She may not like to run, but when Jamie Talberg does, she's difficult to catch.
In an interview last fall, Talberg said she didn't like to run and she doesn't run a lot in the off-season. But one couldn't tell by her success with the sport.
The sophomore for the Pierz Pioneers track and field team won the 1600- and 800-meter runs April 6 at the Sartell Friendship Invitational.
Talberg won the 1600 in 5:38.4 and the 800 in 2:41.6.
At the Aitkin Invitational April 13, Talberg finished second to Crosby-Ironton's Kim Beaman in the 1600 and 800.
"I think we still have a long time left where I can hopefully get down to the lower times," said Talberg. "I would like to break my record again. It would be nice."
Talberg's mile time of 5:28.1 at Aitkin was just eight seconds away from her school record. The diminutive sophomore broke the mile record at the section meet last year.
"It's early in the season and she's only eight seconds away from breaking the record again," said Pierz coach Craig Johnshoy. "She just missed making it to state last year, finishing third at sections. She was leading the whole race until the end.
"She's been to state a number of times for cross country, but never for track. She's got her mind set on that."
Talberg's time in the 800 was 2:33.1, or 7.1 seconds faster than seven days earlier.
Talberg is one of the more accomplished distance runners at Pierz. She's been on the varsity track team since seventh grade. Her best race is the mile run, but Johnshoy isn't afraid to put her on either the 4x800 or 4x400 relays and run her in the open 800 or 3200.
Last year, Talberg was asked to run the 1600, 3200 and 4x400 relay. The relay is right after the 3200.
"As far as doing something for the team, she just has a willingness to compete," Johnshoy said. "She will do whatever you want her to do and not complain."
Talberg is also competing in the long jump. Johnshoy said she's the third best on the team. But distance running is where Talberg excels.
"It comes naturally to her," Johnshoy said. "Ever since sixth and seventh grade, she's just done really well. Pierz has always been pretty strong in cross country and track and she's just been one of the leaders since seventh grade."
Johnshoy said the reason for Talberg's success is her fluid running style. He said she doesn't waste energy and when she gets in the open she has a nice consistent stride.
"She's a smart runner," said Johnshoy. "She runs very smart. At the Aitkin Invitational, there was a pack of three or four of them. She stuck with them until the end, and then made her move. She has a good kick and that helps, too."
At the state cross country meet last fall, Talberg finished 10th at 14:53.9. As a freshman, Talberg finished 13th at state in 15:52. As an eighth-grader, Talberg was 22nd in 15:51.8.
While she's the most successful distance runner currently at Pierz, Johnshoy said she still knows her place on the team. With quality senior leadership already in place, Talberg lets her athletic ability do all the talking.
"I would like to make it to state," said Talberg. "I missed it by a step last year. It's tough. They only take the top two and we had a lot of good runners around here. Plus the state time is really down there. I'm hopeful I can make it this year."
Other notable performances:
Golf -- Kim Stangl, Pierz, fired a 47 for medalist honors at a dual meet with Osakis.
Softball -- Nikki Kneisl, Wadena-Deer Creek, singled, tripled, drove in a run and scored twice against Sebeka.
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