Senior Hans Holzner is repeating success found his Junior year with an encore trip to the state cross-country meet.
Setting a personal record, Holzner jumped out with the lead pack to start the race. Fans from Fergus traveled to New London, MN to watch the meet. Holzner qualified for state one year prior at the Section 6A championship in Long Prairie. His 17:30 time placed 10th in the meet. Having trained for a repeat trip to state this year, Holzner looked forward to an early kick in New London.
After a few turns and hill climbs Holzner found fans cheering him. After finding him in one corner, fans would dart to another spot on the course. Holzner noted that this helped him stay with with the pack, where he hung around 4th and 5th place for much of the race.
Holzner noted that he wanted to run with peace during the race. Known to have many analogies with his sport and spiritual development, Holzner also spoke to a desire to remind himself of Christ's presence as he pushed himself on the field.
After rounding the final turn, looking down the final stretch, Holzner began to find his kick. Noting that his previous personal record was 17:01, two seconds faster than his State meet time from 2015, Holzner heard cheering from the sidelines. As he neared 400m to go he gave his all and pushed through the finish line. The last kick knocked off at least 15 seconds from his pace, helping him blow away his former personal record by nearly 30 seconds, finishing with a time of 16:37. The final sprint moved him from 4th to 3rd place, earning a decisive trip to the state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. The State meet begins at 10am on Saturday, Nov. 5. Hans will run in lane 23 against the 150+ racers. He placed 32nd out of 176 racers last year.