Track and field: State champion relays return nearly intact for OsakisFive of the six runners are back to help guide Osakis in a return to state
By: Lori Mork, Alexandria Echo Press
After a season that ended with a pair of state championships for the girls’ team and some impressive performances from both the boys and the girls, the 2013 Osakis track and field season holds great promise.
The Silverstreak boys are coming off a season in which they grabbed third place in the Prairie Conference, but will need to replace two strong scorers.
“We lost two very good distance runners last year in Nick [Sunder] and Devon [Nelson],” said head coach Lee VanNyhuis. “We are going to have a tough time filling those spots. We have a good nucleus of sprinters and throwers returning that we can build around, but we are going to need to have kids step up in the hurdles, jumps and distance events to be able to compete for a conference title.”
To earn a title in the Prairie Conference, the boys will have to battle Browerville, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and West Central Area for the crown this year.
VanNyhuis knows that Sauk Centre and Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta are favored in the True Team competition, with the Tigers and Ashby/Brandon-Evansville the top contenders in the sub-section.
Finishing second in the Prairie Conference and third in the 5A True Team meet, the Silverstreak girls improved each meet as the season progressed, sending a large contingent of athletes to state and returning with titles in both the 4x400 and 4x200 relays. Five of the six girls who ran in those relays are back in Makalya Hoglin, Hannah Szech, Becka Sadlemyer, Abby Stroup and Brittney Sadlemyer.
“Our girls’ team is still very young, having only three seniors and two juniors on the roster,” said VanNyhuis. “Losing Cathryn and Calista was tough, but this year’s team is deep in talent. The key to our success is going to be getting the girls to buy into our ‘team first’ philosophy, where the girls accept roles that will make our team more balanced. If all the kids buy into it, we will be a very strong team. Obviously, one of our goals is to defend our state titles in the 4x200 and 4x400, but our main focus will be trying to get the conference and True Team section titles back.”
With as many veteran athletes as he has on his team, VanNyhuis’ Silverstreak girls should have the inside track in the conference, with possibly Long Prairie-Grey Eagle putting up some opposition.
The girls may have some competition in the sub-section from Ashby/Brandon-Evansville and Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta, with the Tigers and Holdingford posing problems on the True Team level.
OSAKIS TRACK AND FIELD
SENIORS – Garret Scherr, captain, throws; Hunter Johnson, captain, sprints/jumps; Brian Thorstad, captain, sprints; Seth Newman, sprints/jumps; Tyler Matzke, distance; Nolan Marthaler, sprints.
JUNIORS – Brett Cowdery, mid-distance; Peter Hagen, throws; Trey Erie, sprints/jumps.
SOPHOMORES – Mitch Sunder, throws; Zach Rien, sprints; Austin Sunder, throws; Nils Hagen, hurdles/throws.
FRESHMEN – Grant Backes, distance; Jose Valevié, throws; Ron Towle, throws; Zane Pawle, sprints/pole vault; Preston Graham, sprints/jumps; Garret Sunder, mid-distance; Scottroy Clar, sprints.
SENIORS – Becka Sadlemyer, captain, sprints/throws; Beth Kirckof, hurldes/throws; Haley Hughes, sprints/jumps.
JUNIORS – Makayla Hoglin, captain, mid-distance; Taylor Kraemer, captain, sprints/jumps.
SOPHOMORES – Alexa Hoffarth, sprints/jumps; Emily Eckel, high jump; Paige Gabrielson, distance; Hannah Szech, sprints/jumps; Courtny Walter, distance; Taylor Spychalla, mid-distance; Tina Sunder, hurdles/throws; Nicole Imdieke, sprints/throws; Jordan Judd, throws.
FRESHMEN – Alli Scherr, sprints/jumps; Abby Stroup, sprints/jumps; Brittney Sadlemyer, sprints/throws; Isabelle Szech, distance; Ashley Kraemer, mid-distance/pole vault.
8TH GRADERS – MiKayla Olson, sprints/jumps/pole vault; Kayla Sorenson, hurdles/high jump; Jessica Bliese, sprints/throws.
COACHES – Lee VanNyhuis, head coach; Justin Dahlheimer, assistant coach; Chris Stroup, assistant coach; Julies Backes, assistant coach.