HHS junior clips school record
FORT DODGE – From start to finish, Humboldt High junior Sam Larson ran her best race ever last Saturday (Oct. 27) in the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships.
Running in her third state meet at Lakeside Golf Course north of Fort Dodge, Larson saved her best for last and set a school record in the process with a seventh-place finish.
Larson breezed the course with a time of 14:58. She topped the school record she had set earlier this season in the low 15:00 range. For Larson, who finished ninth a year ago at state in what was then a new school record time of 15:07, it was all about running the complete race she has strived for all season long.
“I feel very good. I was very surprised about my placing. I’m happy with my time,” Larson said.
“I wasn’t worried about the girls behind me at the end of the race. I was more focused on the girl right ahead of me. I didn’t quite get her, but that’s all right. I’m happy with my finish,” Larson said.
Larson and Wildcat coach Dean Clasen were looking to get off to a stronger start than previous races, without sacrificing much at the end.
The strategy paid off.
“Coach Clasen was hoping I would go out with a 5:50-5:55 first mile. But I was out at 5:48. I was a little worried about holding everybody off, knowing I was in sixth or seventh place at that point,” Larson said. “But I was going for time and it was my last race of the season so I knew I had to give it my all.”
“I was a couple of seconds off of my PR (personal record). I’m real happy about that and with my season and setting the school record,” Larson said.
Waverly-Shell Rock standout Anna Holdiman was the 3A winner in 13:51. Lauren Benzing of Solon was runner-up at 14:30 and MOC-FV’s Bethany Dykstra ran 14:31 for third. Fourth-place went to Madison Waymire of Dallas Center-Grimes. Kenzie Theisen of LeMars was fifth at 14:40 and Sarah Steffensmeier of Fort Madison was sixth in 14:55. Larson was followed by Ballard Huxley’s Abby Kohut-Jackson in 15:01.
“Her time was at or near her very, very best so that’s all you can ask of any of the kids to run in their very last meet. At this stage, that’s exactly what she did and what we’re looking for,” Clasen said.
“She knows she’s not going to outsprint people at the end. She has to set her tempo early in the meet. And that’s always a dicey thing to do because if you start the race too early, you end up running out of gas and you can’t finish and people go by you,” Clasen said. “In her case, it’s been about 400 to 500 meters out that she’s been starting to move and keep from letting the form break down.”
The team banquet is set for Nov. 6 at the high school cafeteria.
STATE CROSS COUNTRY MEET
3A GIRLS TEAM SCORING
Decorah 63, MOC-FV 85, Davenport Assumption 93, Solon 151, Harlan 153, Dubuque Wahlert 168, Pella 194, Dallas Center-Grimes 210, Grinnell 212, Sioux City Bishop Heelan 223, Fort Madison 235, Williamsburg 277, Shenandoah 328, Cresco of Crestwood 363, Spencer 376.
TOP 10 GIRLS
Anna Holdiman, Waverly-Shell Rock, 13:51. Lauren Benzing, Solon, 14:30. Bethany Dykstra, MOC-FV, 14:31. Madison Waymire, DC-G, 14:34. Kenzie Theisen, LeMars, 14:40. Sarah Steffensmeier, Fort Madison, 14:55. Sam Larson, Humboldt, 14:58. Abby Kohut Jackson, Ballard, 15:01. Lilly Horst, Vinton-Shellsburg, 15:01. Elizabeth Mallon, Assumption, 15:02.