After a 12th place showing at state in 2006, Flathead High School senior Seth Svennungsen, 18, has his goal set on No. 1 this year.
A torn ACL skiing between his sophomore and junior year took Svennungsen out of track for a season. Svennengsun feels that overcoming the injury in time for cross-country last year is one of his greatest accomplishments. But stress on the knee is always in the back of the varsity runner’s mind.
“It still goes through my head,” Svennungsen said. “I still get nervous to run hills. For a while I was scared to sit cross-legged.”
It’s a long road between now and state, and Svennungsen knows he’ll find opposition.
“I knows there’s good runners at Hellgate and Bozeman.” Svennungsen said. But winning most of his races this season is still a main priority. The trick is to train, “to give it all on the last race.”
Svennungsen has run varsity cross-country all four years of high school. Currently he is looking at Division I colleges. “My dream college is University of Oregon,” he said.
Besides legendary runner Steve Prefontaine, Svennungsen says his greatest influence is teammate Cory Hattel. “I run more for the experience of competing,” Svennungsen said. “He runs for the love of the game.”