Cross Country: Lundstrom ends long Laker state drought
The plan for Detroit Lakes junior Matthew Lundstrom to earn a berth in the Class 2A state cross country meet worked out to near perfection last Thursday at the Lakeview Golf Course during the Section 8-2A meet.
The strategy of reining in his energy during the first mile of the race and having a strong finish earned Lundstrom his first state cross country meet berth, while ending an seven-year state drought for the Laker boys, with Shane Wyborney being the last DL runner to qualify in 2005.
But Lundstrom had to overcome more than the heavily-talented section competition last Thursday, he had to hurdle some mental obstacles over the course of the season, as well.
Last year, Lundstrom fractured his fibula during a meet in Little Falls, which followed another season-ending injury his freshman season.
In other words, this season for Lundstrom was one in which injury was heavily on his mind.
“It adds stress to the head,” Lundstrom said of being injured the last two years.
“But after running in the Little Falls meet this season (where he fractured his fibula last year) and made it through the entire race, I knew I was going to make it.”
Lundstrom made it just fine, after he and fellow senior teammate Zach Foltz became frontrunners in each of the meets they competed in during the second half of the season.
It led up to the Section 8-2A meet last Thursday and Lundstrom’s expectations were high; he could have even finished better than his fifth-place finish.
“The first lap, I took it easy and I was fourth after the first half of the race,” Lundstrom said. “I wanted to stay with the lead group, after (Bemidji’s Sam Carlson) kicked it down early and got a big lead.”
Lundstrom maintained his position with the three other top runners, forming the lead pack behind Carlson, with no one else in tow to threaten them.
“Near the end, I thought maybe I would try and kick it down, but I was a little nervous I wouldn’t have enough near the finish,” Lundstrom said. “So I just held my cards and ensured myself I would make state.”
Lundstrom transferred to DLHS last year from Lake Park, where he attended Hawley High School the last several years.
Now he will be the first Laker at the state cross country meet since 2005.
Lundstrom said he will use his section strategy at the state meet to try for his goal of finishing in the top 25.
“I want to run the first mile conservatively and get in the top 25,” Lundstrom said. “With the excitement of the state, many runners go out really fast and don’t have enough at the end.
“I don’t want to get too caught up at being in the front at the beginning, but instead be at the front in the end.”
The Class 2A 5K boys’ meet will be held at St. Olaf College in Northfield Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.