FHS senior qualified for third state meet

Photo by Chad Koenen
Nathan Johannsen wrapped up his Frazee cross country career on Saturday with a 20th place finish at the state cross country meet. The meet was held at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

By Chad Koenen


Nathan Johannsen has just checked off one more box on his storied cross country career at Frazee High School. The son of Summer and Jeff Johannsen qualified for his third state cross country tournament on October 30 and competed in his second state meet last weekend at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. While he qualified for state last year, the state cross country meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making it to state was a goal Johannsen set for himself before the season even started as the senior hoped to wrap up his cross country career at the biggest stage in the state.

“That was one of my big goals. I wanted to make it to state one last time. I’m looking forward to competing one last time.”

Nathan Johannsen

Johannsen qualified for the state meet by finishing in sixth place at the Section 8A meet on October 30 in Bagley. He cut 30 seconds off of his time from last year and knew he would need to post a fast time in order to make it back to state this year. 

“If I wanted to make it I would need to run faster than I did before,” he said. 

Johannsen finished in 20th place out of 159 runners who finished the race with a time of 17:09. Jakob McCleary won the individual state championship with a time of 16:09. Nova Classical Academy won the team title, while Perham took second place.

Even before he was donning the green jersey for the high school cross country team, Johannsen was running races across the region. His parents brought him to his first elementary cross country meet in second grade and he has been passionate about running ever since. 

In addition to qualifying for state, Johannsen also posted his first ever sub 17 minute 5k this fall, which was one of his big goals heading into the season.

Head coach Megan Galligan said Johannsen has worked hard this season to not only improve his own times, but has been a leader on the cross country team for the young Hornet squad.

“Nathan has worked really hard this year and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” he said.