Packer cross country runners compete at state meet

Published 5:12 pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

NORTHFIELD — A pair of Austin runners finished the day with mixed results at the Class ‘AA’ state cross country meet in St. Olaf College Saturday.

Austin senior Andrew Baker finished 140th out of 174 runners with a time of 17:29.1 in his first state meet and Austin sophomore Madison Overby finished 73rd out of 174 runners with a time of 15:25.3 in her fourth state meet.

Baker didn’t race the time he was aiming for, but he was glad a chance to run in the state’s biggest meet.

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“I’d rather end my career here with this time, than end it at the section meet with a good time,” Baker said.

Baker tried to keep up with the field early on and it cost him in the end. He estimated that he ran his first mile in about four minutes and 50 seconds and that’s a lot faster than he usually starts.

“Everyone went faster than I’m used to at the start,” Baker said. “I went a lot faster than I should’ve and I kind of got caught up in it. After the first mile and a half I just kind of died and my legs wouldn’t go anymore.”

Overby had the opposite problem as Baker as she may have paced herself too much. She waited to turn up the speed, but by the time she wanted to go faster, she was caught up in a bunch of runners.

“I never really got into racing mode,” Overby said. “I didn’t expect everybody to come out so fast and then we they slowed down I ended up getting boxed in and I couldn’t get going. If I would’ve gone a lot faster I would’ve placed a lot higher.”

Overby said she still enjoyed the meet, but her finish will motivate her to work harder in the future. She’s hoping to put up a solid season for the Packer track and field team this year.

“I’m going to focus more on running this winter,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to spring track and field and hoping to be more competitive in track.”