Kurt Detloff, David Schwen and Andy Forbort have more in common than they may think.
That threesome, from Staples-Motley, Pequot Lakes and Crosby-Ironton, respectively, each qualified for the Class A State track and field meet in the 800-meter run and each battled adverse conditions to do it.
All three, who are also cross country runners in the fall, have overcome numerous injuries to reach the state meet, which begins at 10 a.m. Friday at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Detloff, Schwen and Forbort are in the same preliminary race on Friday.
Forbort tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee not once but twice in the past three years. The Rangers senior hurt his knee both times playing basketball, once as a sophomore and once this winter. He said it doesn't bother him at all now but he waited until the first outdoor meet in April to run full strength.
For Detloff, who S-M coach Ryan Beachy called the favorite to win the 800, it's been an Achilles problem. The Cardinals senior sat out for a little over a week in the beginning of season but said it's fully healed for the state meet.
"He couldn't handle sitting out anymore," said Beachy, whose star is also a part of the state qualifying 4x400 and 4x800 relays. "He's been icing it a lot, took some anti-inflammatory pills and wrapped it. If it's bugged him he hasn't said anything."
Last summer Schwen also experienced a basketball injury but he sprained both ankles as he came down on a foot of an opponent. Similar to Forbort and Detloff, Schwen stayed off his injury and has allowed it to heal to full strength in time for state.
The 800 is not exactly a distance run and not exactly a sprint. It is somewhere in between and Forbort, Detloff and Schwen all possess the right balance.
"At this level, it's pretty close to a dash, but is considered a middle distance," Crosby-Ironton coach Rob Palmer said. "You got to have a lot of speed but still have to have a lot of discipline to run your splits. You don't want to turn a 52 second quarter in your first lap unless you can do it in your last lap."
All three have the speed and endurance to be successful in the 800, but all three have different strategies and different expectations.
"For me it's the first lap," said Detloff, who is a 5-foot-8, 150-pound four-year varsity member and three-time state qualifier. "I try and go out hard and run the first lap pretty fast and then I hold on and try to push, push, push the last lap."
Detloff went on a trip to Germany on the second day of state last year so he concentrated on events -- pole vault, 4x800 relay -- that were to be competed on Friday and Saturday morning. He ran a 2:02 at sections in windy conditions but has one of the state's best times at 1:57 earlier this season.
Forbort is the only one of the three to compete at state in the 800 last season, running a 2:01 in the finals and finishing in sixth place. The 5-8 senior's best time is 1:58 at last year's section meet.
"One plus is that I'm the only one that was there last year, and two seconds could mean five places," Forbort said. "If I can run like I have been doing, I'll get another medal.
"If I can stay close I feel I can out-sprint anybody. Detloff's strength is getting out hard and people are running for second. He got away from me earlier this year."
Schwen, a 6-foot junior, said he is excited about his first trip to state.
"I just want to do my best and run my heart out," Schwen said. "I'm so excited to go. I have the endurance but I like the speed work. I enjoy the distance yet I also enjoy the speed. I start out hard and try to finish harder."
And in the 800, that isn't always easy.
Class A state participants
100 dash -- James Singer (Pequot Lakes)
800 run -- Kurt Detloff (Staples-Motley), David Schwen (Pequot Lakes), Andy Forbort (C-I)
3200 run -- Jeff Brever (S-M), Sam Anderson (C-I)
4x400 relay -- Staples-Motley (Detloff, Evan Frisk, Tony Johnson, Justin Tholl)
Long jump -- Mark Weimer (Aitkin), Trevor Gross (Pierz), Frisk (S-M)
Pole vault -- Jeremy Duvall (Pequot Lakes)
4x800 relay -- Staples-Motley (Ryan Klingaman, Tholl, Brever, Detloff), Crosby-Ironton (Trent Anderson, Sam Anderson, Joe Radinovich, Forbort)
Triple jump -- Frisk (S-M)
1600 run -- Tholl (S-M)
100 hurdles -- Amy Nelson (Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale)
100 dash -- Becca Immonen (Wadena-Deer Creek)
4x200 relay -- Wadena-Deer Creek (Marilyn Goeden, Kristine Kimber, Elissa Buresh, Immonen)
4x100 relay -- Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale
400 dash -- Avery Buresh (W-DC)
300 hurdles -- Nelson (B-H/V)
3200 run -- Krista Anderson (C-I), Lisa Milless (S-M), Kourtney Anderson (W-DC)
Long jump -- Nelson (B-H/V)
Discus -- Katie Kapsner (P)
Shot put -- Teresa Parker (PL)
4x800 relay -- Staples-Motley (Amanda Hoffert, Brittany Brenny, Britta Binek, Steph Jares)
1600 run -- Anderson (C-I)
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