The overall high number of teams that compete in the Section 6A field make qualifying for the state meet quite an accomplishment, and the Osakis track and field program will send two athletes to the Class A state meet on June 18 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
A total of 19 girls programs and 22 boys teams competed in Fergus Falls on June 10 where the Silverstreaks’ Tessa Stanek and Kiley Kranz earned top-two finishes necessary to advance to state. Stanek won the 200-meter dash in 27.16 seconds, just in front of Minnewaska’s Emily Kaiser (27.45).
“Tessa sprinted well,” head coach Lee VanNyhuis said. “She had a good start in the 200, took the lead early and was able to finish really strong. Happy to see her reach one of her goals.”
Kranz, a sophomore, qualified for state in both of the throwing events. Her high discus mark of 112-06 put her in second place to Minnewaska’s Mataya Jergenson (117-01), and Kranz won the shot put title with a throw of 36-07. That was well in front of second-place finisher Tabetha Allen (32-05.50) of Staples-Motley.
“Kiley has put a lot of time in training the last couple of years outside of the season,” VanNyhuis said. “It is rewarding when you see someone who cares so much and puts so much effort into (the sport) have it pay off with a trip to state. Even though she is only a sophomore, she is one of the best leaders on our team.”
All of the athletes at the meet battled difficult conditions with temperatures in the 90s. VanNyhuis was proud of the way his kids worked through that as the Osakis girls finished fifth in the team standings with 45 points and the boys were 11th with 19.
Bella Weisser is a promising young runner for Osakis as she took sixth in the 800-meter race with a personal-record time of 2:33.60.
“Bella has had a good season as a seventh grader moving up from the junior high,” VanNyhuis said. “Looking forward to her development over the next several years.”
Stanek had a second top-five finish as she was fourth in the 100-meter dash. Senior Kaylee Thompson was also fourth in the high jump (5-00).
“Kaylee had her best jump today,” VanNyhuis said. “It's always nice to have a senior have their best day on the last meet of their career.”
Sophomore Madison Douvier added a fourth-place finish in the shot put (31-10.5), and Mara VanNyhuis was fourth in the discus with a high mark of 98-01.
“Mara and Isaac (Hetland) put together some quality throws in their first season throwing and were able to get on the podium,” coach VanNyhuis said. “Madi has had a good season and PRed to get her a top finish in shot put.”
Hetland was sixth in the discus on the boys’ side with a throw of 120-09, and senior teammate Ben Paulson just missed a state-qualifying throw to finish third with a high mark of 138-08.
“Ben has had issues with his throwing arm that has kept him from practicing this week,” VanNyhuis said. “He had a nice throw in prelims that we thought would be enough to get him to state. (Gavin) Johnson of Breckenridge had one big throw in finals that bumped him out of the top two. Just missing it by a few inches was tough, but Ben's had a great year. He has a lot to be proud of.”
Senior sprinter Duncan Vandergon was fifth in the 100-meter dash (11.85) and the 200 dash (23.81).
“Duncan has been dealing with hamstring issues for the past several weeks,” VanNyhuis said. “He's been really smart about how he runs his races in subsections and sections to be competitive without reinjuring them. He's been a good leader of our boys team this year, and to see him on the podium for both events was rewarding.”
Sophomore Stewart Jones also showed off his versatility with two top-five finishes. Jones was fourth in the 110-meter hurdles (16.69) and fourth in the triple jump (40-00.5).
“Stewart competed well in both of his events,” VanNyhuis said. “I really think he'll be competitive in all four of his events here the next two years.”
The Class A state meet will start with the boys at 10 a.m. on June 18 at St. Michael-Albertville. The girls meet will follow at 3:30 p.m.
SECTION 6A CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
GIRLS TOP-10 TEAM SCORES - 1. Minnewaska - 93; 2. Pequot Lakes - 75.5; 3. Perham - 60.5; 4. Ottertail Central - 46; 5. Osakis - 45; 6. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta - 43; 6. Wadena-Deer Creek - 43; 8. Staples-Motley - 42; 9. Pillager - 20; 10. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 16
BOYS TOP-10 TEAM SCORES - 1. Perham - 74.5; 2. Sauk Centre - 63; 3. Morris Area-Chokio-Alberta - 58; 4. Pequot Lakes - 57; 5. Ottertail Central - 44; 6. Pillager - 40; 6. Minnewaska - 40; 8. Staples-Motley - 38; 9. United North Central - 37; 10. Breckenridge - 29