Snowflakes shouldn’t slow cross countryJerimy Hallsten said he will be bringing extra clothing, including winter hats and gloves, to Thursday’s Section 7A cross country meet at the Cloquet Country Club, as a snowstorm swathed the course last year. Thursday’s forecast predicts a slight chance of flurries again and high temperatures barely breaking 40.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
To stay warm during late-season meets, Esko cross country Coach Jerimy Hallsten doesn’t have any secrets.
“It’s pretty easy,” he said, “just wear more clothes.”
Hallsten said he will be bringing extra clothing, including winter hats and gloves, to Thursday’s Section 7A cross country meet at the Cloquet Country Club, as a snowstorm swathed the course last year. Thursday’s forecast predicts a slight chance of flurries again and high temperatures barely breaking 40.
“I wear a lot of layers,” said Esko junior Kailee Kiminski, a member of the Eskomos Class A girls state title team last November. “But honestly, I don’t think about it much. Once I hear that gun go off, I just get in the zone and go run.”
Kiminski has run to several regular season meet titles this fall and is a three-time section runner-up to former teammate and now-collegiate runner, Marisa Shady. She’s the hands-down favorite to win Thursday and she’s thinking positively.
“Yeah,” said Kiminski, pondering for a moment, and then remembering back to her second-place finishes as an eighth-grader, freshman and sophomore. “I’d like to get first.”
“Her goal is to win, but that’s the same for every meet,” Hallsten said of his speedster. “Sections do not change.”
A change in clothing is likely for Moose Lake’s Nicole Tekippe, who admitted she didn’t plan well for last year.
“I think I had shorts and a T-shirt,” she said. “It was the worst I’ve ran in. This time I’m bringing tons of blankets.”
Tekippe, a sophomore who qualified for state a year ago, is among a bevy of talented Class A girls runners, including South Ridge’s Gracelynn Otis and Carlton’s Erika Fox.
The sophomore Otis, a three-time state entrant, has had a down year she said, but noted the sections can change it all.
“All other races lead up to this,” said Otis, adding she doesn’t care about the weather conditions. “This is cross country — we run outside. Snow won’t be a problem for me.”
“That might make it more fun,” added Fox, a freshman.
Class A girls and boys run at 11 and 11:45 a.m.
Cloquet could have fun in Class AA, as the girls run at 2 p.m. and boys at 2:45 p.m., also at the Cloquet Country Club. The boys are outside state contenders.
“Our kids are running well right now,” said Cloquet Coach Mike Bushey. “That’s really all that we can ask for.”
Seniors Dylan Marvel, Jace Anderson and freshman Isaac Boedigheimer have helped win four team events this season. Freshman Anja Maijala is also a state hopeful for the girls.
“I’ll run my race; then cheer on the boys,” Maijala said.
“To get to state is our major objective,” added Anderson, “It’d just be awesome — definitely the cherry on the top.”