Every point counts. The Osceola Chieftain track and field team coaches probably emphasized this to their teams from the first day of practice. Osceola placed first in the Regional meet held in Osceola by a comfortable 50 point margin. Then in the Sectional meet where points are harder to come by they claimed the top spot once again with a nine point win over Medford.
“So proud of this group of ladies,” Osceola head girls coach Theresa Ellefson said. “They have pushed each other to be the best version of themselves. I could not have asked for a more driven group of ladies or a more passionate team of coaches to work with my first year. They deserved this Sectional championship.”
Osceola not only won the meet but advanced to State in eight of the 18 events that were contested. The Chieftains placed first in two events, Caroline Gearin in the 400m and the 1600m relay team of Gearin, Shaylee Feske, Katie Haase and Anna Swanson. Feske placed second in the 200m and Haase did likewise in the discus. Also punching their tickets to State were third place finishers Lauren Ellefson in the 1600m, Gearin in the pole vault and the 3200 relay team of Gearin, Haase, Ellefson and Alli Fogelberg. Megan Merricks will compete at State as a fourth place finisher in the discus.
“There are 10 individuals moving onto the State meet,” Theresa Ellefson said. “Caroline Gearin will be competing in for events for the second year in a row. Megan Merricks threw a career personal record in the discus, both Lauren Ellefson and Shaylee Feske ran career personal times in the 1600 and 200 respectively. Katie Haase and Megan Merricks will both be competing in the disc (at State) in La Crosse. We ended the night with a first place finish in the 4x400 which was crucial to us taking the lead in points over Medford to secure the Sectional title.”
Earlier in the week Osceola placed first in six of the 18 events to breeze to an impressive win over eight other teams in a WIAA Regional meet held in Osceola. The Chieftains ran up 144.33 team points for a solid first place finish, 50 points ahead of second place Ashland. St. Croix Falls placed third.
Osceola got off to a fast start in the first event of the evening when Haase, Fogelberg, Ellefson and Gearin ran away with a first place finish in the 3200m relay. These four ladies were the hub of the Chieftain attack as Haase also placed first in the discus, ran a leg of the winning 1600m relay team and placed fifth in the triple jump. Fogelberg placed fourth in the 1600m and fifth in the 800m. Ellefson won the 1600m and was third in the 800m. Gearin won the 400m, was a part of the winning 1600m relay team and placed second in the pole vault. Other members of the winning 1600m relay team besides Haase and Gearin were Shaylee Feske and Anna Swanson. Feske also won the 200m.
“It was an impressive night for the ladies,” Theresa Ellefson said. “There are 10 individuals and three relay teams moving on to compete at the Sectional meet in Mosinee. On top of achieving the Regional title, all three relays posted their fastest times of the season and there were three career personal records set, Megan Merricks threw 110'-5" in the disc, Lauren Ellefson ran 2:26.47 in the 800 and Alli Fogelberg ran 5:28.66 in the 1600.
Osceola scored in 17 of the 18 contested events. The Chieftains amassed 18 points in the discus and 17 in the 1600m. The top four finishers in each event qualified for the Sectional meet. Others to qualify for Sectionals were second place finishers Feske (100m), Teagan Harrison (shot put), and Merricks (discus). Fourth place finishers advancing to Sectionals were Chloe Backlund (3200m), Mallory Johnson (high jump) and the 800m relay team of Addi Bradway, Arieana Hayton, Kaili Bradway and Brooke Ellefson.