The goal was simple for Anamosa senior Drew Pate showing up for his second consecutive class 2A state cross country meet in Fort Dodge Saturday, Oct. 30.
Accomplishing that goal was the hard part against a loaded field on a fast Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.
“I wanted to run faster and place higher than I did last year when I made it to state, and I was able to accomplish both of those things,” said Pate, who finished 71st overall after coming through with an 18:03.97 clocking that easily topped both of his 2020 performances.
“So overall, I thought my final high school cross country meet went pretty good and I was able to end my career the way I wanted. Accomplishing my mission at state.”
Pate, in his first state meet experience last fall placed 93rd overall with a time of 18:57.9.
“Drew is a great example of a kid who has put in the time and has been rewarded for it,” said Anamosa cross country coach Ken Sunseri. “Drew made up a lot of time and passed a lot of runners in his last 600-meters. He had a good kick at the end and was able to pass quite a few kids who had slowed down significantly during the last two miles.”
Pate led the trio of Anamosa runners (with teammates Shea Keister and Seth Countryman) through the first mile of action on the fast state course, coming through with a 5:21.91 split that had him in 49th overall.
“My start was really good, pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be,” Pate said. “It seemed like we all got out fast and were close together there at the beginning. Then I started to peel off at about the two-mile mark and got a little slower though at the end and down the stretch, I was able to pass about 10 people which was exactly how I wanted to end the meet, giving it my all having enough energy left for a big kick at the end.”
Pate made it past the two-mile mark with an 11:30.81 clocking and was sitting 78th overall before his big finish.
“I really think my experience of being here at state last year helped me through this time around,” Pate said. “I had a much better understanding of the course and knew where the good spots were to make a move. The conditions were just about ideal for good running, too. The weather was in the 50s and the wind wasn’t too bad. Pretty good for out there where it’s usually always very windy.”
Pate, with all the success he’s had over the past couple of season, has hopes of running at the collegiate level next fall.
“That’s my plan anyway,” he said. “Right now, I’m looking at Clarke and Loras, but I’m going to miss my time at Anamosa. It was a fun four years that really seemed to fly by fast. The only thing I can think of to tell young runners who enter the Anamosa program is you have to be willing to put in the work if you want to have success, and that means in-season and off-season. You have to train if you want to reach your goals. It doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. You have to put in the time.”
Tipton topped the class 2A field winning the boys’ team title scoring 60 points while Des Moines Christian’s Aaron Fynaardt claimed the individual championship crossing the finish line in 15:56.58.