Male Area Athlete of Week: Anderson starts senior campaign strong

Emmet Anderson

Emmet Anderson enters his senior year with high expectations.

The three-year Staples-Motley captain got his season off to a good start running in 16:11.9 to notch a victory in the Central Minnesota River Run at the Vintage in Staples.

“I like that he got after it as far as running his fastest time,” S-M cross-country head coach Bruce Fuhrman said. “We kind of felt we were not going to have anyone run against him. He set a pace on his own and ran the hills very well and looked to be in prime condition at this stage.”

Anderson finished second in the Class 1A state tournament last season running in 15:42.6. He also helped the S-M boy’s team net a fifth-place state finish.

With the COVID-19 restrictions, only three teams can be present at any given meet. For Anderson, that means competition might be hard to come by.


“It’s a challenge,” Anderson said. “I think it’s a time to stay mentally strong. I think I’ve put a lot of work in it in the past, so I just keep running with that in my head and it keeps me motivated. At the end of the day, I want to see good times on the board, so all that put together makes it a little easier.”

Fuhrman noted despite blowing out the field in the first race Anderson never let up.

“We try to train our team to get in the mindset that they are competing against themselves,” Fuhrman said. “Obviously, for Emmet running against himself and knowing when he’s thinking ‘I can just take my time here and just run’, he’s not doing that. He runs hard 100% of the race and he showed that. And we have specific goals we have out for him to try and hit his splits.

“We do have a couple meets where we are running against the top three teams in the state as the rankings are right now. That’ll help, but we missed the 15 team meets, that's hard.”

Anderson thinks his teammates help him with his mindset.

“I see my teammates working hard so I feel obligated to do so myself,” he said. “So they kind of pull me along in that sense. It would be a shame not to put it all on display.”

It’s no secret that Anderson has his eyes on being first in the state tournament — if there is one. He also wants to beat his personal record time of 15:09.

“I would like to see myself get back down to those times,” Anderson said. “I would be happy with that.”


Fuhrman says Anderson has always had a “top-shelf” work ethic. For his senior year, he’s been really locked in on the smaller details.

“He is to that point of his senior year where he should have all of his training aspects that he understands what’s happening,” Fuhrman said. “He pays attention to what’s happening in the details and we modify some things for him because he is kind of an advanced guy.”

Fuhrman loves Anderson’s team-first attitude. A big reason why he’s been captain the last three years is because he has been able to shepherd the younger runners on the team.

“Others see him as a mentor, especially our younger guys,” Fuhrman said. “I think that helps him because he has a great support system and it’s a true team environment. He’s a good student and he knows he’s been blessed with some ability and he does a good job of keeping that ability.”

Anderson takes it as an honor that the younger runners on the team look up to him.

“Every year I’ve been on a completely different team,” Anderson said. “I think cross-country is a very social sport, just in terms that you have a lot of time to talk with your teammates. I think that’s been one of the good things about this season is that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my teammates, and talk with them as much as I can. Even the ones I don’t train with all the time. I think it’s awesome to have that type of relationship with the younger runners. It’s a symbiotic relationship that helps both of us.”


Other notable performances:
Cross-Country: Jackson Grant, Little Falls, won the Little Falls meet in 19:36.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Emmet Anderson

Year: Senior

School: Staples-Motley

Sport: Cross-Country

Highlights: won the Central Minnesota River Run in 16:11.9

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