Johnson Represents SWC/E at State Meet

By Brian Tschetter –

Mikayla Johnson, a freshman at Southwest Christian, competed at the Minnesota State High School Cross Country Meet on Saturday, Nov. 4. The meet took place on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

Overcast skies, a light wind and a 41 degree temperature greeted runners as they ran the 3.12 mile course. The state course is designed so that runners are out on their own for much of the races. Coaches have limited access to communicate with their athletes and spectators have even less chances to cheer them by.

Runners have a very wide start area (wide enough to get 176 runners side-by-side to toe the starting line) and the course stays fairly wide across some soccer fields and open area. The course then narrows as it enters the first of three different nature trail type loops that go out into the woods. After each loop, runners are back near the main start/finish area but each loop the runners have no crowd support to cheer them on, the only ones out there are the fellow competitors.

The AA girls and boys races took place in the morning. The girls class A race had a 1:00 start time. Mikayla was in good spirits and stayed quite calm and loose throughout the morning. After a brief moment of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all and a little stomach issue, she settled back down and started her normal pre-race warmups.

The start of the race was something to see – 176 of the state’s best runners all leaving in one big mass. Mikayla finished in 128th place. The runners are all so evenly matched that over 50 runners finished within 30 seconds in front of or 30 seconds behind Mikayla’s finishing time of 21:21. That is a good time for Mikayla, not her best of the year, but a very solid time for her first trip to the state meet and her first time running in a meet of such magnitude. She has run right around the 21:00 mark the last three races of the year so she was real close to that same time.

For the complete article, please see the November 8th edition of the Edgerton Enterprise. If you do not currently receive the Enterprise, CLICK HERE for information on how to subscribe!

Mikayla Johnson runs in the state cross country meet at St. Olaf College last Saturday.

Mikayla’s support crew of Sydney Van Essen, Mara Fick, Ella Veldkamp, and Cybil Vander Top. (photos by Brian Tschetter)