Osakis boys, girls win Prairie Conference championships

Ben Paulson and Stewart Jones share the Most Valuable Athlete Award on the boys' side from the Prairie Conference championship, while Tessa Stanek shares the honor on the girls' side, as well.

Osakis' Stewart Jones jumps at an Osakis home meet on April 15, 2021. Jones was co-MVP of the Prairie Conference championship on May 26 with teammate Ben Paulson after Jones won the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Osakis boys and girls track and field teams continued to show their strength among Prairie Conference programs by winning the conference championship meet again this season.

Both the boys and girls have been competitors at the top of the conference in recent years, and the girls won in Long Prairie on May 26 with 139 points -- 30 points in front of LPGE. The boys posted 109 points to also knock off LPGE (71) in second place.

“It was great to be able to compete for a conference championship again,” Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “Almost all of our emphasis is on improving our whole team, so it is rewarding when you see the team rally together when things don't always go our way. We had some unfortunate injuries as well as a couple of mishaps that we had to work through. We hate to see those things happen, but it's good for them to have each other's back like that.”

Top two finishers in events earn All-Prairie Conference recognition from this meet, while third-place finishers are honorable mention.

Osakis sophomore Stewart Jones won four events. Jones took the 110-meter hurdles (16.45), the 300 hurdles (44.22), the long jump (18-7.5) and the triple jump (40-1).


“Stewart was challenged by some good competition, but he's the type of kid that rises up to the next level in big meets,” VanNyhuis said.

Senior Ben Paulson added two more individual wins for the Osakis boys. He dominated the shot put (46-0) and discus (152-2). Jones and Paulson shared the Most Valuable Athletes award on the boys’ side of the field.

“Ben had a huge day,” VanNyhuis said. “Not only did he win both throws convincingly, he broke a school record in the discus that was held by Andrew Nack (2008). He's been throwing well, but a throw like that was a bit of a surprise. The rest of the throwers came up big like always as well. Just a strong event group for us for both boys and girls that we can rely on.”

The relay group of Ethan Wiggens, Jack Petrich, Caleb Goodwin and Brennen Gustafson won both the 4x100 (49.56) and 4x200 (1:43.38) relays. Joseph Aaser, Issac Loverink, John Pahl, Kale Drevlow were second in the 4x800 (10:19.83).

Jarron Kurth (800 run, 2:16.29) and Wiggins (high jump, 5-2) also earned all-conference honors by taking second place. Isaac Hetland (100 dash, 12.20; shot put, 40-7.5) and Kurth (triple jump, 35-2) added honorable-mention honors for third-place finishes, and the 4x400 relay team (4:07.53) of Petrich, Zackery Bruder, Pahl and Kurth did the same.

Stanek part of four wins

Like the boys got four wins from Stewart Jones, the Osakis girls added four first-place finishes from junior Tessa Stanek.

Stanek won the 100-meter (13.08) and 200-meter (27.45) dashes. She also won the long jump (14-10) and was part of the 4x100 relay team with Kaelyn Walker, Hailey Walker and Makenzie Lien that won in a time of 54.51.


Osakis' Tessa Stanek races during a home meet on April 15, 2021. Stanek was the co-MVP of the girls' Prairie Conference championship on May 26 in Long Prairie after winning the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump and being part of the winning 4x100 relay team. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Stanek and Caroline Kuehne of LPGE were named the most valuable athletes from the championship on the girls’ side.

“This was Tessa's best meet of the year,” VanNyhuis said. “We’re starting to see that peak happening at the right time.”

Osakis got two wins in the hurdles. Junior Mara VanNyhuis won the 100-meter race in 17.64. She was third in the 300 hurdles (51.92) to earn honorable-mention honors, while freshman teammate Addison Wildman won the 300 hurdles in 50.08.

“Addison and Mara both had PRs in the hurdles,” Lee VanNyhuis said. “Each meet they seem to get better.”

Sophomore Kiley Kranz won both the shot put (36-11) and discus (118-4) championships. Kaylee Thompson was Osakis’ final individual winner after taking the high jump (4-10). That was part of a 1-2-3 finish for the Silverstreaks in that event, with Alexis Johanson taking second (4-8) and Raechel Weir finishing third (4-6).

“When you can go 1-2-3 in an event, it just sets up the team,” Lee VanNyhuis said. “Kaylee, Alexis, and Raechel showed up today.”

Osakis’ 4x800 relay team of Lauren Anderson, Hatti Schmidtbauer, Larissa Hoffarth and Lexi Spychalla won in 11:24.09. Second-place finishers who earned All-Prairie Conference recognition included the 4x400 relay team of Bella Weisser, Madeline Anderson, Carlee Muenzhueber and Madelyn Collins (4:39.26), Weisser (triple jump, 28-11), Madison Douvier (shot put, 30-9.5) and VanNyhuis (discus, 93-8).


Additional third-place finishes from Weisser (800 run, 2:39.98) and Kianna Kendall (long jump, 14-3.75) earned them honorable-mention All-Prairie Conference honors.


BOYS TEAM SCORES - Osakis - 109; LPGE - 71; St. John’s Prep - 63; Upsala-Swanville - 57; Browerville - 56

GIRLS TEAM SCORES - Osakis - 139; LPGE - 109; Upsala-Swanville - 46; St. John’s Prep - 38; Browerville - 13

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.
What To Read Next
Get Local