By Bruce Strand
Reed Parent’s running career started when he was a little kid and his mother probably just wanted to get him out of the house.
“Mom would tell me, if you’ve got so much energy, go run around the house five times,” said the Rogers junior. “I’d run around five times and come back in and say, OK, what now? And she’d send me back out for five more times around the house. Then maybe I’d go biking.”
Parent still has an abundance energy and is using it constructively as leader of the Rogers cross country team. On Tuesday he had one of his career highlights, placing first in the third annual Rogers Invitational and leading the Royals to third place among 10 teams.
Monticello was team champion, edging Mound-Westonka 40 to 44, with Rogers next at 76.
Parent covered the 5K in 16:12 at Fox Hollow Golf Course, with runner-up Scott Harrison of Mound-Westonka coming in at 16:18.
“Reed has been running very well, picking up where he left off last year,” said coach Steve Leuer. “He is working hard to get back to state and do better than he did last year. He’s there for every morning run, every Saturday run.”
Parent, who placed 70th at state last year, has turned in two big races in four days. On Saturday, he placed third at the U of M’s huge Roy Griak Invitational in the maroon (second tier) race, which had 49 teams.
“My only goal this year is to get under 16 minutes,” said the 5-foot-7, 135-pound runner. “Today was my personal best. I believe I can (break 16) if I work hard. I have a great coach to help me.”
Rogers has boasted the individual boy champion in two of the three invitationals it has hosted so far. Caleb LeClaire won in 2010.
Parent and LeClaire happen to also be hockey players, a fact not lost on Leuer.
“We’ve actually had a lot of hockey players,” said Leuer, naming a half-dozen more off the top of his head. “I don’t know what the connection is between hockey and running in Rogers, but all I can say is, keep them coming, because they’ve been some good runners for us.”
Rogers also had Karl Gorecki in 13th place (17:40), Carl Parent in 15th (17:50), Caleb Burke in 22nd (18:02) and Collin Young in 25th (18:13).
Champion Monticello had three of the top nine led by Derek Secord in fourth place.
Spectrum placed last. The Sting’s top two were Chad Schwinghammer in 33rd place and Nate Hackbarth in 50th.
Next for Rogers is the Mississippi 8 meet Thursday, Oct. 11, at St. Michael. Next for Spectrum is the Crystal Invitational next Tuesday.