North boys cross country laying the foundation

Although the spring high school sports season just ended earlier this week, some athletes are already working for next fall. The North High School boys cross country team is one such group.

Head coach Dave Terry is passionate about the sport and feels that, at least at North, it doesn’t get the exposure that track and field does even though many athletes compete in both disciplines.

“I want parents, athletes and our community to know we have a successful program and all are welcome,” Terry said.

Terry is also trying to get the word out that the team is always looking for more participants and that the summer workout program is underway. Terry and his charges kicked off their training program on June 20 and they meet each day at 10 a.m. on the east end of Lake Phalen where Larpenteur Avenue ends.

Over the years, the numbers might not have been huge but North has had plenty of cross country success. Since 1998, the Polars have had 10 state entrants, eight individual conference champions and one section champion.

Caleb Olson was a three-time conference champion and Tom Becker won conference titles twice. Other individual conference cross country medalists include Justin Tuomela, Luke Tjosvold and Matt Berens. Berens also won a section crown.

Tuomela made state three times, Olson and Becker went twice and one-time state entrants included Tjosvold, Berens, Mike Howard and Sam Bell.

There have also been 13 invitational team titles. 

A number of those same names also had success in distance races on the track in the spring. Olson was a four-time conference champion (one in 1,600 meters, three in the 3,200 meters), as was Becker (two each in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters). Tuomela won the 800 meters twice, Berens took the 1,600 and 3,200 meters once each and also winning 800-meter titles were Matt Davis and Victor Itoka.

Ben Allen added two more conference titles just last month when he took first place in both the 800 meters and 3,200 meters at the Metro East Conference championships.

North also owns eight relay conference titles.

Tuomela was a two-time section champion and won a state title in the 800 meters. Other section champions included Olson, Becker, Berens and a pair of 4x400-meter relay teams.

The North distance crew has helped the team claim 14 conference team titles since 2000.

Even though the summer program has started, anyone still interested in giving cross country a shot this summer is encouraged to contact Coach Terry at dterry@isd622.org.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

 

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