NORTHFIELD – Senior Carter Grove represented Osakis well with a top-30 finish in the boys Class A state cross country meet on Saturday at St. Olaf College.

Grove qualified at sections with a time of 17:07.6 – eighth-best in the field. At state, he shaved off nearly 23 seconds with his 29th-place finish (16:43.5).

“I can’t even explain it right now. It was just a fantastic experience,” Grove said. “This was my second time here, and it felt like I knew what I was doing this time more than the last. I had a lot more confidence today.”

When Grove crossed the finish line, he was greeted by friends, family and coaches. They are his support system that makes the grind worth it for him.

“It’s amazing to come here and know you have people you can count on,” Grove said. “It means a lot to have people here that support me. They came a long way for my last race.”

He ran one of his best races of the season in some of the worst conditions. Unlike many Minnesotans, he prefers the chill of winter.

“I like running in the cold,” Grove said. “It’s hard to explain. I know it’s weird, but I’d rather run on days like this.”

The Osakis boys team finished 17th in the Section 6A meet on Oct. 24. Even though Grove is graduating in the spring, he hopes that he can be a building block for the program to take that next step.

“I think they are on the right track,” Grove said. “All of us got a lot better this season. I think it’d be cool for Osakis to make it here as a team someday.”