The agony of defeat: Cloquet closes year on collisionWhen 6-foot-5 senior Aaron Peterson hands the baton down to 5-foot-2 eighth-grader Isaac Boedigheimer, it’s perhaps the oddest — and most difficult — relay exchange on tracks around the state.
By: Tyler Korby and Luke Heine, Pine Journal
When 6-foot-5 senior Aaron Peterson hands the baton down to 5-foot-2 eighth-grader Isaac Boedigheimer, it’s perhaps the oddest — and most difficult — relay exchange on tracks around the state.
It was at that moment when everything went wrong during last weekend’s Class AA state meet in St. Paul. Competing in the 3,200-meter boys relay final, leadoff runner Peterson was holding fourth place with a 1:58 split and about to hand off to Boedigheimer when disaster struck.
Cloquet Coach Tim Prosen said his boys were non-maliciously cut off by Roseville Area’s lane-side team and Peterson lost his footing for the handoff.
Peterson said he “just couldn’t connect.”
“I stepped on a Roseville kid’s shoe,” Peterson said.
Boedigheimer recalled the baton “just barely nicking [his] fingers” and scrambling to pick up the fallen baton from the adjacent lane — which had already disqualified the team. Despite the disqualification, the Cloquet team still ran all legs and completed the race.
To qualify for the state meet, Peterson, Boedigheimer and junior runners Dylan Marvel and Jace Anderson had run a team PR of 8:09 at sections. As Peterson said, “the team was feeling hot.”
“All of sudden I look and our guys are on the ground,” Prosen said Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve watched the race since and still; I am not certain what happened. There were just guys everywhere.”
Prosen noted there was a lot of confusion coming into the handoff zone with nine teams shuffling in.
“Anything that happened was unintentional,” the coach stressed.
What is intentional is that the Lumberjacks will make a run for next year.
“They’ll get back there,” said Peterson, who will run in college. “All three come back.”