Jacob Rodin is what our annual Pride of the Prairie issue is all about.
Rodin hails from a town of 939 and wasn’t recruited in high school until a very impressive performance late in his career. Like most small-town kids, he excelled in not just one sport but three, earning 2nd team allstate honors in football and basketball.
Though he was lightly recruited, Rodin has blossomed as a runner during his time with the Bison, capturing a conference championship in the 2019-2020 indoor 800m and runner-up finishes in the outdoor and indoor 800m in 2020-2021. He was also part of the 4x400m relay team that secured both conference championships last season.
I was told you have really interesting story as far as getting a scholarship offer, could you tell us about that?
I didn’t have any scholarship offers at all until after the state track meet. I didn’t even think I was going to be running track in college until Coach Larson called me after the meet.
By the time he called me, most people had already made decisions about what they were going to do after high school. I always wanted to go to NDSU or a college near home so I was kind of just planning on going here without a sport before Coach Larson contacted me and kind of changed my mind. I was never dead set on running in college, but he kind of convinced me and I’m very happy he made the visit and talked to me, that’s for sure.
What can you tell me about Goose Fest?
It’s one of the biggest things in Kenmare. It’s a week-long hunting event where people come from all over the United States. They have a chili cook-off and hunting competitions for most birds, biggest bird, smallest bird. It’s just a fun time where everyone in Kenmare gets together.
Did you participate in the Festivities?
Yes, I never participated in the competitions but I would go to the chili cook-off and gun raffles and whatnot.
What was it like growing up in Kenmare?
I really liked it. It has a small-town feel. I graduated with 20 kids so it’s different, but I didn’t know the big city life. We went to Minot as a kid and that’s as big as it got for me as a kid. But I really enjoyed it.
You played football and basketball in addition to running track & field. Where there any other sports you played growing up?
I played baseball until my junior high years when I started doing track. After that, the season always took place during the spring so I started going to track pretty much full-time. I didn’t end up doing it in the summer at that point either because I wanted to focus on training for football, basketball and track.
Did you have a favorite among your sports? I know a lot of athletes start off doing track as just as way to stay in shape for their other sports.
I would say basketball is my favorite sport. I wouldn’t say I really started enjoying track until my junior year of high school. At that time, I really started to fall in love with the competition behind the sport. When that happened, it started to compete with basketball as my favorite sport.