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Eric Peterson, Published May 08 2013

MSUM's Foster has rhythm on and off the track

Moorhead - Clayton Foster is fleet on his feet with a knack for dropping beats.

Foster’s beatboxing skills helped him win a talent show at Minnesota State Moorhead. His feet have helped him win three conference championships in track.

“He’s always down to beatbox,” MSUM junior Spencer Ruebke said with a laugh.

Foster was a freshman when he won a talent show at the school’s memorial union.

“Everyone loved the beatbox,” Foster said.

Foster’s track career has been a hit, too. The 5-foot-9, 153-pound Foster is the top seed in the men’s 1,500 meters for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Championships, which start Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Foster is the defending NSIC champion in the 1,500 and has the school record in that event in his sights. Foster’s best time in the event is 3 minutes, 50.83 seconds.

Linc Woodbury has the school record, running a 3:48.0 in 1976.

“He is reliable when it comes to the big meet.” MSUM distance coach Ryan Milner said of Foster. “He rises to the occasion. His fastest races and most technically sound races come at the biggest races.”

Foster – from Pequot Lakes, Minn. – was a high school freshman when he started to beatbox, a form of vocal percussion in which a person makes drum beats and other musical sounds with their mouth. Foster saw an upperclassman doing it and decided it was something he wanted to emulate.

Foster got the moniker “C-Frost” from the pseudo-freestyle rap battles he’s had with teammates.

Foster said he may be walking across campus or on a training run when he breaks out his beatboxing.

“It’s random,” he said. “It goes through spurts.

Foster likes to watch YouTube videos of Eklips, his favorite beatbox artist.

“Just by hearing a noise, I can replicate it pretty similar,” said Foster, who wants to be a college track coach.

Ruebke called Foster an ideal team captain who helps make his teammates better. Ruebke cited an indoor practice earlier this year as an example.

It was near the end of the workout and Ruebke was fading. Foster was there to help Ruebke finish the session strong.

“He ran right behind me the whole time,” said Ruebke, who is from Ada, Minn. “He would physically put my hand on my back and push me along. … I know I wouldn’t be as a good as a runner if it wasn’t for him.”

Milner said Foster is “one of those guys you don’t want to leave” the program.

“He’s good, but he’s also relatable,” Milner said. “There is no arrogance about him.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com