Syverson, Johnston run in Northfield

At state meet: David Johnston, second from left.
At state meet: Abby Syverson, foreground.
Pelican cross country runners received a warm send-off from the Viking Elementary students prior to their departure for the Nov. 3 state meet in Northfield.

Every sport, no matter what the season, culminates with teams and individuals participating in a state meet venue of some sort. 

The state cross country meet was held November 3 on the campus of St. Olaf in Northfield. 

Abby Syverson and David Johnston have had the privilege to participate in this prestigious meet for the past three seasons. 

Abby found herself lining up next to a large crowd as 175 runners were registered to compete in the Class A Girls race. After the first mile, Abby was in 51st place running at a 6 minute 4 second per mile pace.  Mile two finds some of the runners losing their adrenaline rush as spectators are not allowed on this part of the course. Abby did not lose focus and moved into 42nd place at the two mile mark with a time of 12 minutes 33 seconds. The final mile of the race is considered to be hilly by most of the competitors, but because the Vikings log many practice miles on hilly routes, Abby was able to approach these hills with confidence. Her last mile charge going into the hilly part of the course moved her into a solid 28th place overall finish. 

Her finishing time of 19 minutes 43.4 seconds was a personal best and she also lowered the school record for the third time this season.

David shared the starting line with 176 other runners as he prepared for the start of the Class A Boys race. When the gun was fired, he found himself in the middle of a fast paced race as he crossed the first mile in 5 minutes and 15 seconds which put him in 97th place at the time. David has struggled with mile two in the past, but he had prepared himself better this year and was able to move into 88th place as he crossed the two mile mark in 10 minutes and 53 seconds. David also approached the hilly part of the course with confidence, and used this section of the race to improve his position and when he crossed the finish line in 17 minutes and 3 seconds, he had moved up to 58th place for his overall finish.

The cross country team will conclude the season with an awards banquet to be held on Sunday, November 18. It will take place in the high school at 6:30 p.m.