Curious About Kjelshus

(Photo provided by Hunter Kjelshus)

First of all, how did you first get involved with running?

When I was in 5th grade, I played football and the coach told me he didn't know which position to have me play because I was too small to play football. So I decided to quit football and my parents encouraged me to try cross country in 7th grade, and I have run ever since.

What are all your personal records, including XC?

5k: 16:16

3200: 10:09

1600: 4:31

800: 2:05

Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

I played basketball until 9th grade - otherwise just cross country and track.

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

The 2014 State Cross Country Meet when I was a sophomore - because it was my first state meet and seeing all of the fast runners was a great experience.

Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

Ryley Nelson and Aaron Johnson, every time I race against them I know they will be good competition and also the Mora cross country team because of the small rivalry we have had with them the past few years.

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?

My family because they are always at every meet supporting me. My coaches Jeff & Kay Morris, Brent Hanson and Tom Stolee have all encouraged me and have been supportive. Also my teammates are great because we always push each other and have fun working hard. 

What is one piece of advice, coaching, or words of wisdom from your coaches that has stuck with you?

A few words of wisdom that Coach Morris has said and they have stuck with me is - if you work hard the results will come and that races are won by the effort that you put in at practice. So I always try to work as hard as I can at practice even on the tough days when it isn't easy.

(Photo provided by Hunter Kjelshus)

What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?

Injuries - I sprained my ankle the week of sections in cross country last fall from falling off of a long board and I also had a stress fracture right before track started and I couldn't run for four weeks.

As a senior, how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running, what advice would you give to younger track athletes? 

The Perham long distance running program has a great history. I think part of the reason is, all runners from 7th through 12th grade are on the same team and practice together.  We all work hard and have fun as a team.  As a young runner I got to be teammates with some amazing runners that I looked up to. Now, as a senior, I am just trying to make sure I have that same work ethic and provide a good example for the underclassmen. Advice that I would give to younger track athletes is to always listen to your coach, because even if you think it's crazy, there is always a reason for what they do.

What are your main goals for this track season?

1600m - 4:25

3200m - 9:30

Also to make it to State in the 4x800 and either the 1600m or 3200m

How are you feeling about where you are at performance and training-wise this season?

I am feeling really good with where I am at right now. We have only had two meets due to weather cancellations, but I have already run close to my PR in the 1600m. In the absence of the cancelled meets I have gotten some really good workouts and training in.

Do you have any college plans?

I plan on attending Minnesota State University Moorhead and major in business/finance. I will also be running on the cross country and track & field team.

(Photo provided by Hunter Kjelshus)

What things helped draw you to MSU-Moorhead?

I looked at 5 different colleges and MSUM felt like a good fit right from the beginning. The campus was on the smaller side and the business department has what I was looking for. Also, Coach Milner and the guys on the team made me feel welcome and it just felt right. It also helped that I have seen former Perham runner Brady Speicher have great success at MSUM.

Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?

I always wear the same socks and I also try to eat Mac and Cheese or Chicken Strips the night before a race. 

When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?

When I am not running, you can find me playing Reject League Basketball or whiffle ball. You can also find me playing Xbox with my teammates. I also like to hunt and fish when I get a chance.

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself. 

The person interviewing me was my 10th grade math teacher.