Osakis' Kiley Kranz, Tessa Stanek take in the state experience with more to build on heading into 2022

Kiley Kranz finished on the podium in seventh place as one of just four sophomores competing against juniors and seniors in the shot put.

Osakis' Kiley Kranz throws the discus during the Class A state meet on June 18, 2021 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. The sophomore for the Silverstreaks finished 14th in the discus and seventh in the shot put after qualifying for her first state meet. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Osakis sophomore Kiley Kranz and junior Tessa Stanek both took in the excitement of competing at the Class A state meet on Friday afternoon with the intention of using this experience to get back and try to finish even higher in the standings next spring.

Kranz was in her first-ever trip to state and has a podium finish to show for it. She had a seed mark of 36-07 in the shot put before exceeding that with a top throw of 37-03.50 in the finals. That placed her seventh in the 16-team field. Delaney Smith of Windom Area won the shot put championship with a throw of 43-02.75.

“I thought I did OK,” Kranz said. “There’s always room for improvement, but I’m just happy how today went...There was a lot of emotions going on. During shot, I felt like my heart was going to leap out. I was definitely really nervous.”

Kiley Kranz puts all her energy into a discus throw on June 18, 2021 at the Class A state meet. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)


Kranz fouled on her first three discus throws. That left her looking to get one in on her fourth and final attempt, and she did that with a toss of 96-08. That placed her 14th.

“Sweaty palms really get you some days,” Kranz said with a smile. “Everyone has those days. I just have to take it as a learning experience and move on.”

There’s a lot of opportunity left for Kranz to build on this. She has seen first hand now what it takes to compete at a high level against the best throwers in the state.

“It’s going to be a lot of discipline,” Kranz said. “Just going out and getting throws in, going to the weight room. After a long day of work or something, it’s going to be about really being disciplined and doing it. I think with the help of my coaches, who are amazing, we can definitely take it to the next level.”

Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis lauded Kranz’s work ethic after the section meet, and Kranz was proud of that work paying off with two state entries this season. She was one of just four sophomores in the shot put and three in the discus competing against juniors and seniors.

“After talking to some of the girls here, I kind of settled down and took it all in,” Kranz said. “I met some amazing people here, and I can’t want to maybe be here again.”

Stanek takes 13th in 200 dash

Stanek has competed in the state meet before, but there is still a pressure she feels with going up against the state’s best sprinters.

“I’d say it’s probably the same amount as when I was at sections,” she said of the atmosphere on Friday in front of a big crowd at St. Michael-Albertville High School. “I knew at sections that it was a big meet because I could go to state. I think I felt the same for both meets, thinking you’re going to throw up and all that. I just prayed each time and tried to keep a positive mindset.”


Osakis junior Tessa Stanek (middle) races down the stretch of the 200-meter dash at the Class A state meet on June 18, 2021 at St. Michael-Albertville High School. Stanek finished 13th in the race with a time of 27.57. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Stanek came in with a seed time of 27.16 in the 200-meter dash and ran her state race in 27.57. That was good for 13th place, just behind fellow Section 6A sprinter Emily Kaiser from Minnewaska. Anisa Thompson from Blake School won the 200 in 25.46.

“I just said no matter what place I get or what happens, I know I’m doing my best and finishing as best as I can,” Stanek said.

It was not quite a personal-record time for Stanek, but she had a lot of those throughout the season. That made for another step forward on the track that she now looks to build on during her final season next spring.

“I’m just going to push myself hard each meet,” Stanek said, looking ahead to 2022. “I want to gradually progress each meet. I don’t care what happened last year. It’s going to be a new, fresh start for me and I want to finish my career with a good ending.”

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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