Wayzata head coach Bill Miles acknowledged the hard work of his entire team. “We’ve got a lot of talented kids, talented kids that don’t even get to race today.” He credited his team’s pack running the fact that his athletes are comfortable running together. “They’re all capable of running under 10 for two miles, and so that makes it pretty easy to be together as a pack and going through the mile in 5 [minutes]."
Miles downplayed the effect of a disappointing 3rd place finish at the Section 6AA meet last season. “We focus on this year, and the whole point is these guys work really hard to be good,” he said. “They’re so excited to have a chance to be able to race. We’re proud of what we did last year and we’re proud of what we did the year before that but it’s about this season, and the work that they did to get ready to race."
The top two individuals have grown familiar with each other over the last few weeks, and Carlson has seen plenty of Rob Finnerty’s backside, finishing second to the
Finnerty was happy with the win, but his performance was not what he expected of himself. “I went out a little bit hot, it’s just hard to do on your own and I just wasn’t feeling it today,” he said. “My plan was to go out really hard and try to hold it. I just couldn’t do it.” He ran about 4:41 for the first mile and was all alone. After the race he told DtB he was aiming to run 4:45 for the opening 1600 meters. “I got a lot of adrenaline going, from the fans and I went out a little harder then I wanted to go."
After finishing 2nd as a freshman, he did not run in the section meet as a sophomore due to a stress fracture. Finnerty finished 4th in last year’s state meet. “I wasn’t going to leave high school without a cross country title."
For those anxiously awaiting Finnerty’s college decision, he said he hopes to make an announcement “in the next couple weeks."
Photo of Finnerty by Gene Niemi.