The Osceola Chieftain boys track and field team won the Regional meet held in Osceola by 16.5 points over second place Rice Lake. It was a close battle right down to the end. With 16 of the 18 events completed the Warriors from Rice Lake held a very slight 125 to 124.5 lead in team points. It would come down to the last two events, the 3200m and the 1600m relay, to decide the team title.
Both Osceola and Rice Lake had a pair of runners toe the starting line in the 3200m. In an extremely tight race for the top seven spots, Osceola freshman Quinn McDonald placed third, less than two seconds from first place, and Chieftain junior Zach Solsrud finished fourth. Neither Rice Lake runner was able to place in the top eight so Osceola earned 11 points to the Warriors’ zero to take a team lead of 135.5 to 125. With just one race left the Chieftains had clinched the Regional Championship.
Osceola placed first in just two of the 18 events but had enough team depth to score points in every event except for the 100m and the triple jump. The 3200m relay team of Sean Rogers, Kolten Heimbach, David Olson and Justin Vorndran placed first in the opening event of the meet and Tray Scott collected the other first place by winning the high jump.
“We had a tough Regional but were able to qualify a number of athletes for the Sectional meet,” Chieftain head boys coach Rick Stewart said.
Although Osceola had just two first place finishes they qualified for Sectionals in 12 other events by placing in the top four. Second place finishes included Gus Peterson (400m), Kolten Heimbach (800m), Tyler Dye (300m hurdles), Parker Roemhild (long jump), and the 1600m relay team consisting of Matt Germain, Gavin Peterson, Luke Haase and Justin Vorndran.
Osceola third place finishers were McDonald (3200m), Dye (110m hurdles), Haase (pole vault) and Robert Conde (shot put). Qualifying for Sectionals as a fourth place winner were Solsrud (3200m), Sam Trinitapoli (discus), Seth Ott (110m hurdles), the 400m relay team of Germain, Scott, Logan Johnson and Gavin Peterson and the 800m relay team consisting of Germain, Scott, Gabe Baier and Gavin Peterson.
“Kolten Heimbach ran a real gritty 800 to qualify,” Stewart said. “Quinn McDonald and Zach Solsrud ran awesome 3200s to qualify for Sectionals. Tyler Dye and Seth Ott had great hurdle races. Bryce Anderson also ran very well but just barely missed qualifying (for Sectionals). Matt Koprek had a solid night competing but unfortunately did not qualify for Sectionals. He was a great addition to the program and will be missed. Cole Johnson ended his Chieftain throwing career with a nice PR in discus but finished one place out of qualifying. Cole will be missed in the throws next year. Gabe Lowney threw as a Chieftain for the last time in the shot. He had an excellent senior season and will be missed. Parker Roemhild has been jumping really well.”
Three days after the Regional meet Osceola traveled to Mosinee for the Sectional get-together. This meet brings together 36 schools with a chance to move to the State meet with the top four in each event able to advance. The Chieftain boys performed very well ending up in fifth place as a team. Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau placed first with Rice Lake second. The Chieftains advanced to State in four events.
State qualifiers include three third place finishers, including Scott in the high jump, the 1600m relay team of Germain, Gavin Peterson, Gus Peterson and Vorndran and the 3200m relay team of Rogers, Heimbach, Olson and Vorndran. Haase qualified for State with the fourth best pole vault effort of the night.
“The Sectional meet is always an emotional meet,” Stewart said. “The athletes either qualify for the State meet or their season comes to an end. We had some great young men see their high school track and field careers come to an end. Sam Trinitapoli had an outstanding career. Seth Ott ran really well and just barely missed out on qualifying for State. Gabe Baier also sees a remarkable career draw to a close. A lot of our events performed well. We are very proud of this group of guys.”