Park steps it up

Cross country powers through invitational


Sophia Curran-Moore

Freshman Caleb Teichman pushes past his limits in the boys’ JV 5,000 meter race. His team finished in 12th place.

Sophia Curran-Moore

As the runners lined up to start the race, junior cross country captain Auden Whitlow said she had high hopes for her team.

“I hope that they’re all able to have the race that they want to, because not every race is going to be their best race, with the heat and how difficult of a sport it is. I just want everyone to be proud of how they ran, and how they supported their teammates if they weren’t running,” Whitlow said.

As the St. Michael-Albertville invitational Oct. 4 progressed, head coach Chris Nordstrom said Park kept up well with the other teams, despite the many obstacles they faced.

“The kids are running well so far, so hopefully we can keep up the trend of battling through this course,” Nordstrom said. “It’s a little hilly … It’s a little warm. It’s a lot of up and down and a little windy. Not the easiest course, but a good test.”

Whitlow said she hoped the humidity wouldn’t slow down her teammates, as humidity is difficult on runners.

“This is actually one of the better races, but there is a difficult hill, and it’s kind of humid right now, and that always makes running super difficult. I hope that isn’t too big an issue for anyone running,” Whitlow said. “I just love everyone on the team.”

Park girls’ JV placed 5th in the 5,000 meter race. At the end of her race, senior Mathea Bruns said she was satisfied with how she ran because she achieved a personal record.

“It was good and consistent, surprisingly, because there’s a really big hill in the middle,” Bruns said. “There’s always the motivation to finish the race. I’m always trying to PR … I PR’d by a few seconds in this race.”

According to Nordstrom, relaxing and focusing on speed in practices helped the team succeed.

“We’re coming out of the toughest part of our season, so I’m hoping that as we start to wind down, the kids will start to feel more confident in their races,” Nordstrom said. “Our runs are getting shorter and we’re focusing more on speed, rather than doing long strength stuff. We’re turning our dial to speed and short, versus strength and long, like it was in the beginning of the season.”

Next, Park will race Bloomington Jefferson at 3:55 p.m. Oct. 12 at Brookside Park.