Track and field: Much to recognize after another good season for Osakis
Silverstreaks hand out MVP honors for boys, girls teams.
OSAKIS — The Osakis track and field programs always have a lot to honor from a talented Class A team, and that proved to be the case again during the 2022 season.
The Silverstreaks had six all-state athletes. Kiley Kranz (shot put, discus), Tessa Stanek (4x100, 4x200 relays), Mara VanNyhuis (4x100), Hailey Walker (4x100, 4x200), Kiana Kendall (4x100, 4x200) and Kaelyn Walker (4x200) earned that honor with top-nine finishes at the state meet.
They were part of a group of state qualifiers that also included the 4x400 team of Bella Weisser, Ally Boyer and Kaia Fiskness (with Kaelyn Walker) on the girls’ side, and McCarter Kirksey (shot put) on the boys’ side.
In awards voted on by the student-athletes, Stanek earned Osakis’ Most Valuable Track Athlete Award for the girls’ team in her final season before moving on to run at Bemidji State University. Stanek was an MVP from the Prairie Conference meet as a sprinter and jumper to wrap up a standout career in Osakis.
Kranz earned the girls’ Most Valuable Field Athlete Award. The junior anchored another good throwing group by taking fourth in the shot put at state and seventh in the discus.
Eighth-grader Bella Weisser was the most improved athlete for the girls, while VanNyhuis, a senior, was the team’s Silverstreak Award winner for her leadership on and off the track and field. Fiskness, a 7th-grader, earned the Will to Win Award after helping to anchor the distance runners early in her career.
For the Osakis boys, freshman Zackery Bruder earned both the Most Valuable Track Athlete Award, and the Will to Win Award. Kirksey, a junior, was the Most Valuable Field Athlete after his run to the state meet, while junior Joseph Aaser was the most-improved athlete, and junior Jack Petrich earned the Silverstreak Award.
Osakis also started a new award after this season called the Stroup “Big Picture” Award in memory of former Osakis coach Chris Stroup, who died unexpectedly on Feb. 22 at the age of 52. Silverstreaks’ head coach Lee VanNyhuis and assistant coach Justin Dahlheimer were both close friends with Stroup and continued to feel his presence in the program even after the Stroup family moved from the Osakis area. They talked to Chris’ wife, Jill, about the characteristics they wanted this new award to represent.
“This is what Jill wrote,” VanNyhuis said of Jill’s influence on the new award. “Someone who strives to reach their own potential by being coachable. Someone who supports the team and accepts their role in that big picture, finds the fun in the competition. Sees beyond themselves as an athlete that translates to real life.”
Junior Madison Douvier was the inaugural recipient of this award for the girls, and junior Logan Karnes earned the honor for the boys.
“It is fitting that the award went to two throwers the first year that recipients were chosen,” L. VanNyhuis said. “Chris transformed the culture in the events he coached. He set high expectations for his athletes, taught them how to work hard while having fun. After Chris left, the athletes have paid forward to others those same values. He would be proud of where we are at as a team right now, and he would be honored that Madi and Logan would be receiving this award. He would have liked coaching them.”
Osakis also earned high honors in the classroom this past season. Lexi Spychalla, VanNyhuis, Alexis Johanson, Stanek, Kranz and Douvier all earned academic all-state awards for those with a GPA over 3.6 that also meet performance standards.
Both the boys (3.843 cumulative GPA) and girls (3.986) teams earned academic all-state gold awards. That goes to teams with a GPA above 3.75.
On the track and field, it was a season for the girls that featured another trip to the true team state meet, where they finished ninth, after winning the Section 6A True Team meet. The girls also won the Prairie Conference championship and took second in Section 6A.
“I really feel our kids met or exceeded all of the performance goals at the beginning of the season,” L. VanNyhuis said after the season ended. “The coaching staff did a great job of preparing them, and we had a lot of fun this year.”
ADDITIONAL OSAKIS TRACK AND FIELD AWARDS
PRAIRIE CONFERENCE ALL-ACADEMIC (Letter winner, 3.7 GPA) - Jack Petrich, John Pahl, Kale Drevlow, Jacob Taplin, Isaac Ruugemer, Kaleb Helberg, Lexi Spychalla, Mara VanNyhuis, Alexis Johanson, Larissa Hoffarth, Madi Douvier, Bria Hoffarth, Emma Nobles, Eva Van Acker, Hailey Walker
LETTER WINNERS - BOYS TEAM - Alessandro Bettiol, Brody Wussow, Logan Karnes, Joseph Aaser, Jack Petrich, John Pahl, Issac Loverink, Noah Schultz, Kale Drevlow, McCarter Kirksey, Stewart Jones, Jacob Taplin, Blake Bouldin, Andrew Paulson, Noah Goodwin, Brennen Gustafson, Isaac Ruegemer, Jayden Schlosser, Mikkel Steinert, Zackery Bruder, Kaleb Helberg, Trenton VanNyhuis, Keaton Lien, Christian Nathe, Jaxon Christner; GIRLS TEAM - Hatti Schmidtbauer, Lexi Spychalla, Mara VanNyhuis, Makenzie Lien, Alexis Johanson, Tessa Stanek, Kiley Kranz, Kyrah Oeltjen, Madelyn Collins, Larissa Hoffarth, Madi Douvier, Izabella Nowak, Bria Hoffarth, Emma Nobles, Kiana Kendall, Eva Van Acker, Lauren Anderson, Madeline Anderson, Hailey Walker, Victoria Hoeper, Carlee Muenzhuber, Stephy Marthaler, Morgan Baker, Charity Buchanan, Kaelyn Walker, Bella Weisser, Shiann Holmquist, Addison Roering, Ally Boyer, Kaia Fiskness, Katie Collins, McKenna Meyer