His Teammates Call Him "Giraffe" - A Chat With Luke Labatte


Luke Labatte of Rosemount Class of 2019

Personal Records:

800m - 2:02.27

1600m - 4:23.67

3200m - 9:30.26

5K (xc) - 15:38.50

XC State 2016 - 27th place

XC State 2015 - 102nd place

T&F State 2017 - 3200m 6th place; 1600m 11th place

Does anyone on the Rosemount Irish have a nickname?

Only the top two runners have one.  Spencer Schultz is Ostrich and I am Giraffe.

What sports did you play growing up?

I played soccer though elementary school.  I played football in 6th grade, baseball in grades 6-8, and "in house" basketball in grades 3-5.  I started track & field in a program in Eagan when I was in 3rd grade and began running cross country in 7th grade.

What are your current sports?

Cross country and track & field but we also have an intramural basketball team.

What is Head Coach Chris Harder's training style for the distance runners?

He has us doing 200s and 150s for sprint workouts.  Our endurance emphasis is on long repeats.  We generally do 4xMile with 1:1 jog recoveries early in the season with later season jogs shortened to 1 minute in the late season.  We have a 1200 loop that we do 5 times and the recovery is similar to that of the mile repeats but only reduced to a 2 minute jog towards the end of the season. 

In track & field our sprints are generally shorter as in flying 40s.

During cross country the recovery jogs are timed with a stopwatch.  The way we do the recovery interval is to jog out halfway and then comeback to the start. At least one runner in each group has a watch.  We use a GPS for long runs and for our mile splits.  My longest run ever is 13 miles.

What do you do in the summer to prepare for cross country?

Our summer training takes place in Lebanon Hills six days per week.  We sometimes picnic there too. A coach is usually there when they are allowed to be by MSHSL rules.  The other days captains organize the workouts.

Have you ever been injured?

I have never been injured in high school but I did have an injury in one heel when I was in 8th grade.  The cause was running in unsupportive shoes.  Now I use over-the-counter gel inserts.  I use them to help my flat feet.

Who are the top seven runners at RHS?

Mark Biechler, Danny Cox, Payne Freske, Jack Labatte, Elliott Nicholson, Spencer Schultz, and me.  Our order is not always the same.  Jack and I are twins.