A pep rally was held at the Pelican Rapids High School gym Nov. 1--sending off the two Viking representaitves at the state meet in St. Olaf: Abby Syverson and David Johnston.
Abby Syverson completed her final run as a Pelican Rapids cross country athlete, at the state meet at the St. Olaf College field.
David Johnston ran a personal best time of 16 minutes at
the state meet.
An entourage of Pelican classmates and fans traveled to the state cross country meet to cheer on Johnston and Syverson.

Pelican standouts make final cross country appearance at state meet

Abby Syverson and David Johnston ran in their final Minnesota State High School League State Cross Country Meet on November 2. 

Both runners are seniors and have had the honor to participate in this prestigious event for the past four years. The event is held on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

Abby’s race was the first one scheduled for the afternoon session. She toed the line with 175 quality runners from Class A schools.

 Her strategy was not to go out too fast like some of the runners are known to do. When the gun sounded, the mob of runners sprinted off the line and headed for the first turn which was about 300 meters later. At this point, Abby found herself elbow to elbow with a huge pack of runners. When Abby crossed the first mile in 6 minutes and 14 seconds, she was in 95th place. She ran the second mile in 6 minutes and 49 seconds and had moved up to 90th place. Abby ran the last 1.1 miles In 7 minutes and 27 seconds, and finished the race in 84th place with a final time of 20 minutes and 31 seconds.

David’s strategy was to start faster than normal and focus on having a strong race from start to finish. David ran his first mile in 5 minutes and 10 seconds which put him in 62nd place. By the time he crossed the two mile mark he had moved up to 53rd place. He continued to pass runners the last mile and when his race was over, he had moved up to 41st place and recorded a personal best time of 16 minutes and 51 seconds for the 5K course.

“Congratulations to both runners on their achievements this year and over the course of their career,” stated Coach Steve Maresh. 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DANA SYVERSON