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Osakis’ Brittney Sadlemyer and Tianna Stanek exchange the baton during the 4x100-meter relay at the Minnewaska Track and Field Invite on April 11, 2014. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

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History of success
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The Osakis girls’ track and field team hopes its relays will once again shine at the state meet this spring.

Last season, the Silverstreaks sent three teams to the Class A state track and field meet, winning a state title in the 4x400. The Osakis 4x200 relay team took second, while the 4x100 finished sixth.

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A trip to Hamline University for the relays has practically been a tradition for Osakis, and this spring the athletes expect more of the same. But they will have to do it without Becka Sadlemyer, who graduated after anchoring all three of the state qualifying relay teams.

“That’s always our goal,” said senior Hannah Szech, a captain this season and member of the 2013 state title winning 4x400 relay team. “I think it is something we really need to kind of work toward and have someone step into Becka’s shoes, kind of like last year.”

Becka Sadlemyer will be tough to replace, but a deep Silverstreaks team will help fill the gap. The rest of the runners who competed on the 2013 state relay teams are back for Osakis.

“I think that a lot of people think it’s going to cause a big difference in our team, and I honestly don’t think it will,” Szech said about losing Becka Sadlemyer. “We have such depth on our team.”

Runners returning to the team who competed in the state relays are Szech in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400, Alexa Hoffarth in the 4x100, Taylor Kraemer in the 4x100, Brittney Sadlemyer in the 4x200 and 4x400, Abby Stroup in the 4x200 and Makayla Hoglin in the 4x400.

The Osakis relays have performed well through two meets this season. In the first meet last Tuesday, the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays all finished in first place.

“We did well,” Stroup said about the team’s first meet of the season in Morris. “We won that meet and our relays did really well, taking everything except for the 4x800, where we took second.”

Competing in the second meet of the season just two days later, Osakis gave many of its experienced relay runners a rest at the Minnewaska Invite. But Osakis still took first place in the 4x200 meter relay and second in the 4x100 relay.

Head coach Lee VanNyhuis said the team’s main focus right now is working to build a strong team to compete for a conference and section title.

“We’re trying to build a lot of team depth throughout,” VanNyhuis said. “We’ll just kind of see how the relays shake out at the end of the year. I think that usually if you focus on the team, the relays always just kind of take care of themselves.”

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is the sports editor at the Pierce County Herald. Before working at the Herald, Blaze was a sports reporter at the Alexandria Echo Press for one year and 10 months. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
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