Senior Colin Lyndorff and Juniors Derek Secord and Oliver Winsor headed to the state meet with high expectations for both themselves and the meet itself. They didn’t leave disappointed.
Lyndorff and Secord finished well within the top half of the field, while Winsor came in at a solid 115. And the meet itself exceeded their expectations.
“It was beyond belief,” said Winsor. “There are so many people here. It’s just shocking when you first see it.”
Lyndorff, who has been there previously as a spectator, echoed that sentiment.
“Being here as a spectator is one thing,” he said. [But as a runner] every second of the race there is someone screaming in your ear. It’s pretty cool.”
For the most part, the conditions didn’t seem to phase the runners.
Lyndorff led the way, running not just to a 50th place finish, but also to a personal best time of 16:24 in the final meet of his high school cross country career.
“I’m beyond pumped right now,” he said. “I PR’d (personal record), and that was my goal. I wanted to leave on good terms with everything. It’s a great feeling.”
While weather conditions were near perfect (cool with no wind), the difficulty of the course and the number of runners makes putting up a great time even more impressive.
It was the same for Secord and Winsor who each finished seconds off of their personal best times.
Secord ran a 16:38, which was good for 73 place in the meet, which consisted of 176 of the state’s best runners.
His emotions matched Lyndorff’s.
“I was really pumped,” he said, right after the race, before even finding out his place. “I think I did well.”
Secord was especially happy given the nerves he felt at the opening, and the notion that the course was tougher than he expected.
“A little bit of panic set in at the start line,” he admitted. “It was a lot rougher than I thought it would be.”
Winsor, on the other hand, didn’t believe the course was as difficult as he expected. That left him feeling a little more up in the air about his 115th place finish (17:00.4).
“It wasn’t the greatest race,” said Winsor. “But it wasn’t the worst either.”
One positive for Winsor, who said he thoroughly enjoyed the experience, was that the hills proved much easier to handle than he was expecting.
“I just blew by them,” he stated.
Speaking of blowing by, Lyndorff was still giddy 20 minutes after the race, thinking about the quality of some of the runners that he’d been able to pass on the course.
“It’s just the craziest feeling,” he said. “I’m passing some of these guys I’ve looked up to my whole career.”
Lyndorff, after taking last year off, ended the season and his career as someone future runners can look up to and aspire to. His state meet time marks the sixth best time in Magic program history. And his finish, along with the experience of Winsor and Secord, gives the younger guys something to aim for going forward.
Winsor and Secord are among those who already have their eyes set on returning to the same stage next year.
“I want to train a lot more, just so that for next year it’s an even better experience,” said Winsor.
Secord added that he would use lessons learned from this meet to make himself a better runner for next year’s season and hopefully state meet.
“I have to be smarter next year, pace better and get better at hills.”
For the Magic, it is a near perfect ending to a good season. The senior goes out on top, and the two juniors walk away from a positive experience wanting even more.