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Senior Eric Howd competes at state cross-country meet

Senior Eric Howd starts near the front of the pack at the Class AA state cross-country meet at St. Olaf College. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Howd finished 61st with a time of 16:26.9 and would have placed even better had he not lost a show partway through race and had to go back to put it back on. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Hastings senior Eric Howd competed at the Class AA state cross-country meet Saturday morning on the campus of St. Olaf College. He finished 61st out of 174 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 26.9 seconds, and said that everything was going great until he encountered some unanticipated adversity partway through the race.

"I knew it was going to be fast, and it was fast, but on the back portion someone stepped on my shoe and took it off," Howd said. "So I had to go back, put it back on, and then keep running, which was kind of a bummer."

At the time, Howd said he was cruising along.

"I PR'd in my mile and my two-mile, so everything was looking good until that one little mishap," he said. "Looking back on it, it's part of the game, there's nothing you can do, you just have to accept it."

This was Howd's first time competing at the state meet and he said one emotion dominated heading into the race.

"Just excited, excited to see what would happen and what was to come," he said. "It was good."

Looking back on the season, he said that even he did expect to have so much success.

"It went by fast," Howd said. "It was not what I was expecting coming into the season, I didn't think I would get to here, but just through hard work and motivation and determination, it just turned out to be a great season."

Talking about his future, Howd said that his plans may have changed due to his success over the past month.

"I might go to college at Bemidji State, but after this year I might be looking at schools that have more of a cross-country program, we'll see," he said.

Howd said he realized partway through the season that he might want to run cross-country in college.

"Probably at the Red Wing race when I ran into the 16:30s, I knew I had a chance to make it to state and then when I did make it to state I kind of knew I could do this in college, I could succeed in this," he said. "St. Olaf was here watching me, St. Thomas has sent me a bunch of letters, I've had multiple colleges send me letters in the mail for the cross-country team."

Howd was the second boys' runner to qualify for the state meet after David Nogle qualified last year.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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