Nevis' Schuldt runs to all-state honors

Tom Stambaugh predicted Nevis' Bryon Schuldt would be the youngest runner to earn all-state honors at Saturday's state Class A boys cross-country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Bryon Schuldt
Nevis' Bryon Schuldt sprinted to the finish line at Saturday's state Class A cross-country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Schuldt earned all-state honors by placing 12th in 16:41.8. (John George / Perham Enterprise)

Tom Stambaugh predicted Nevis' Bryon Schuldt would be the youngest runner to earn all-state honors at Saturday's state Class A boys cross-country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Schuldt, a freshman, lived up to that prediction by placing 12th overall in his state cross-country debut with a time of 16:41.8. The top-25 finishers in the boys 5,000-meter race earned all-state honors.

"I was hoping Bryon would be in the top 25 so he ran a bit better than I thought he could," said Stambaugh, who coached Nevis in its first year as a cross-country team. "I felt there would be only one or two ninth-graders making all-state and as it turned out he was the only one. His race on Saturday will be something that will stay with him his whole life."

Park Rapids' Lydia Lutz was also looking to earn all-state honors Saturday in her second appearance in the girls 4,000-meter race. The Park Rapids freshman fell just short by placing 34th overall with a time of 15:36.9.

Both Schuldt and Lutz qualified for state with impressive performances at the Section 8A meet.


Schuldt qualified for state by placing third at the Section 8A meet with a time of 17:07.4. Schuldt trailed only Warroad's Moses Heppner and Staples-Motley's Jordan Bendson at the section meet.

Lutz was the section runner-up with a time of 15:23.7. Staples-Motley's Naomi Landecker won the section title while Perham's Maddie McClellan was third and Pelican Rapids' Emily Bakken took fourth.

At the state meet, Schuldt was the No. 3 runner from Section 8A. Heppner, who was rated No. 9 in the state Class A poll entering the state meet, won the state title in 16:08.2. Clayton Foster of Pequot Lakes, who was rated No. 1 entering state, finished second in 16:14.5. Bendson ended up placing seventh in 16:32.2.

Also finishing ahead of Schuldt were Blake's Paul Koullick (16:15.5), Annandale's Connor Gjevre (16:20.9), Blake's Ben Jones (16:24.2), Royalton's Peter Borash (16:30.7), Heritage Christian's Zach Haskins (16:33.3), DeLaSalle's Patrick Bryant (16:33.8), Milaca's Austin Bauer (16:34.1) and LeSueur-Henderson's Andrew Gerdts (16:36.1).

In addition to Heppner and Foster, Bryant (No. 3), Koullick (No. 7) and Gjevre (No. 10) were rated in the state poll. Schuldt was the only freshman among the top-25 finishers.

"I was interested to see how Bryon would react to his first state cross-country meet. About 10 minutes before the race I was quite confident he would race well. I warmed up with him and he wasn't nervous or scared at all," said Stambaugh. "It helped watching the girls run first. He was able to see how fast they went out and I made sure he realized that he could not get caught up with that. Most kids go out way too fast and they pay for it in the end. Bryon ran a 5:24 and was in 96th place at the first mile, but he kept going and moved through the pack with ease. He ran a 5:22 and was in 34th place at two miles. He ran his last mile in 5:20 and ran a very strong last 200 meters.

"Bryon has a very special God-given talent. He has no weakness as a runner. Not only is he talented, but he is also a fierce competitor. He has the desire to win. Next year could be very interesting," said Stambaugh. "I'm sure Bryon was the only runner in the top 25 who doesn't train in the summer. Bryon has more talent than any runner I have run with or coached in the last 30 years. As he moves into his final years in high school, he will have to start training in the summer to take the next step to be a state champion. Without summer training, Bryon could still be in the top 5 or top 10. With some summer work, and if he stays healthy, he will be ready to take the next step."

Lutz was looking to improve on her finish from last year's state meet where she clocked a 15:47.4 to place 30th overall in her state cross-country debut.


The Park Rapids freshman did improve her time, but finished in 34th place and was the No. 6 finisher from Section 8A.

Paynesville's Linda Keller, the No. 1-rated runner in the state, defended her state title with a time of 14:38.2. Chatfield's Kayla Woltz was second in 14:42.8 while McClellan, who was rated No. 3, took third in 14:57.6.

Rounding out the top 10 were Holy Family Catholic's Lauren Rice (14:57.7), Bakken (15:01.2), Fulda's Laura Christensen (15:03.4), Medford's Adriana Flores (15:05.8), Landecker (15:09.3) and Paynesville's Andrea Schlangen (15:13.3). Landecker was second and McClellan was fourth at last year's state meet. Rice (No. 4), Bakken (No. 9), Christensen (No. 8), Flores (No. 11) and Landecker (No. 2) were also rated in the state poll.

Lake of the Woods' Victoria Alexander finished 13th in 15:18.1 and Staples-Motley's Abby Anderson finished 16th in 15:19.8. Alexander was 10th and Anderson was sixth at the Section 8A meet.

"I thought Lydia ran a good race, but she was disappointed with where she placed," said Park Rapids head coach Kerry Johnson. "Lydia ran a great race at sections and she had a better time at state than she had last year. This was a learning experience for her. I look for it to drive her next year."

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