconds before the race starts it was just dead silence.”
A moment frozen in time. Then just a blur—as 175 runners break from the starting line to pour over the St. Olaf field in Northfield—flashing legs and arms. A breathless melee.
“You just run,” says Jacob Carroll. “I felt pretty good. I think I got a good start. Ford’s plan for me was to try to get out front early, get in front of the pack and stay close to the Monte kids. It was our goal to get into the top 60. Early on I just lost Monte’s No. 1 runner in the pack. Then their No. 2 runner went ahead of me and I tried to stay with him, but you just couldn’t see through all the bodies. About a mile in I think I started to fall back a bit, but the last 800 meters, it was an uphill finish, I started passing kids.”
Carroll would end the Class A State Cross Country Meet No. 102 out of 175 runners. It was a battle of a race with the field packed and Carroll bumping his way through a swarm of runners, unable to stretch out like he has all season on his way to the front of the pack. Even at the two mile mark Carroll stayed surrounded by the massive field composed of the state’s best runners.
The conditions Saturday in Northfield were cool—low 40s with a few snowflakes during the boys race—but calm. The atmosphere—crazy.
“It was really something to look up and see all those people cheering for you. It’s definitely an experience,” said Yellow Medicine East’s junior runner of his first trip to the State cross country meet.”
Outside of Carroll, the Perham boys would capture the team title edging out St. Cloud Cathedral. Meanwhile, Matt Welch from Proctor won the meet with a time of 15:34. Just under two minutes faster than Carroll’s time of 17:29.
Ben Burgett, from Willmar Community Christian, Carroll’s foil on the area circuit for much of this past season, led the area with a 33rd finish.
Meanwhile, Montevideo placed runners in 71st and 77th place, with their last runner coming in just behind Carroll at 103.
“I was nervous seeing all those teachers and my friends. I thought ‘Oh, jeez’,” said Carroll of his Friday sendoff from YME. “It was unexpected and I’m just thankful for all those people getting behind me.”
Page 2 of 2 - He’s already making plans for next year. “That Burgett kid is running like 60 miles a week, while I’m at like 30-40. I’m going to be running a lot more.”
And wrestling. “Yeah, last year I didn’t wrestle and I was so out of shape for track.”
Saturday’s meet won’t be the last we hear of Jacob Carroll.
Boys team results (top five)
(1) Perham 37 (2) St. Cloud Cathedral 72 (3) Waseca 164 (4) Martin County West 200 (5) Cotter, Winona 200
Boys individual (top three)
(1) Matt Welch, Proctor, 15:34 (2) Charlie Lawrence, Foley, 15:46 (3) Shane Streich, Waseca, 15:52
(33) Ben Burgett, Community Christian, Willmar, 16:44 (71) Zac Enevoldsen, Montevideo, 17:09 (77) Ryan Maroney, Monte, 17:14 (87) Caleb Kragenbring, Litchfield, 17:18 (102) Jacob Carroll, YME, 17:29.3 (103) Joseph Varpness, Monte, 17:29
Girls team results (top five)
(1) Esko 115 (2) Annandale 150 (3) Minnehaha Academy 151 (4) Waseca 157 (5) Dover-Eyota 184
Girls individual (top three)
(1) Clare Flanagan, Blake, 14:04.1 (2) Emi Trost, Cannon Fallls, 14:16 (3) McKenzie Holt, St. Cloud Christian, 14:29
(19) Alaysia Freetly, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd, 15:19 (31) Makenzie Smith, Morris/CA, 15:32 (55) Kelly Kvaal, LQPV/DB, 15:44 (102) Clare Sulflow, Montevideo 16:20 (107) Promisie Butler, Paynesville, 16:22