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Up North: Muddy Course Challenged Runners at 67th Swain Invite

October 11, 2017 10:52 PM

For more than six decades prep cross country runners have tackled the trail in Duluth's Enger Park each fall in the Swain Invitational.

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Due to rainfall the night before, staying on your feet was difficult for runners due to a damp course.

"There was lots of mud. I nearly slipped a few times," said Ely sophomore Haley Hopkins.

Runners kicked up mud throughout the 5000-meter course and even lost shoes along the way.

"I wanted to turn back and go grab it, but I figured lots of people would pass me, so I kept going," said Ely sophomore Dylan Fenske.

"When my shoe came off I was going pretty slow, so I grabbed it. I put it back on and kept going," said Ely sophomore Mitch Peterson. "I ended up passing the people that passed me so it wasn't too bad," he added.

One of the top local finishers was Mesabi East's Ava Hill. She finished as the runner-up in the Class A Girls Varsity Division. The sophomore has won a few regular season meets, however, this is just her first year running for her high school cross country team. Saturday also marked her first time running in the Swain Invitational.

"It was hard. I tried to go fast the first mile and then keep my pace the second mile. It was all uphill and muddy so I was kind of slipping and sliding around," she explained.

This year marked the 67th Swain Invitational. For race results, click here.


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