It seems you always can count on the members of the Muskie cross-country team to put in a solid performance no matter which course they compete on.
That's a theme that has proven true each time out for the squad so far this NorWOSSA season, and it was no different on Thursday in Dryden.
The 21-member contingent Fort High sent to the annual “Turkey Trot” ran to some very impressive times—and another plethora of top-three finishes—on a challenging course.
“Overall, the team ran very well, adapted well to the conditions, and turned in some great times,” enthused Muskie head coach John Dutton.
“But sometimes the format of a race, or the sheer number of runners on the start line, cannot only be intimidating but can also play havoc with an athlete's pacing,” he noted.
“The Dryden five-km race is open, which means Grades 9 through 12, both male and female, run together,” Dutton explained.
"In such a diverse field of athletes, runners can get caught up with inappropriate pace times early in the race and pay the price in the later kilometres.
“Unfortunately, our runners are not immune to this predicament and we had a few athletes who found the 'tank empty' before the race was over,” he remarked.
“But the value of races like the 'Turkey Trot' and the Hial Pike [in International Falls] is the experience that our runners gain while learning to adapt to new situations,” Dutton reasoned.
The Muskies were slated to be in International Falls yesterday for the annual Hial Pike meet at the Falls Golf Course, with the results not known as of press time.
Dutton felt as though it would be a great chance for his charges to improve on their pace times as the terrain there is much easier to run on.
“The Hial Pike race in International Falls is always a great race,” he said.
"The race is run at Falls Golf Course so the gentle terrain usually means many our athletes will enjoy season-best times.