Senior hurdlers lead CloquetSince leaping his first varsity hurdle freshman year, Landen Straub has progressed steadily, bettering both his time and technique. Perhaps that’s because the Cloquet senior’s toughest challenger suits up on the same team.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Since leaping his first varsity hurdle freshman year, Landen Straub has progressed steadily, bettering both his time and technique. Perhaps that’s because the Cloquet senior’s toughest challenger suits up on the same team.
Straub and teammate Sean Ferrell have both been jumping track and field gates for four seasons for the Lumberjacks – and both hurdlers said it’s been enjoyable.
“We’ve kind of been the only ones in it,” said Ferrell, a senior who runs the 110- and 300-meter hurdles as well as the triple jump and 400-meter relay. “We have always pushed each other at practices and meets. It’s been fun.”
The pair of good friends both placed at Tuesday’s Lake Superior Conference meet at Cloquet High School, as Cloquet, Ashland, Hermantown, Duluth Denfeld, Duluth Marshall, Proctor and Superior all took part in the busy seven-team affair. Officially, Hermantown won the girls division, while Ashland took home the boys title. Cloquet teams finished fourth in girls and fifth in boys.
Straub defeated Ferrell in the 300 hurdles, while Ferrell outran Straub in the 110.
“We’ve pushed each other well and I think it’s been good for both of us,” Straub said. “He’s better at the 110s, while I’m better at the 300s.”
Straub wasn’t exactly certain why he enjoys the hurdles, but explained that, after starting the demanding event, the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder has loved it.
“I like hurdles, but it has its difficulties,” Straub said with a laugh. “I guess I just like jumping apparently. It distracts me from the running part.”
Cloquet track and field coach Tim Prosen said hopping over the gates is more difficult than the average person in the bleachers estimates.
“Go stand up next to a hurdle and see how big it is,” Prosen said. “Add that to the fact that you’re running elbow-to-elbow with another guy and the hurdles can be a very stressful event. I commend those guys. It’s tough. I could jump one hurdle.”
Prosen’s senior duo has jumped many more than that over time. He also praised Straub and Ferrell for their all-around likeability.
“Those are two kids who are great leaders on the track, but also in the arts and in the classroom,” Prosen said. “They are just a couple of nice guys who you never have to worry about. You always know they are working hard. They lead by example and the younger ones do anything they say.”
Like Straub, Ferrell, too, is passionate about hurdling. The 6-foot-2, 160-pound three-sport athlete plans to run the event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison next year. Ferrell said he’ll try out when classes begin and find out his status later on in the fall season.
According to Ferrell, Prosen contacted the Badgers first about the idea, then Ferrell toured the school in April and is now thrilled for his opportunity with the Division I program.
“I was down there over Easter break and they said they were interested,” Ferrell said. “It’s exciting to get the chance to play a sport in college.”
“To send an athlete to the Big Ten Conference from up here in northeastern Minnesota is pretty neat,” Prosen said. “It’ll turn some heads.”
Straub is still debating his college plans, but Prosen knows he and Ferrell will both be sorely missed for the Lumberjacks next season.
“Those guys are such a stable portion of our hurdlers,” Prosen said. “They do so much are such nice kids. They’ll be sadly missed next year.”
Although there are still a few meets left this spring, Ferrell said he’ll miss his good friend running alongside him in college next fall.
“We’ve hurdled together since we were both in ninth grade,” Ferrell said. “It’ll be different without him there. He’s still better than me at the 300s, but it’s been a lot of fun running together.”