Marvel molds into a runnerDylan Marvel set a personal-best 5,000-meter time of 16 minutes, 46.4 seconds in placing 12th in Class AAA at Saturday’s Milaca Mega Meet at the Stones Throw Golf Club in Milaca, Minn. Posting the top individual time for Cloquet, Marvel led the Lumberjacks to an eighth-place team finish.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Dylan Marvel’s parents wanted him to get his driver’s license so badly that they bought him a Jeep at Christmas – a year before his 16th birthday.
“They would get angry when I asked them to bring me somewhere to run every day,” said Marvel, a Cloquet junior on the Lumberjacks cross country team. “Then I got my license. They were pumped.”
Marvel acknowledged his parents, Rick and Nikki, for the miles they put on their vehicles over the years, but, it’s been Marvel who has put on the miles since passing his license test last winter on the first try.
“I probably ran about 120 miles over the summer,” said Marvel, who noted he now drives himself to run with friends and teammates during the competitive fall season and offseason. “I put on a lot of miles, and running in new places, it’s been kind of adventurous and kind of cool.”
Those adventures have been part of Marvel’s transformation into a runner. Cloquet Coach Mike Bushey said the 5-foot-7, 115-pound speedster has been a part of the Lumberjack’s boys varsity since eighth grade, but it was just recently that the 16-year-old began to realize his full potential in the sport.
“He’s beginning to see what he’s capable of,” Bushey said, explaining Marvel placed first for Cloquet at a number of their meets this fall. “He’s a talented kid who puts in his time and is now starting to analyze how to run. He’s fun to watch, and has been our top runner this year.”
Marvel set a personal-best 5,000-meter time of 16 minutes, 46.4 seconds in placing 12th in Class AAA at Saturday’s Milaca Mega Meet at the Stones Throw Golf Club in Milaca, Minn. Posting the top individual time for Cloquet, Marvel led the Lumberjacks to an eighth-place team finish.
“We’re a pretty deep team, but Dylan is a motivation for all of us to keep working hard and getting better,” said Cloquet senior Erik Swanson. “He’s a short, little, speedy guy, but he uses it well. And he always shows at practice that he really cares about what he does.”
Marvel is at the top of the pack that includes Aaron Peterson, Jace Anderson, Luke Heine and Sam Jorgenson. Also a cast member of the school play this fall, Marvel spends some long days at the high school and said going for a run is something he always relishes.
“It sounds crazy, but it’s kind of relaxing,” Marvel said. “I really just like to run. It’s just something that I really enjoy. I found out I can run.”
“Every week now he’s learning a little bit more,” added Bushey. “He’s learning how hard he can go. He’s capable of winning some of these races, too. Other kids like him and want to see him be successful.”
Perhaps the most successful area runner is Esko’s Marisa Shady. The 2010 state Class A girls champion placed runner-up in Class AA in Milaca. Finishing the 4,000-meter race in 14:46.0, she was only behind St. Cloud Christian’s McKenzie Holt in a meet of thousands of runners.
“It’s the biggest high school cross country meet in the country; it’s real competitive down there,” Shady said. “I ran a little faster than my state time last year, so I’m happy with that. And with my team, as well.”
The second state-ranked Esko girls placed runner-up in Milaca, while the eighth-ranked boys took fourth place, much to Coach Jerry Zimny’s delight.
“I was real impressed with both of our teams,” said Zimny, the longtime coach in his final season. “I was real happy with how everybody ran.”
Shady added that she is good friends with Marvel. And Zimny, coaching since the 1970s, credited the Lumberjacks as a whole over time.
“To compete against the Forest Lakes, Anokas and Elk Rivers, they do exceptionally well,” he said. “They have to be one of the smallest schools in their class in the state, it’s pretty impressive. They haven’t always had the depth as a team, but they’ve had some individuals get to state.”
Maybe Marvel is next. Perhaps it will be his early 17th birthday gift.