Salute To Seniors - Parker Wilhoit

Parker Wilhoit
Roseville Area High School

    What are all your personal records?

    800 meters: 2:08 relay split

    1600 meters: 4:42.70

    3200 meters: 10:09.24

    5k xc: 16:45.80

      How did you get started as a track/ cross country athlete?

      I first joined Roseville's cross country program in 7th grade after pressure from my dad who had been a marathon runner and a fellow teammate Eamon Kuhne who had done cross country the previous year. Growing up I had always been involved in local 5ks and fun runs so it seemed natural that once I got to middle school I would join the cross country and track teams.

        What was your most memorable competition?

        My most memorable competition has to be the Section 4AA cross country meet this past fall. Going into the race I was right on the bubble for individually qualifying for the State Meet which had been my main goal for the entire season.The race conditions had been nearly perfect with the temperature in the mid 60s and little to no wind. The race started out relatively quick with my first mile being right around 5:10. At this point I was in the 8th and final individual qualifying spot. My coaches had been telling me what position I was in for the entire race so I knew exactly where I needed to be. I knew that if I got passed by just one person my state dreams would be gone. I went through the two mile mark around 10:35 which was uncomfortably fast but I knew that I couldn't drop now, I had just one more mile to go and I was still hanging in the last qualifying spot right with Kade Hagen, a St. Paul Central athlete who was in the 7th qualifying spot. We were neck and neck with 400 meters left in the race but I could feel him slightly starting to pull away. With 200 meters left I ran up the last hill and was able to see the finish line. At this point athletes were starting their final kicks towards the finish but I could feel that something wasn't right. I physically could not push myself any faster and I felt my form starting to break down. I was trying to push myself to go faster but my body just wouldn't cooperate. With just 20 meters left in the race I felt my legs give out and I collapsed to the ground. I tried as hard as I could to get back up but I had nothing left. I watched as a Woodbury athlete passed me and finished, taking the last individual qualifying spot for the state meet. I almost immediately burst into tears and used all my strength to stand back up and cross the finish line. I finished in a time of 16:55.20 which still managed to be a one-second personal best. As soon as my body was across the finish line I collapsed again. The medical staff and my teammates dad picked me up and dragged me to an open area away from the finish line. They called for an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. While at the hospital I took the time to take in everything that had just happened. I realized that although my final sections race did not turn out the way I wanted it to, I should be thankful for all the things I accomplished along the way and all of the friendships I have made. Cross country taught me more than just how to be a decent runner, it taught me how to be a leader, good teammate, and inspiration to other runners.

          Who were your biggest competitors in your track/XC career?

          I've always been very competitive with the boys from Mounds View and White Bear Lake. At the end of each summer the top runners from White Bear Lake, Mounds View, and Roseville, all go down to Whitewater State Park and run/camp together for five days. I was able to attend Whitewater my sophomore, junior, and senior year. Whitewater gave me the unique opportunity to actually train with and get to personally know my competitors from other schools. I've also had the opportunity to compete against the runners of the Suburban East Conference numerous times over my career. A few individual competitors who stand out would be Finn Sokolowski of Mounds View, Peter Michalowicz of Woodbury, Matt Payne of Stillwater, and my own teammate Caleb Schultz.