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Voyageur's Best Features of 2006

Sarah Chasson

Pair of freshman headed to STATE
by John Grones  |  October 31, 2006

Shortly after crossing the finish line in 4th place at the Section 7A Cross Country meet in Cloquet, Cromwell~Floodwood runner Sarah Chasson reached into her bag and pulled out a medal. It wasn’t the medal she would earn on this day, but the medal her grandfather Don Miller earned at his conference meet in 1946. Don ran for Washington High School in St. Paul.

The inspirational medal was given to Sarah prior to the Section meet. “I didn’t even know he was a cross country runner,” Sarah said.

The inspiration paid off because Sarah placed 4th overall and will advance to the State meet scheduled at 10:00 Saturday, November 4, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Sarah, who is just a freshman at Floodwood High School, shared that this race went a lot better than she thought it would. “It was fun,” she said. “I wanted to stay with Esko. It’s what I wanted all year.”

Sarah did just that. She ran with the Esko’s Kaycee Knutson and Abby Nelson for most of the race. Kaycee got away from her midway through the final loop, and Abby caught Sarah near the end of the race.

One Ely runner would also pass Sarah on a sprint to the finish. Regardless, Sarah finished with a time of 15:59.7 and a 4th place finish.

Another freshman, Jordan Smith, will also advance to the state meet on Saturday. Jordan is a two sport athlete and despite not participating in one cross country practice this season, he snuck in the top ten.

Jordan’s time of 17:33.6 was good enough for 10th place. Jordan’s sprint to the finish turned out to be a battle for 8th, 9th and 10th place. He was in a battle with Cook County-Silver Bay runner Noah Prinsen and Rush City’s Josh Dahl. Noah just edged Josh, and Josh just edged Jordan. Just a half second separated the three runners.

The close race produced a few emotions. At first Jordan was convinced that he placed 11th. It wasn’t until the results were posted that he felt relief.

“I heard I was 11th, and I wasn’t very happy,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s goal during the race was to stay more consistent and make that top ten. “I didn’t want to burn myself out on that first lap,” he said. “I wanted to do best on the second lap.”

The second lap turned out to be a key for Jordan. He had just enough reserve to secure a top-ten finish.

Even though Jordan hasn’t been practicing with the team, he has been training. “On the weekends, I would run for an hour easy one day and an hour hard the next,” Jordan concluded.


The Cromwell~Floodwood boys did compete as a team. They finished 12th among 17 teams.

Following Jordan for Cromwell~Floodwood was Kyle House in 68th, Curtis Hakala in 69th, John Ammesmaki in 77th, Eric Arnold in 84th,  Jordan Hackensmith in 115th, and Ryan Beck in 117th.

The McGregor boys did not compete as a team, but they had a few individual performances. Mychal Hadrich placed 54th, Tash Chamberlin placed 86th, and Tony Jirava placed 95th.

Neither Cromwell~Floodwood nor McGregor had enough runners to complete girls teams. In addition to Sarah Chasson’s top-ten finish,  Cromwell~Floodwood runner Hailey Cook placed 27th. She was followed by McGregor runners Emiley Brennen and Jamie Malin in 62nd and 72nd respectively. Heidi Smith from Cromwell placed 91st, while McGregor’s Amber Perron and Stephanie Troup placed 104 and 107 respectively.

This article first appeared in the October 31 issue of the Voyageur Press.