Senior Runner Shatters Family Record at State Track Meet

It isn’t often that family members get to compete more than 20 years apart, but high school senior Mark Medalen is doing just that at his last State Track Meet.

This race was his final shot.

Mark Medalen isn’t simply running to compete, with each step, he’s getting closer to something he’s been chasing.

“It’s kind of like chasing a ghost on the track that I haven’t been able to catch up to,” Mark Medalen, Des-Lacs Burlington senior says.
Medalen’s uncle, Tim Birkeland, set his own personal record for the 400 Meter run more than 20 years ago.

“One of his goals is always to beat my time [set] back a long time ago,” Birkeland says.

And beating the time is something he’s been training for for more than a year.
At the State Track Meet, it will be his last chance to do it.

“A lot of people don’t really have that opportunity to race against their uncle’s old time,” Medalen says.

But Mark does, and for his family, it is a sight they wouldn’t want to miss.

“It’s a big tradition and to be here to support him is really special,”  Birkeland says.

The whole family came to watch and cheer on the youngest of the clan.

So when he finally took his mark, and with each stride he took, he got closer to the finish line.

Until he rounded the corner and snagged the win.

And after all of his hard work, he beat the time that inspired this family competition.

“It was awesome,” Birkeland says.

Mark Medalen won the Class B 400 M dash with a time of 49.76 seconds.

His family was in the stands to cheer him on.

After beating his uncle’s time, he says he earned some hard fought bragging rights.

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