Track and field: Osakis boys, girls set an early tone at indoor conference championships
The Silverstreaks won both Prairie Conference titles at the indoor meet at St. John's University, with junior Stewart Jones leading a deep Osakis team with four individual wins.
The Osakis boys and girls track and field teams are in for another good outdoor season if the season-opening indoor Prairie Conference championship meet is any indication.
Both the boys and girls from Osakis won the title at St. John’s University on March 25. The girls finished with 153.50 points, well in front of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (106), while the boys totaled 118 points. St. John’s Prep was second at 86.
“The upperclassmen look like they are in a good spot to start the season,” Osakis head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “They did a nice job setting the tone for the meet. But these early meets are also sometimes about trying to figure out what the identity of our team is going to be, and how the younger and newer athletes fit in and what their potential roles might be.
“It was encouraging to see that we have quite a bit of young talent that really showed that they weren't afraid to compete. These early season meets really don't matter too much as far as the scores go, but what we like to see is that we have kids that are hungry to compete and aren't afraid of trying something new.”
The Silverstreaks have some high-level athletes at the top of the lineup in returners like junior Stewart Jones and senior Tessa Stanek.
Jones had a big day in winning four events, the 200-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump, many in dominant fashion. Stanek added wins in the 55-meter dash and 200-meter run, while taking second in the long jump, for the girls.
“We knew Tessa and Stewart were set to have good seasons, but they really performed like they did at the end of last season,” VanNyhuis said. “Both of them made difficult things look easy.”
Osakis’ throwers also had big days with McCarter Kirksey winning the shot put with a throw of 44-01, and the girls going 1-2-3 in the shot put. Kiley Kranz won with a throw of 38-03, while Mackenzie Lien (34-07.50) and Madi Douvier (32-09) finished right behind her.
“Most, if not all, of our shot putters had personal bests to start off the year,” VanNyhuis said. “Kiley was already third on our top-10 all-time list. McCarter, Makenzie, and Madison all cracked the top-10 list as well. They definitely have put the work in during the offseason, and have continued to keep Osakis as one of the best throwing programs in the area and state. I'm excited to see what we can do in discus once we get outside.”
Osakis’ next meet is on April 7 at the Minnewaska Invite, and coaches liked what they saw from this group as the Silverstreaks get in more than a week of practice now ahead of the outdoor season.
“It was just fun to see the kids compete so hard, and to really support each other,” VanNyhuis said. “Both of the 4x400 relays came down to the anchor legs having to chase down another team and get close wins. It was electric, especially in the confined space of the indoor meet. To see that level of excitement and support was awesome.”