Lindquist, other locals fare well at state meetRacing to catch his breath after his best-ever state cross country performance, Jackson Lindquist stood near the finish line Saturday afternoon as his hardest critic. “That time was OK,” he said, winded.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Racing to catch his breath after his best-ever state cross country performance, Jackson Lindquist stood near the finish line Saturday afternoon as his hardest critic.
“That time was OK,” he said, winded.
That blazing 5,000-meter time of 16 minutes, 32.3 seconds claimed the Esko senior ninth place and All-State honors at Saturday’s Class A boys cross country championships in Northfield, Minn.
Competing in his fifth consecutive state race, the veteran Lindquist ran his opening mile in just over five minutes, ran smart throughout the middle stages, and said his final stretch sprint was what marked him as the Northland’s highest finisher Saturday, defeating both the Section 7A winner and runner-up, Proctor’s Romeo Benish and Matt Welch.
“I had a good kick in the end, I was surprised,” Lindquist said. “That’s usually my weak spot, but I put a good one in this time. So I’m happy with that. The time could have been better but I’m happy with it.”
“That was unbelievable,” added Esko Coach Jerry Zimny. “That was just all guts. And so smart, too. He just improved, improved and improved in his five years here. What a way to end a career. What a day. We’re just blessed or something.”
Lindquist said he was prepared to give it all he had left in the tank.
“I’ve been training all year for this. I haven’t really cared about any other races,” he said. “I thought I went out solid. I’ll take it.”
Carlton’s Lindsey Dahl-Holm also ended her career Saturday. Although she didn’t receive All-State recognition with her 4,000-meter time of 16:40.2, the Bulldogs senior was proud of her career looking back at her four state championship appearances.
“My main goal was to get to state my senior year,” said Dahl-Holm, who also balanced her first year of volleyball into her daily workout routine. “I made it to state, that’s good enough for me.”
“It was nice to see her back down there,” added Carlton Coach Andy Wyman. “I can’t take the credit. I just gave her the workout plan. She did the rest. And making it down there is not easy to do.”
South Ridge eighth-grader Gracelynn Otis also returned to state Saturday, improving on last year’s finish by placing 59th with her mark of 16:04.7. Afterward, she was disappointed in her results, but proud after time.
“I was mad, I thought I could have done better,” said Otis. “But I guess I did a lot better than other eighth-graders.”
Her running mate, seventh-grader Jasmine Gawboy, was making her state debut. Crossing the line teary-eyed, she was just happy she finished.
“I got elbowed in the chest and stomach at the beginning, middle and once in the end of the race,” said the 5-foot, 85-pound 12-year-old. “In the middle, I didn’t think I was going to finish, but I’m really proud I did. I was really nervous, but I thought everything was really cool.”
“They were very excited to get there,” said South Ridge Coach Jeremy Polson. “They’re young, optimistic and realize that there’s a lot left to go still. They were the only seventh- and eighth-grade duo there was.”
Comforting her friend in tears afterward, Otis may have said it best: “I just told her ‘Good job, it’s going to be OK. Just keep breathing. There are probably going to be more.’”