Humboldt tandem reaches state field
SPENCER — Quinton Orr proved why he is the top runner in Class 3A on Wednesday, blazing to his third district title and qualifying for his third state meet with a school-record time.
Orr remained undefeated individually on the season with a 3A state-qualifying meet championship. His classmate, Eric Wittrock, will make his second individual trip to the state meet after finishing fifth for the Wildcats.
“Quinton ran a terrific race,” said Humboldt head coach Dean Clasen. “The time he ran was fantastic.
“Eric was in sixth place, but fought back to get fifth in the last 400 to 500 meters.”
Humboldt (103 points), finished fourth as a squad, missing qualifying by four points. MOC-Floyd Valley (99) was the third qualifier. North Polk (56) was the champion, followed by LeMars (82).
“As far as the team race, it was disappointing,” Clasen said. “We had a whole bunch of kids run their fastest times of the season. They’ve been busting their tails.
“This season was a lot about life lessons with everything else going on. We got through it despite the adversity.”
Orr crossed the finish line in a school-record 15:27, almost a minute faster than runner-up Zach Sporaa (16:19) of North Polk. Wittrock clocked a 16:34.
“I’m super excited to refocus this next week with Eric,” Orr said. “We both should be right there at the front.
“I’m glad Eric made it. He’s very deserving and I’m super excited for him to have a great finish to his career. I have achieved all my goals this year except one (a state title), so I’m ready to rock and roll at state and get after it. It’s a bitter end to our team season, but I’m glad I get one more race with Eric.”
Not having a track season last spring put a damper on running for all athletes, but making it through cross country re-energized Wildcats.
“COVID really put everything in perspective,” Orr said. “Some people didn’t even get a season this year, so it’s a real blessing just to be able to race. I couldn’t be more proud of our team. It hurts so much that we were four points from qualifying.
“I’m super happy how we competed all season, though.”
Algona sophomore Ryan Stundahl was three spots from qualifying, finishing 18th in a time of 17:12.