Isaac Swenson finished his junior season with a personal best at the Class 1A state cross country meet. Swenson ran a 17:26.94 to take 26th place.

  Coach Ethan Albertson explained Swenson’s race strategy. “Going into the race, we noticed that there were a few kids who Isaac had beaten this year who were ranked in the top 30, so we thought there was a good chance that top 30 would be possible.

  “Isaac’s plan was to let the field go out hard, and spend most of his energy grinding during that second mile. At the first mile marker he was in 60th, but the field was still packed pretty tight. Then he started moving up, and since his second mile only 14 seconds slower than his first, he found himself in 36th place.

  “During the first half of the last mile he passed six more runners and mentally prepared himself for a 400 meter sprint to the line. Isaac used his speed and experience in 800 meter races to pass the more runners, including the winner of the state qualifying meet (we attended). Only one runner from that meet beat Isaac at the state.

  “It was fun to see him run so well in the final meet of the 2021 season. It was a truly beautiful day with perfect weather. The sun was out, the wind was down, and the temperature was cool and comfortable,” Albertson said.