Hastings senior David Nogle had his state cross-country experience derailed by illness, but he said that just being able to compete in the race was worth all the hard work.
"I knew it would be tough, especially waking up very sick," he explained. "I just reminded myself that I would have given anything to compete at the state meet, and even if I finished last it would have been worth it."
Nogle still ran a solid time, finishing in 17 minutes, 43.6 seconds on Saturday, Nov. 4. While nowhere near his best for the season, he was still able to outpace some fully healthy runners. He ended up taking 163rd and said that once the race began, the illness became the last thing on his mind.
"Once the race started there wasn't any other way to describe it except that it was a pure rush," Nogle said. 'It's just a screaming roar of a crowd in a race against the fastest runners in the state."
Head coach John Dewall said that Nogle's hard work coming into the season really helped him to overcome any learning curve he might have faced in his first year of running cross-country.
"He trained hard and followed the program all summer long," he said. "Throughout this whole season he has followed the workouts to a 'T.' Weekends, everything, he has really, really worked hard. To finish in 16:37 in the section, section 1AA is the toughest section in the state, to finish 10th overall is absolutely huge. Early on, it takes a while to learn how to run cross country. It's just not something you can go do from running on a track. He really started to gel around Red Wing. In the early races he was taking it out too hard and then would get swallowed as the race went on. But then we gradually started out slower, picked it up and then started picking people off at the end. He had a phenomenal season as a first-year cross country runner."
Dewall also praised Nogle for going through with the state race when he easily could not have with how he was feeling.
"To give him credit, to start the race and then race strong throughout, it's pretty tough to go out and pump it out at that level," he said. "Like I told him, there's a lot of races left, he still has the track season, it just happens to be unlucky to be on the day of the state meet. But again, we're real proud of him for doing such a great job throughout the year and he has a great future ahead of him."
Nogle was a standout distance runner for the Raiders' track and field team last year and is looking to continue that this upcoming spring, where he hopes his time in cross country helps him even more.
"The high school has a pretty nice indoor track that I can use to stay up on mileage during the winter," he said. "As long as I can maintain the condition I'm in, it should be a great track season."