Osakis, battling quarantines for many on its roster, finds way to take top-two spots at home quad

Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis is proud of the perseverance his athletes who could compete on Thursday showed with the Silverstreaks down nearly half of its roster due to having to quarantine.

Osakis' Kiana Kendall (middle) races in the 100-meter dash at a home meet on April 15, 2021. Kendall won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes in Osakis on April 29 and was part of the 4x100 relay team with Kaelyn Walker, Makenzie Lien and Tessa Stanek that won in a time of 54.7 seconds. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The COVID-19 pandemic is still having an impact on high school sports teams, and the Osakis track and field teams, along with the Silverstreaks’ softball and tennis programs, were hit hard during competitions on Thursday.

Osakis track and field hosted a home quad on April 29, but did so without a big bulk of its lineup.

“We knew this year would be different and have it's own challenges,” Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “Last week's meet felt pretty normal. This week's meet didn't. We had almost half of our team at home due to being quarantined. For some of these kids, it's been two or three times in the past few weeks. It leads to less consistency in training, and missed opportunities at making improvements through competing.”

VanNyhuis feels like the kids have been resilient and are working to make the best of it.

“The kids that were able to compete did a great job,” he said.


The Osakis boys still found a way to win the quad by scoring 89 total points. That was in front of second-place Pillager with 72.

Sophomore Stewart Jones had wins in both the 110 (17.4) and 300 (45.7) hurdles, and the triple jump (39-06). Jones also led a 1-2-3 finish in the high jump for Osakis by winning with a height of 5-feet, 6-inches. Ethan Wiggens (5-03) and Caleb Goodwin (5-00) were second and third.

“Stewart tried high jump for the first time after trying it in practice earlier this week,” VanNyhuis said. “Stepping in like that and having success shows his versatility.”

Zackery Bruder added a win in the 800-meter run (2:25.6) and the 4x100 relay team of Wiggens, Caleb Goodwin, Garek Radtke, and Duncan Vandergon won in 49.6 seconds.

Ben Paulson had two wins in the throws for Osakis. He took the shot put in 47-08, and the discus in 139-10.

“We didn't have that many throwers today, but the ones that did put out PR's in most of their throws,” VanNyhuis said. “Ben Paulson threw for the first time in a meet this year, and showed that he is one of the better throwers in the area. Isaac (Hetland), Kiley (Kranz) and Ryan (Engstrom) all PR’d in the shot.”

Kranz won the discus (104-02) and the shot put (37-11) on the girls’ side.

Kiana Kendall won both the 100 and 200 dashes in front of teammate Tessa Stanek in second place.


“Kiana has developed into a nice sprinter, and along with Tessa, make a nice top two in the sprints,” VanNyhuis said.

Lexi Spychalla added a win in the 800-meter run in 2:46.2. Stanek was first in the long jump (14-05), and the 4x100 relay team of Kaelyn Walker, Kendall, Makenzie Lien and Stanek won in a time of 54.7 seconds.

“I like the way that the kids who were out there are starting to come together,” VanNyhuis said. “It will be exciting when we can put all the pieces together.”


BOYS TEAM SCORES - Osakis - 89; Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale - 72; Pillager - 60; New York Mills - 15

GIRLS TEAM SCORES - Pillager - 90.33; Osakis - 72.33; Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale - 63.33; New York Mills - 35

OSAKIS GIRLS’ TOP-FIVE FINISHERS - 100-METER DASH - Kiana Kendall - first, 13.4; Tessa Stanek - second, 13.6; 200 DASH - Kendall - first, 28.7; Stanek - second, 28.8; Addison Wildman - fourth, 30.1; 800-METER RUN - Lexi Spychalla - first, 2:46.2; 1600 RUN - Madison Nystrom - fourth, 7:22; 100-METER HURDLES - Bria Hoffarth - fifth, 21.0; 300 HURDLES - B. Hoffarth - fourth, 59.7; 4x100 RELAY - first, 54.7; 4x200 RELAY - second, 1:58.5; 4x400 RELAY - second, 4:36.1; HIGH JUMP - Alexis Johanson - second, 4-08; Kaylee Thompson - third, 4-08; Raechel Weir - t-fifth, 4-03; LONG JUMP - Stanek - first, 14-05; SHOT PUT - Kiley Kranz - first, 37-11; DISCUS - Kranz - first, 104-02

OSAKIS BOYS’ TOP-FIVE FINISHERS - 100 DASH - Duncan Vandergon - third, 11.5; 200 DASH - Vandergon - third, 24.4; 800 RUN - Zackery Bruder - first, 2:25.6; Kale Drevlow - third, 2:31.2; 1600 RUN - Bruder - third, 5:24; Drevlow - fifth, 5:33; 110 HURDLES - Stewart Jones - first, 17.4; 300 HURDLES - Jones - first, 45.7; 4x100 RELAY - first, 49.6; HIGH JUMP - Jones - first, 5-06; Ethan Wiggens - second, 5-03; Caleb Goodwin - third, 5-00; POLE VAULT - Drevlow - second, 7-06; Garek Radtke - third, 7-00; LONG JUMP - Brennen Gustafson - third, 17-03.75; Guillette Da’vontee - fifth, 15-07; TRIPLE JUMP - Jones - first, 39-06; Trenton VanNyhuis - fifth, 30-10.5; SHOT PUT - Ben Paulson - first, 47-08; Isaac Hetland - second, 45-04; DISCUS - Paulson - first, 139-10; Hetland - third, 107-01; Ryan Engstrom - fourth, 99-02


Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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