By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
Dani Stack’s cross country career at Iowa State University may be over, but the former Mankato Loyola High School standout is still running.
She ran pretty fast on Sunday, turning in a time of 1:17:24 to win the women’s division of the 2012 Mankato Half-Marathon. Stack, who placed fifth overall, looked strong at the end and admitted she was feeling pretty good.
“My body held up fine,” she said. “I didn’t have a good year (at ISU) last year and I think I had some burn out. So I scaled it back quite a bit but now I’m getting back into it. I thought I ran a good race today.”
Stack still has one more semester of track left for the Cyclones and she’s hoping to make the most of it. She felt Sunday’s race was pretty good preparation for the season.
“My biggest concern was not to go out too fast too early,” she said. “The first couple of miles were the hardest for me because I had to hold myself back a little bit. At about the seven-and-a-half mile mark is when I began to step it up and I started pulling away a little bit.”
Stack is a dietetics major with a minor in journalism but said she’s still not sure what she wants to do when she graduates next spring.
“I’m still kind of undecided,” she said. “We’ll see how it works itself out.”
Mankato’s Lindsey Henkels came in right behind Stack among the women. The 32-year-old clocked a 1:19:33.
Andrea Rediger, 23, of Plymouth finished third (1:20:35); Amy Halseth, 42, of Minneapolis was fourth (1:24:02) and Joan Benoit-Samuelson, 55, placed fifth (1:25:40). Benoit-Samuelson is a former Olympic marathon champion who was the keynote speaker at Saturday night’s Health and Fitness Expo at Minnesota State University.