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The Stueven standard: Latest state run another step in raising the bar for Bulldog runner

Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck sophomore Adnew Stueven competed in the 3,200 meter run at the Minnesota State High School League Class A state track meet Friday, June 9, 2017 at Hamline University in St. Paul. (Adelle Whitefoot / Lake County News-Chronicle)

BLACKDUCK -- Adnew Stueven only just completed his sophomore campaign for the Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck boys track and field team, but he’s already raised the bar for the Bulldog program.

“I think a lot of kids look up to me. I try to help them and show them how to do some stuff,” Stueven said of his teammates. “It puts a lot of pressure on a young kid to be the leader of a team, but it’s good work.”

“I have (seen more effort) with the other athletes who run with him, because they want to be successful like he is,” N/K/B head coach Jim Schneider added. “I’ve seen several of them start putting in extra time and working just a little bit harder to try and match that and try and advance with him.”

Stueven has led the pack for the Bulldogs all season, which culminated in his second consecutive podium finish at the Minnesota Class A State Meet, held on Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, at Hamline University in St. Paul.

In the 3,200, Stueven shaved 30 seconds off his season-best en route to an eighth-place finish. Despite a rough start, he fought through traffic and made his move on the final lap. By catching the runners holding the final two podium positions, Stueven earned two points for Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck with a 10:05.42 finish.

“It was cool to earn my spot,” said Stueven. “I was in 11th place and had to pass two-to-three more people to get on the podium. You just have to have one thing on your mind (late in the race), and that’s going on the podium.”

And although Stueven’s time of 4:40.33 in the 1,600 was just over eight seconds shy of a podium finish, he’ll still be able to take away the added experience from his second straight appearance at state.

“This will really set him up well. He knows what he needs to do,” said Schneider. “He’s seen the race and what it looks like down there, so he won’t be surprised when he gets there (again). Hopefully this will be a motivator for him, as well, to really work hard these last two years so he can move up the podium towards that top spot.”

“It sets me up pretty good knowing what kind of competition I have, what I need to work at and how much I have to work at,” Stueven added. “Knowing that there are other good runners down there, you just gotta work harder.”

Only halfway through his high school career, Schneider is excited to see not only what Stueven can do on the track, but in the Bulldog program, as well.

“He has a lot of potential to tap into, which is exciting. We’ll see if we can get that pulled out of him in these next couple years,” he said. “He’s definitely one of our leaders. Everyone looks to him and expects him to do well… And I know a lot of the other athletes watch him too and see what he can do, and realize, ‘Hey, we can get down (to state) too if we work hard enough.’”

Along with goals of a top-three finish in the 3,200 and a podium spot in the 1,600 at state, Stueven has his sights on the school records in both by the time he graduates. He’s knocking at the door, within a second of setting the new marks.

“It is a really good motivator to make you go,” Stueven said. “You just buckle down, turn on the jets and go.”

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, he is currently studying Creative and Professional Writing at Bemidji State. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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