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ELC, NU runners ready for state

Duitsman, Schiltz both making first trip

By David Swartz - Managing Editor | Oct 28, 2020

FORT DODGE — Two local runners head to Fort Dodge this Saturday for their respective races at the 2020 State Cross Country Meet.

Estherville Lincoln Central freshman Parker Duitsman will run in the Class 2A race at 11 a.m.

North Union junior Nick Schiltz will compete in the Class 1A race at 4 p.m.

It is the first state meet for both runners.

Duitsman continues a long list of ELC participation at the state meet. Taylor Myers, who graduated earlier this year, was a four-year state qualifier and wrapped up his prep career in 2019.

“The expectations for Parker this Saturday is to go out and compete,” said ELC coach Jesse Nitchals. “Parker has had a great week of practice, preparing himself not only physically but mentally too. The goal for Parker this Saturday is to run under 18 minutes. Parker has accomplished running under 18 minutes three times this year, the first being at Brooks (17:12) early in the season and the second was at Algona when Parker ran 17:58 and the third at the conference meet in Hull when Parker ran (17:56). I feel this goal will be accomplished this Saturday at the 2A State meet with the level of competition and the adrenaline running through Parker’s veins.”

Meanwhile, Schiltz is the first North Union state qualifier since Riley Bauer won Class 1A state titles in 2016 and 2017.

Schiltz’s goal is to finish in the top third, according to North Union coach Brooke Nelsen.

“Obviously with this being his first state meet, he will go in with a little wide eyes which is understandable and exciting,” said Nelsen. “His goal is to PR (set a personal record) which I believe is very doable with a fast course and great competition.”

Schiltz’ best 5K time this year is 18:17 at Eagle Grove.

Nelsen said the strategy is to get to that bottle neck that is early in the race without getting stuck and then build from there.

“Nick runs relatively consistent pacing and I expect this race to be no different,” said Nelsen.