Like his older sister, Clayton Foster has been close to state glory.
The Pequot Lakes senior should hope some of his sister's recent success trickles down to him.
Flecia Foster helped the Minnesota State University Mavericks to the Division II national women's basketball title, four years after leading the Pequot girls' basketball team to second in the Class 2A state tournament.
With his last chance at a state championship nearing, Foster is primed to not only make the final meet, but find that elusive title.
He opened last week with a double win at the TDS Invite in Pequot Lakes April 14. He captured the 800-meter run in 2:03.82 and the 1600 in 4:38.35. He also helped the Patriots 4x800 relay to first with an 8:30.31.
Two days later Foster helped Pequot win the John Reimer Invite with firsts in the 800 and 1600. He ran a 2:04.29 in the 800 and a 4:36.47 in the 1600. Pequot again won the 4x800 with an 8:31.04.
"Clayton has been focused since being at the state meet last year," said Pequot's distance coach Brian Kazmierczak. "He saw the state champion set the state record and I think, in the back of his mind, he thinks he can reach that."
School: Pequot Lakes
Sport: Track and field
Key stat: Won the 800 and 1600 at the TDS and John Reimer invites
Foster finished fourth in that meet with a school-record 4:21.39. Donny Wasinger of Winona Cotter set the state record at 4:15.20. He and the second- and third-place finishers were all seniors.
Foster also was fifth in the 800 with a 1:59.11.
As a sophomore Foster was seventh at the state meet in the 1600 with a 4:29.03.
So what does Kazmierczak think is on the horizon for Foster this season?
"I've learned to never sell him short," Kazmierczak said. "It's a very distinct possibility. I would be shocked if he wasn't up there again. I would expect him to beat the school record of 1:58.00 in the 800."
Dan Headlee currently has the 800 record, set in 1978.
Last Fall, Foster finished second behind Warroad's Moses Heppner in the Class 1A state cross country meet. As a junior he finished fifth, was 26th as a sophomore and 53rd as a freshman.
Because of his credentials, Foster is walking proof of what hard work can achieve and Kazmierczak said that's invaluable during practice.
"It's hard to say, but when you have an athlete like him you enjoy it while you can," Kazmierczak said. "He makes our job as coaches easier. They see what he does and how it pays off. He never questions a workout and he communicates with us very well. The other kids see that interaction back and forth and they know they can have that type of relationship with the coaches. Clayton does indeed make things easier."
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Mike Weber, Pierz, struck out 10 in a shutout victory over Holdingford and hit a 3-run homer against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Brady Siedschlaw, Verndale, finished 3-for-4 with a double, triple, three runs and four RBIs against New York Mills.
Justin Ringler, Pillager, struck out 13 in a shutout win over Ottertail Central.
Jordan Ackerman, Pine River-Backus, struck out 17 in a no-hit win over Nashwauk-Keewatin and hit a three-run homer against Laporte.
Tyler Monson, Pierz, finished 3-4 with four RBIs and a double against Eden Valley-Watkins.
Kyle Hoffman, Aitkin, was 3-4 with a home run and three RBIs against East Central
Golf: Sam Dally, Aitkin, shot 44 for medalist at Braham Invite.
Track and field: Andrew Knebel, Pillager, won the high jump and 110-meter hurdles at the John Reimer Invite.
Glen Abbott, Pine River-Backus, won the long and triple jumps at the John Reimer Invite.
Dane Hoffman, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the shot put and discus at the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Invite.
Jake Nelson, Pierz, won the 100 and 200 dashes at the Albany Invite. He won the same two events at the Pioneers Invite.
Tomas Parker, Pequot Lakes, won the shot put and discus at the TDS Invite.
Kenny Rodeski, Preston Zimney and Elliott Kohler, Little Falls, each won two events at the Aitkin Invite.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.