News & Stories
Junior Loppet Teams and Alumni take on the Salomon City Trails Loppet
The Loppet Foundation’s Junior Loppet athletes — and alumni — from Anwatin and Franklin Middle Schools came out en masse to the Salomon City Trails Loppet on Sunday, May 22nd, with some veterans returning for their third year of racing and some fresh faces toeing the line for the first time. All told, there were 36 Junior Loppeters and alumni, 29 from North Minneapolis, that participated in the Salomon City Trails Loppet.
When asked, “What was good about your run?” Henri Nguyen, an 8th grader at Anwatin, focuses on the community that the race created. “Everyone was friendly, open, and supportive. It was like a short tour of Minneapolis’ wonders that not many know about.” Henri’s running was just as impressive as his response, finishing the 10K course with a time of 56:03 — good for 8th in the U19 Age Group. The Anwatin contingent dominated the 10K, highlights including Katy Scott standing atop the U19 Girls podium, Charlie Grabow and Doua Thao finishing within 5 minutes of each other, a kilometers-long battle between Henri and Tome Vang, and a heroic final kick by 6th grader Boonkoon Thao to notch a 1:32 time in what is by far his longest race to date.
Franklin’s Junior Loppet squad had an equally impressive showing. Sherman Powell, 8th grade, broke away from the pack to finish in 1:00.10 in the 10K. Sherman looks forward to improving his fitness with Loppet Nordic Racing over the summer. Future Patrick Henry skiers Kemari Williams and Melvin Russel showed resolve in their respective 1:22.18 and 1:21.57 races. Serenity Kirk teamed up with Coach Sandra Peterson to finish out the race. Coach Sandra recalls, “at mile 2, Serenity sat down and wasn’t going to budge. So, as any mother would do, I put her on my back and began to run with her on my back for 3 miles — thinking the whole time, ‘I am training for Rainier!’ We did however cross the finish line holding hands and she had a great experience.”
Oh, and a few Northside alumni did big things. The Clifton clan — Joe, 20, Andrew, 18, Rachel, 15, and parents Nate and Sara — came up big with a top-7 overall finish in the 10 mile for Joe and Age Group podiums for Rachel and Andrew. Xavier Mansfield burned rubber on the 10K course, too, finishing 2nd overall in the men’s field. Simon Lynn-Klimenko cruised to a 48:31 finish in the 10K, coming off a long training run the day before for the Washburn cross-country team to beat his 10K PR by nearly 15 minutes. Bradley Hooper, 9th grader at Patrick Henry, and Teagan Brogdon, a senior at Henry, finished strong in the 10-mile as well. But it was Li’Tavius Munn — 9th grader at Edison High School — who took home the trophy for grittiest performance of the day, slogging through a 10 mile course bit by bit, step by step, to finish in 2:42.08. He handed out hugs to everyone when he crossed the line into Parade Stadium, only complaining that it would be a 30-minute van ride before he would get to take, in his own words, “the coldest shower in the world, man.”
A special thanks to our volunteers, too! Britta Pearson and Quinlan Brogdon, 9th graders at Patrick Henry, didn’t race but sure earned all their volunteer swag! Long-time Loppeter Saysetha Philaphandeth was handy with his camera and phone — his pictures even grace this article! A big THANK YOU to all high schoolers, middle schoolers, college kids, and grown-ups from North Minneapolis who came out to run, walk, be carried, staff aid stations, set-up, tear down, take pictures, and make memories. You made the 2016 Salomon City Trails Loppet one for the history books.