Caleb Palmreuter and Seth Mead became the first Gladwin runners to compete in the Division 2 state cross country finals since Gladwin bumped up from Division 3 about ten years ago. The boys traveled to Michigan International Speedway in the Irish Hills for the event. Tessa Wohlschlegel from Beaverton was also a state finalist competing in the Division 3 girl’s race.
It was “very exciting” to have two runners qualify for the Finals,” said Gladwin Coach Jordon Strohkirch. “I have been there as a runner so it was nice to be on the other side and return as a coach.” The boys may have been in awe at first seeing all of the busses, cars and people, but they were ready to race when it was time to go. “We were also excited to see how well Wohlschlegel did in the morning race. She ran great,” added Strohkirch.
“The level of competition is just crazy,” continued Strohkirch. “The guys were just flying around the course.” Palmreuter was in around 80th place after about a mile and a half when he decided to “turn on the jets and really start hammering it for home,” according to Strohkirch.
“He came into the stadium with about 1200 yards to go and started picking people off left and right.”
One of the people he beat was current Jack Pine Conference cross country champion Brad White from Clare. Palmreuter finished in 61st place with a personal record of 16:42.89 which was 37 seconds faster than White. Mead also ran a good race finishing with a time of 17:27.58. Right after the race both boys said that they needed be running everyday over the summer so that they can get the entire team to state next season.
That had to be music to Strohkirch’s ears. Since he took over last season that has been one of his goals. He told me earlier this season that he thought they could win the conference and get someone to the state meet. He also mentioned that there was an outside chance that the team could qualify for state. The first two goals were accomplished and the kids are buying into the third one. With the kids believing in the possibility there is a good chance that it will happen.