One of the top runners in the state competes for Bismarck High, but what you may not know is the challenge he put himself through this summer to climb the mountain of success.
Sean Korsmo finished so close to a state title in 2019, a second-place finish, and a hunger to get better. that’s where he discovered trail runner.
“I’ve never ran on any trails,” says Sean Korsmo. “On any mountains or any elevation higher than here, I guess.”
The Bismarck senior connected with a family friend, and spent two weeks in Colorado training for a national race in a style of running he’s never competed in.
“He hasn’t raced since November and so that’s been a long time,” says coach Darrell Anderson. “And so any opportunity he had to do this, he was really looking forward to.”
After the preparation, race day arrived. Korsmo attacking a course with inclines that would intimidate any runner.
“I just didn’t give up,” Korsmo says. “I just gritted my teeth a little bit and pushed harder into the ground and I just knew that it was going to end. I just needed to get through that part.”
When the dust settled, Korsmo finished second, immediately putting himself on the map in the sport.
“I finished the race and looked at the mountain and I go ‘wow, that was a miracle from God ’cause that should not have happened to me,” says Korsmo. “Holy cow, thank you Lord’ first. And then second, it was just, I just think it’s my competitive nature.”
The competitiveness that could lead him to an elite group of two-time state champs in North Dakota Cross Country.
“He’s an infectious kid,” says Anderson. “A great young man with a lot of character and he loves to compete. He doesn’t complain. He just wants to get better every day, and he loves life.”
A life defined by running, tackling any mountain and obstacle in his way.
“The hard work you take from cross-practice is the same you see in the classroom,” Korsmo says. “And that’s why, looking at our team, most of them have an amazing GPA’s academics. They’re all just amazing because we put in the work out here. We work hard here and it just goes over to every single aspect of your life.”
With that second-place finish, Korsmo has now applied to be on the US Junior Mountain Running Team.