Splinter and Overby run strong at state

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Austin's Madison Overby heads to the finish of the girls Class AA race of the Minnesota State Cross Country Meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

NORTHFIELD — Austin’s Haley Splinter went out in style and Madison Overby made a late charge at the Class ‘AA’ state girls meet in St. Olaf Saturday.

Splinter came in with a goal of finishing faster than 15:30 and she tallied a time of 15:23.8 and took 82nd out of 174 runners and Overby finished in 39th place.

It was a day of redemption for Splinter, a senior, as she failed to make it to state last year due to a medical condition that caused fatigue and she didn’t finish at state two years ago due to an injury.

Austin's Haley Splinter runs past the halfway point of the Girls AA race Saturday at the Minnesota State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

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“I said I had work to get done at state and I got it done,” Splinter said. “When I passed the spot where I had to pull out two years ago, I flew by and said ‘never again’ and determination hit me. I was gonna finish as hard as I could.”

Overby, a freshman, finished with a time of 15:03.4 as she had to turn on the speed to move up. Overby was in the mid 70s halfway through the race, but she found away to get going.

“I realized that I’d been holding back, so I just decided to go,” she said. “It was a good end, and it was a good finish.”

Overby actually ran her fastest first mile of the season by about 20 seconds, but she still had to make up some ground.

“I saw girls in front of me and there were too many. I think it was a faster field this year,” said Overby, who took 19th with a time of 14:51.1 as an eighth grader.

Splinter couldn’t have been much happier to be back at the state meet. She even began to feel a couple of nerves before the race.

“Being back down on the line with Madison and the whole atmosphere, it was just an honor to be out there,” she said.

Splinter and Overby were each running in their third career state meet.

Austin runners Madison Overby, left, and Haley Splinter have their photos taken with Packers teammates after the completion of the Class AA girls' race Saturday at the Minnesota State Cross Country Meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Maria Hauger won the meet with a time of 13:42.0.