BY DAVE PEDERSEN
The effort by two local cross country runners at Saturday’s state meet in Northfield was respectable, according to Delano and Rockford coaches.
Junior Adam Armbruster from Delano finished 25th in the Class AA race and senior Abby Botten of Rockford placed 34th in the Class A event.
“I was very happy with how Abby ran,” notes Rocket coach Jason Hester. “I think it is especially remarkable considering that this is only her third race. She started strong and kept a good pace the entire race. She also finished strong, passing several runners in the last 200 meters.”
It was Botten’s third race of the season because she joined the team late once the soccer season concluded. In her first meet, Botten was eighth to earn All-Conference honors. And then the miler in track captured 12th at the section meet to qualify for state.
It was a return trip to state for Armbruster, who finished some 40 places higher than last season. Coach Boak Wiesner says his junior was more prepared both athletically as well as psychologically.
“He got out to a fast start,” adds Wiesner. “At about a minute into the race, he was in third, right behind Obsa Ali, the eventual state champion. I saw him again right before the two-mile mark. Adam had dropped back appreciably and looked like he wasn’t sure how to proceed so I was worried he might fade after a too-fast start.
“When he next came by, with only the hill and 200 meters to go, he was right in there,” continued the coach. Adam had a great last mile and a solid finish. His 16:11 was his second fastest time of the year. Mostly what he gained from the race is confidence that he can take into the preparation for next year’s adventure.”
Delano will graduate only one boy runner out of the top 10. Wiesner adds, “Ideally, a couple of more guys will see what summer miles did for Adam and the other guys of the fab four and get out and hit the roads accordingly. Time will tell.”