Turn Back the Clock: Hibbing's Serena Sullivan

By KBJR News 1

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 1:06 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- With a time of 31:15 last Friday, former Hibbing Bluejacket star Serena Sullivan took home the women's title in the 40th annual Park Point 5-Miler, with over 500 runners taking part in the event.

"I actually felt pretty good," Sullivan said after her win. "I knew there was going to be lots of tough competition today, so I knew if I started out smart, I would end up okay. I have a tendency to start out too fast, and it's just very painful from there, but I knew I had to focus on who was in front of me. I just went for it."

"I really love Duluth, the atmosphere, and the people," Sullivan said. "It's fun coming out and seeing all the other runners you're familiar with and racing against them, so I really like it."

Back in 1996, as a Hibbing Bluejacket sophomore, Sullivan appeared ready to win the Section 7AA cross country meet when she ran into breathing problems and finished second to Duluth East's Kendall Wheeler.

"I don't know, my lungs just felt like I couldn't breathe anymore, any harder," Sullivan said after that 1996 race. "I just kind of gave up. I wish I wouldn't have, but I did."

"She caught me at probably the last 800 meters," Sullivan said of Wheeler. "I heard my friend say, 'Only 800 more to go,' and I just died there as Kendall passed me."

"I could tell right when I passed her that I could hear her breathing," Wheeler said. "At the turn I could tell something was wrong because she was breathing really hard, and all of a sudden she wasn't behind me. There had to be something because usually she can kick and pull off the win."

Posted by Zach Schneider
zschneider@northlandsnewscenter.com