Cloquet runners medal
June 25, 2021
The Cloquet boys and girls track teams were dominant throughout the regular track season, winning by a large margin at many track meets this spring. But when the Section 7AA meet was held, only two athletes from Cloquet qualified for the state meet: Olivia Jameson and Nathan Genereau. Both athletes had exceptional days as Jameson took third in the high jump and Genereau was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I am just so proud of both of those kids,” said Cloquet track coach Tim Prosen. “They are both high-quality athletes and both of them are just good people.”
Jameson, who went to state in her freshman season, qualified to run in the 100-meter hurdles and jump in the high jump and the triple jump. Then, she fell during practice Monday when the hurdles were set too high, and ended up with a high-ankle sprain. That meant she could compete in only the high jump at state, where she placed third in state.
“We were going to wait and see if the ankle would be OK to do the hurdles and if it would hold up through the high jump for the triple jump,” Jameson said. “We finally decided I’d not do the hurdles and do the high jump and then hope it would be OK for the triple jump, but it didn’t work out that way.”
What did work out was Jameson jumping 5 feet, 5 inches and placing third in the high jump despite an injury that would have had most athletes sitting on the sidelines.
“It just shows her strength and her amazing ability,” said Cloquet assistant track coach Michelle Wick, who works with Jameson in the high jump. “She did no training all week until she was on the track at the state meet. I just told her ‘you have to remember everything we trained for’ and she just reached back and did.”
Jameson actually jumped the same height as the runner-up in the event, but based on misses was awarded third place.
“When I went to state in ninth grade I finished eighth,” Jameson said. “Last year we couldn’t go to state, so this was something I really wanted. My goal was to beat what I did as a freshman.”
Earlier in the day Paddy Genereau was on the track hoping to have a top performance of his own, and he did just that by running a personal best 40.19 in the 300-meter hurdles. That performance put him on the podium in fifth place.
“Before the race I always get nervous, but once they assigned the lanes I started to get excited,” Genereau said. “It’s a tough race to run, and by the time you get to that last hurdle your legs are screaming at you pretty good.”
Despite the screaming legs and the searing pain that comes with running one of the hardest races in track, Genereau still came up with a personal record.
“The one thing about Paddy is he accelerates all the way to the end of the race,” coach Prosen said. “It was no surprise to me that he ran his PR and if we hadn’t had the whole missed season last year due to Covid, I think he would have had a shot at the school record.”
For Genereau, the state meet was an amazing experience.
“It was the most people I had ever run in front of or played in front of, and it was pretty intense,” Genereau said. “The nerves were going pretty good prior to the race, but once I settled into the race I felt really good and knew I was running a good race. It seemed like it was over in the blink of an eye.”
In the end, the only two athletes from Cloquet at the state meet acquitted themselves well and had strong showings.
“Not only was I proud of what they did on the track, but I was proud of the type of people we had representing our school,” said coach Prosen. “Paddy and Olivia are just amazing athletes and we are so proud of their accomplishments and who they are as people.”