Lee Christensen and Nic Peters will represent Estherville Lincoln Central at the 2013 Class 2A State Cross Country Meet today in Fort Dodge.
Each sophomore has a different story on how they earned a trip to state.
Christensen ran over 400 miles during the summer to get a leg up on the season. Peters had to overcome being sick and missing a couple weeks at the start of the season. He then pushed himself to earn all-conference honors and then qualify for state.
Nic Peters, left, and Lee Christensen will repreent the Estherville Lincoln Central at the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet today in Fort Dodge. The 2A boys’ race starts at 1:30 p.m.
"Lee definitely did his homework this pass summer," said ELC coach Tina Burton. He ran over 400 miles so had a solid base coming into the season. When we began focusing on shorter and faster races, that made it easier for him."
Those extra miles also gave him one other thing.
"He came in with more confidence," said Burton. "Having the confidence made all the difference."
The coach said Christensen had one race where he didn't quite compete 'up to par" but she's said that's typical for runners.
"Every other race he finished in the Top 10," He lasts longer with the top runners. I hope he has some high goals for the next couple years."
Meanwhile Peters didn't have quite the base in mileage over the summer and then was out of commission with illness early in the season.
"But he runs with a lot of guts," said Burton. "Every practice he gives 110 percent and never slacks off. The last two races he never waivered. You knew he was going for it."
The two ELC runners will compete against the top runners in the state in Class 2A today at 1:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
The goal is to finish in the Top 25," said Burton. "Some runners, it's just enough to qualify for state. We want them to have their best meet of the season. We don't want to be okay with just qualifying. We know they're capable of running with the top runners."
Regardless of their finish in today's meet, the sophomores still have two more years in which to compete.
Burton noted that of the 10 qualifiers from their district meet in Orange City, there was just one other sophomore while the rest were juniors and seniors.
For Spirit Lake, senior Dondi Schmidt will try to improve on her 11th place finish of 2012 in the 2A girls race. Senior Tanner Goetsch will try to better his 16th place finish of 2012.