Emmet Anderson doesn’t race well by accident.

The Staples-Motley junior has not lost a race in the cross-country season going four-for-four after beating out defending Class 1A state champion Geno Uhrbom of Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin Thursday, Sept. 12, at Little Falls.

The race at Little Falls got delayed because of rain and lightning, so for Anderson the race had a little different feel than usual.

“It wasn’t as competitive as most races,” Anderson said. “It was more of trying not to get injured. The last half mile is where we started to pick it up and I guess I just put it in harder than he did.”

Anderson put in many miles in the offseason and worked on getting his mile count up for the 2019 season. He woke up early to run, he stayed after practice to run more miles and worked to get his teammates in the weight room with him to prepare for what could be a great season.

“He pays close attention to training,” Staples-Motley coach Bruce Fuhrman said. “He works hard and he is a good team guy.”

Anderson competes to win every race. Fuhrman noted how big of a deal it was for Anderson to beat Uhrbom at Little Falls.

“He wasn’t sure when he should pick it up,” Fuhrman said. “He just kind of ran with the guy and when it got close to the end, Emmet felt he could beat him and went.”

Fuhrman felt Anderson could have ran harder the whole race and beaten Uhrbom by a wider margin. It was the first time he had raced Uhrbom in 2019, so he did not know entirely what to expect especially with the weather being poor.

Fuhrman believes Anderson will be competitive as they head into sections and possibly state. Anderson has remained healthy and injury free and has the mindset of taking the season one race at a time.

“He understands his body well,” Fuhrman said. “He is a good nutrition guy also. He trains in the offseason as much as he can and he has gotten a lot of taller which has given him some confidence. too.”

Anderson gives credit to his teammates for pushing him to be the runner he has become. Hunter Klimek and Jack Tyrrell, both seniors, are two names Anderson mentioned that have given him a boost in practice.

Anderson and Tyrrell ran together all summer and every summer he feels the presence of his teammates pushing him from the back. The social aspect of cross-country is why Anderson loves the sport.

“I’ve played other sports, like basketball, in the past and fine an us vs. them mentality,” Anderson said. “But in cross-country it’s not like that. I really enjoy running against the guys I know. A lot of these top-ranked runners I am running against are good competition on the course. but we are pretty good friends off the course.”

Fuhrman has noticed growth in Anderson’s running as his career has progressed at S-M. He thinks Anderson sees what the coaching staff is telling him working in competition which has been rewarding for both.

Anderson understand his teammates and knows they are relying on him to set the pace for them to follow. He is a captain as a junior and has relished the role of being one of the leaders of the team.

“He has become more of a mentor now that he is older,” Fuhrman said. “He had other kids that mentored him and now he gets to be a mentor to others which is part of his success, too.”

S-M has had a seventh- and eighth-grader running on the varsity for the 2019 season. When Fuhrman watches the junior high kids look up to Anderson he sees little Emmet in his mind.

“He spends a lot of time with these kids,” Fuhrman said. “Which is a good thing.”

Other notable performances:

Football: Owen Miller, Aitkin, rushed for 194 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard touchdown run in the Gobblers 30-0 win over Virginia.

Tucker Peterson, Pillager, rushed for 203 yards on 14 carries and passed for 45 yards. He scored four total touchdowns, three rushing and one kickoff return, in the Huskies 46-15 win over Hawley.

Dakota Mitchell, Crosby-Ironton, threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the Rangers 38-10 win over Eveleth-Gilbert.

Ben Edmundon, Crosby-Ironton, rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns in the Rangers 38-10 win over Eveleth-Gilbert.

Jake Poehler, Pine River-Backus, rushed for 79 yards on nine carries and threw for 170 yards on 8-15 passing. He scored five touchdowns, two rushing and three throwing, in the Tigers 42-0 win over Cass Lake-Bena.

Jake Ismil, Verndale, rushed for 210 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns in the Pirates 50-14 win over United North Central.

Soccer: Alex Loukinen, Little Falls, scored two goals and assisted on another one in the Flyers 5-1 win over Zimmerman.

Emmet Anderson

Year: Junior

School: Staples-Motley

Sport: Cross-country

Highlights: Has won all four of his races this year, including a win over last year’s Class 1A state champion