Cahoon keeps Cardinals on trackAllie Cahoon admitted she’s not as fast as her father was when he set Cromwell-Wright school records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes years ago. Speed is not a problem for the 16-year-old, however.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Allie Cahoon admitted she’s not as fast as her father was when he set Cromwell-Wright school records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes years ago.
Speed is not a problem for the 16-year-old, however.
Cahoon is the track and field team’s centerpiece this spring, as the 5-foot-4 mid-distance runner returns to the track as a sophomore after representing the small Polar League school in last year’s state meet as a freshman.
“I felt like the smallest one out there,” said Cahoon, who participated in the individual 800-meter run at Hamline University at state last June. “It was real scary. There were a lot of big schools there. I could have raced better I think, but right away, I kind of sold myself out.”
Cahoon will be hard to sell out this season. Along with the 800-meter run, she will head the Cardinals’ 3,200-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams. According to Coach Dave Foster, Cahoon is one to build off of.
“We’ll focus our relays around her,” Foster said Monday night. “She is extremely talented and a really hard-working kid. She’s strong in mid-distance events and has a lot of speed. She’s got good blood lines, too.”
Along with her father, Brett Cahoon, Allie’s aunt, Elissa Polley, was a member of a school-record-setting 1,600-meter relay team, while she holds a school-best in the 300-meter hurdles, too.
Allie’s older cousin, MaKayleigh Cahoon, is also returning to run after a year away from the sport. Although MaKayleigh said it’s nice to be back, the senior said it was enjoyable watching Allie run at state last year.
“I don’t know if running is her sport, but it is fun to watch her run,” said MaKayleigh. “She’s extremely fast.”
Foster noted that both of the Cahoons are a part of a Cromwell-Wright program that is the biggest he’s seen in his 12 years coaching at the small school. According to Foster, the Cardinals sport 46 kids in grades 7-12.
“That’s above average for us,” said Foster, who coached his team in the season-opening meet at Bemidji Tuesday afternoon. “They’re a great group.”
Foster said in addition to the Cahoon cousins, the girls team will be paced by Rachel Hutar and Kayle Johnson, while the boys will look to Mitch Talley, Austin Johnson, Nick Koenig and Jared Hutar as contributors.
“It’s a fun group of kids to coach,” Foster said. “I’m not sure how things are going to fall yet, but it’s definitely nice to have some options.”
Allie Cahoon agreed.
“Last year we barely had any girls,” Cahoon said of a team that boasts more than 20 girls on the roster. “Now we have depth. Everyone is excited.”
“It’s tough to get out of our section, so I am not going to make any aspirations yet,” Foster said, “but we have a lot of talent.”
Atop that talented list is Cahoon.
Noting the great experience state was last year, Allie said she would like to return again this June, yet commented Tuesday that her main target this season would be to set a school record.
Just like her father did.
“My goal is the record for the 800,” said Cahoon, whose personal best is 2 minutes, 24 seconds, just three seconds shy of the school-best 2:21 mark. “I’m a mid-distance runner and my dad was a sprinter, so I wasn’t as fast as he was. But today I am, because he’s old.”
In addition to the Cardinals, Polar League track and field squads in the area this spring include: Barnum, Carlton, Moose Lake-Willow River and Wrenshall. All will compete in Class A, as well as local foe South Ridge. Cloquet is the county’s lone Class AA representative, as the Lumberjacks will again compete in the Lake Superior Conference this season.