The Osceola Chieftain boys and girls track and field teams are pretty solid. True there are some areas that boys coach Rick Stewart and girls coach Theresa Ellefson would like to shore up but they are getting quality performances from a good share of their roster.
The Chieftains got a break last week when the Amery Invitational was moved to Osceola because the Warrior track still needs to have some maintenance work completed. The Chieftains took advantage of the change of scenery at Robert W. Vesperman athletic complex to win both the boys and girls team titles. A total of 16 schools were in Osceola on a cold and damp afternoon and evening.
The Osceola girls placed first in six of the 18 events to help pile up 137 team points on their way to a 47 point bulge over second place St. Croix Central. Junior Caroline Gearin is in the midst of a great season and once again was one of the main cogs in the Chieftain lineup. Gearin placed first in the 400m and the pole vault and teamed up with Anna Swanson, Allie Fogelberg and Lauren Ellefson to win the 3200m relay. Shaylee Feske broke the tape in the 100m and teamed up with Swanson, Katie Haase and Kaili Bradway to do the same in the 1600m relay. Ellefson ran an impressive 1600m race to place first in that event.
“Lauren (Ellefson) had a successful week, achieving season PRs in the mile and 800,” Theresa Ellefson said. “She looks very strong and I have high hopes for what she can do as we come down the home stretch. Katie Haase took home three second place finishes at Amery in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, and disc. Shaylee Feske continues to lead the sprints by finishing first in the 100 and second in the 200 at the Amery Invite against some strong Regional competitors.”
The Osceola boys had a closer race finishing 25 points ahead of runner-up St. Croix Falls. The Chieftains placed first in three events and used great team depth to score important points by finishing within the top eight spots in 16 of the 18 events. The only events Osceola was shut out in were the 100m and the triple jump.
Gus Peterson continues his impressive work in the sprints by capturing the top spot in both the 200m and the 400m. The other Osceola winner was Davis Olson in the 1600m. Olson and several Chieftain teammates have been routinely dropping their times in the distance events.
“Everyone on the distance team is working their hardest to get ready for conference, including running practice on the weekends,” Olson noted. “We’ve all been trying different event combos to see what we run best and that’s helping solidify what each of our runners strength is.”
“We had a lot of great performances,” Stewart said about the boys team. “Zach Solsrud and David Olson were really fun to watch in the 3200. David was coming off of winning the 1600 and ran strong. Zach stayed right with him the whole way and ran another huge PR. Both David and Zach are running and training with purpose and it is showing. Gabe Lowney had a huge PR in the shot. The 400 crew all PRd and placed very high as well. I thought our kids did a nice job of staying focused in difficult weather conditions. Being able to stay mentally tough when it is not 75 and sunny is a huge advantage and a great life skill for them to take with them after high school.”
“Stewart and I would like to thank the parents and volunteers for helping make the Amery Invite run smoothly,” Theresa Ellefson said. “We appreciate your support to the track and field program.”
Osceola also competed in Stan Barr New Richmond relays last week where all events are scored as a relay concept, even the field events. To place first in an event a team needs to be exceptionally deep in a particular event. The Chieftains showed this depth in the boys hurdle races as Seth Ott, Gabe Baier and Tyler Dye captured first place in both the 3 X 110m hurdle shuttle and 3 X 140m hurdle shuttle.
“The Chieftains had a great showing at the New Richmond Relays,” Stewart noted. “We did not lose the team title by much, and lost to some very formidable teams.”
“At the New Richmond relays Katie Haase, Megan Merricks and Teagan Harrison placed third overall in their combined throws in the disc,” Ellefson noted. “Caroline Gearin and Addi Bradway also took home a third place finish in the combined height in pole vault. Their performances in the field events have been critical to the team’s success.”