The YME Cross Country team traveled to Luverne on Thursday, October 25 for the Section 3A Cross Country Meet held at the Luverne High School. Athletes were forced to deal with a light rain that fell periodically during the event. There were 270 runners representing 23 schools in Section 3A competing for the opportunity to advance to the State Cross Country meet to be held on Saturday, November 3 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

“We had a great meet,” said Head Coach Jim Ford. “running the meet in a light rain, 7 of our 12 runners had their personal best times of the year,” adding that “we were extremely pleased how our runners competed at the section 3A meet.”

Senior Rory Shackelford led the boy’s team to a 17th place finish in the section 3A meet. Rory advanced on to the state meet, he finished 6th in the section 3A meet in a photo finish just edging out a Mountain Lake-Comfrey runner at the finish line, running his best 5K time of the year and career, of 17:10.

Eighth grader Kylie Knollenberg finished 20th and led the girl’s team to a 12th place finish in the section 3A meet.

“We were very pleased and proud of how both the boys and girls team competed at the section meet,” said Coach Ford, adding that “it was a great way to finish out the year with so many personal bests and on such a positive note.”

Rory Schackelford is going to compete in State for the 2nd year in a row.

"It feels great, the meet is a pretty cool place. It takes you through eight different sections. I like running with the pack instead of out in front of it... You start, you pass people, some people pass you. There's more competition in there instead of just being in a spot and trying not to get passed."

That will serve him well in State, because according to Ford, "There are just so many runners, it's just a mass, as opposed to other races where you're just running with two or three others after the beginning."

Something Schackelford does to push through when he's tired is take off his glasses and carry them in his hand. He's not sure why it helps, but he knows it works for him. His mindset during those times is, "If I slow down now, I'm going to have to speed up a lot later. I don't want to do that so I'll run a bit faster now."

Section 3A Boys 5000 meters results

1) LqPV/DB 31

2) Redwood Valley 83

3) Luverne 92

4) Murray Central 139

17) YME 457

YME Runners:

6) Rory Shackelford 17:10 (advancing to the state meet)

80) Tate Schulte 19:47

114) Caleb Jans 21:14

133) Drake Lieser 22:47

136) Luke Kluver 23:05

142) Tyler Nordaune 25:23

Section 3A Girls 5000 Results

1) Luverne 51

2) LQPV/DB 99

3) Murray Central 111

4) Pipestone 115

5) Canby 115

12) YME 341

YME Runners:

20) Kylie Knollenberg 21:13

72) Kenzie Kotek 23:35

73) Sanjana Pullan 23:38

98) Kaitlin Wohlman 25:19

100) Courtney Winter 25:33

107) Violet Anderson 26:18