The Osakis girls track and field program had just three seniors on its roster this spring, but Camryn Hoffarth, Alexa Lien and Ali DeWenter were big pieces in what is always a strong Silverstreaks team.
They were ready to help lead the way for Osakis this spring. The Echo Press reached out to each of them as a way to recognize them after their careers were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic ending the spring high school season.
This story is an opportunity for them to share their thoughts centered around four questions: Why do they compete in track and field? What do they miss most about it this spring? What is a favorite memory from competing? What are their future plans after high school, and do they plan on competing again?
(Editor’s note: Look for more stories like this highlighting seniors from area teams both online and within print issues of the Echo Press in the coming weeks.)
Why she competes: Track and field is a sport that pushes athletes mentally and physically and builds strength in all capacities, which conditions athletes in general and for all other sports. In addition, track connects athletes in 7th through 12th grade and builds so many relationships, which makes this sport so enjoyable.
What she misses most: The things I miss most about track this spring are my teammates and the camaraderie. Although we have all been in contact, I deeply miss all the relationships and encouragement that come with this sport.
Favorite memory: My favorite memory of OHS track and field was winning the true team state meet my freshman year. Although everything did not go as planned and the weather conditions were harsh, we were able to come together to win.
Future plans: I am attending the University of North Dakota next fall for pre-med and plan on majoring in chemistry.
Coach’s comment from head coach Lee VanNyhuis: Camryn has been such a great leader through all of this. I was looking forward to her coming into the season healthy and in the best shape of her career.
Why she competes: One of the main reasons I joined track was actually because of my younger sister, Makenzie. When she was younger, she would compete in track and field camps during the summer. When it came time for me to choose a spring sport in 7th grade, I decided I would give track a try because she seemed to like it so much.
I figured it would be a good way for me to stay in shape. As the years went on, I realized it was more than just a way for me to stay in shape. I loved the sense of accomplishment I got when I completed a hard workout or got a PR in a race. I also formed so many friendships through the sport of track and field.
What she misses most: I miss getting to spend every day with my teammates. Earlier this year, we would talk about all the fun things we were going to do together this year. I was looking forward to spending my last track season with the friends I have made in track over the years.
Favorite memory: My favorite memory is winning the true team state championship my freshman year. It was fun getting to spend the night at a hotel and eat at Bucas with the team. Competing in the cold and rainy weather made it a memorable experience.
Future plans: Next year, I am attending Minnesota State University-Moorhead to pursue a degree in math education. Even though I am not going to compete competitively in track anymore, I plan on continuing to run whenever I get the chance.
Coach’s comment: Alexa is quiet, determined, and loyal. She's had some big moments in her career that have shown that she'll do whatever is necessary for the team.
Why she competes: I participate in track and field because I love the workouts and being a part of a team. This track team is really something else. They are so great, and I absolutely love every second with them. The people are the real reason why I love track so much! I also participate in track because I love the competitions. It’s not a huge team sport, but it’s all on you and that’s what I love -- just being able to compete against others one on one.
What she misses most: I miss being able to have the team dinners and being together as a team cheering everyone on and competing.
Favorite memory: My favorite memory of track was last year when the throwers got 1, 2, 3 in both throwing events at the St. John’s conference meet.
Future plans: I plan on throwing for the fun of it and helping the younger generation grow in their events, but I am not competing at a college level. I am heading to the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton for dental hygiene.
Coach’s comment: This was going to be her second year out. She was looking for some more big throws to build upon last year's debut season.