Sports Spotlight on Jake Leingang | VideoScott Westerberg | 10/24/2012
As a freshman, the limelight rarely shone on Leingang. He was a solid runner for the Demons cross country team until something clicked at the end of the season.
"He was working his way to get into the top ten in a lot of meets and all of a sudden at the state meet he gets fourth, which was a phenominal race for him and then that spring he comes out and wins the outdoor two mile," said co-head coach Darrell Anderson.
That state track title jump-started one of the most successful track and cross country careers in North Dakota history, and on Saturday Jake will try to add yet another chapter by joining Corey Ihmels as the only other Class A boy to win three straight cross country championships.
"It means a lot to be put anywhere with his name. It would be a big accomplishment. He was really good. It would be cool to see if that happens," Leingang said.
But that would be just one of many incredible accomplishments for Leingang. He`s already won six individual track titles and placed in the top five in a handful of high profile races including a national title in the New Balance 5K. It`s such an impressive list that picking the best is a tough task.
"If I had to name one it`s pretty hard to beat a national championship last summer in the 5,000 meters. That`s a remarkable achievement," Anderson said.
But if you ask Leingang, his most impressive feat may be one he has yet to achieve, which is get his team to nationals.
"It`d be a great accomplishment to get the team there. I`ve been wanting to do that and last year we just missed out, so if our team gets there I think that would be one of the top accomplishments."
With a resume like Jake`s, the problem isn`t getting a scholarship to one of the top track and cross country colleges, it`s figuring out which one to chose.
"I took a few visits to Oregon and Oklahoma State so far so we`ll see what happens. I`m still trying to figure it out," he said.
But before that happens, Jake has his sights set on making more history at Bismarck High.
The state cross country meet is this Saturday in Dickinson. Bismarck High has won seven straight team titles. They placed six of the top seven last fall.
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