There was a total of 136 Wisconsin D-2 track and field teams in 2019. Many of the schools were unable to advance any athletes through Regionals and Sectionals to compete at State. Most schools that did qualify athletes for the special occasion were able to get their entire group of State qualifiers in a car or mini-van. The Osceola Chieftain boys and girls needed to load up the bus to get their large State contingent to La Crosse.
“We had eleven boys qualify for the state meet including Sean Rogers, Kolten Heimbach, Dave Olson, Justin Vorndran, Quinn McDonald, Blake Slater, Luke Haase, Gus Peterson, Gavin Peterson, Matt Germain and Tray Scott,” a proud head boys coach Rick Stewart said.
Osceola was unable to place in the top eight in any event to put team points on the board. Freedom claimed the team title with 48.5 points. Rice Lake, a team that Osceola defeated in the Regionals, was a close second with 47 points.
Despite not being able to put up any team points against the best track and field athletes in the state, Stewart was very happy with his Osceola contingent. “This was a fantastic group of boys to have down in La Crosse,” he said. “They competed hard and are very kind and classy individuals.”
Two Osceola athletes challenged to get on the podium, only to fall just short against stellar competition. Tray Scott has consistently cleared six feet or higher in the high jump all season long and did again manage the six foot mark at State but placed 13th. Luke Haase continued to improve in the pole vault clearing 13’ but his jump tied him for the 10th best vault at State.
“Tray had a good day high jumping and he will be missed now that his Chieftain career has come to a close,” Stewart said. “Luke had an excellent day vaulting, setting a new PR (personal record) and had an outstanding freshman year. We are very excited to watch his development in track and field over the next few years. He is one of the top freshmen vaulters in the state.”
Osceola was also impressive in the 1600m relay. The Chieftains qualified for State with Matt Germain, Justin Vorndran, Gavin Peterson and Haase, who ran for an injured Gus Peterson. At State Gus Peterson was healthy enough to give it a try in his last event of his high school career.
“The 4x400 ran a solid race,” Stewart said. “Gavin and Gus have great work ethics and had wonderful high school careers. Unfortunately Gus had to battle through an injury the last couple weeks of the season. He ran through a lot of pain. They will both be sorely missed. Matt had an outstanding season and we are really excited to see his accomplishments next year. The 4x800 team of Kolten Heimbach, Sean Rogers, Justin Vorndran, and Dave Olson along with alternates Quinn McDonald and Blake Slater had a great season. We lose Justin from this team. He was a great addition to the program and we are very glad he came out for track and field. The other five boys all had great seasons and will now be gearing up for cross country. They are already very excited to see what they can accomplish next year.’
Osceola had a very deep and talented roster for the 2019 season. Highlights for the year included dominating the Middle Border conference meet and placing first at the Regional meet held in Osceola.
“The boys had a fantastic season,” Stewart summarized. “There were a lot of great accomplishments. It was an absolute honor to be able to work with these boys daily and help them achieve their goals. We look to be very strong again next year but will miss the seniors who contributed so much to the track and field team.”