Aug. 25 – CARLTON – Over the past week, Esko senior Ben Meysembourg has successfully taken his training for the upcoming cross-country season to new heights: 9,600 feet above sea level. sea, to be exact.
“I was training (in Colorado) for a week before that. I came back about two days ago,” Meysembourg said. “The highest I climbed was around 9,600 feet, and I stayed at around 7,000-9,000 feet the whole time.”
The altitude training proved very beneficial on race day at Chub Lake Park on Thursday August 25, as Meysembourg was the first runner to cross the finish line of the annual event which brought together participants from 11 Northland schools.
Although the encounter was untimed and technically an exhibition race, Meysembourg said the early tune-up offered him a chance to figure out how he will approach his training in the coming weeks.
“My coach (Jerimy Hallsten) wanted me to see what kind of weather I was going to run so he could check my intervals and decide what my training would be going forward,” Meysembourg explained.
During the first two laps of the course, Meysembourg closely trailed fellow 2021 State Meet participant Miles Fischer de Cloquet before finally getting ahead on the third and final lap and creating further separation in the home stretch.
Meysembourg’s promising start bodes well in his quest to achieve many career milestones this season.
“My goals would most likely be to rank state…then make my school proud and maybe break a school record or two,” Meysembourg said.
On the girls’ side, ninth-grader Brijette LaCore from Cloquet was the first member of the Lumberjacks to cross the finish line Thursday. Like Meysembourg, LaCore has high hopes for this season after a strong performance in eighth grade last year.
“I’ll try to do it as a team or individually,” LaCore said. “Last year I was one (point) behind, so that really motivates me to keep going.”
For LaCore, Thursday’s game offered him the opportunity to test his stamina for the upcoming season.
“I was trying to really push myself (and) see how far I could go,” LaCore said. “I knew I could slow down if I needed to, but I just wanted to see how far I could push myself.”
LaCore and the Lumberjacks, along with many schools participating in Thursday’s game, will be back in action on Wednesday, August 31 in Virginia for the second game of the season.