Coach gives overview of Tiger track and field teams
OSMOND — As this strange spring trudges on, we would be approaching the middle of the spring sports seasons. The weather would have been better for practices, but the meet days have been sketchy.
The Osmond track and field teams would have been led by 10 seniors with a great deal of experience and success. Starting with the girls, Kennedy Johnson had been a state qualifier in 2017 in the triple jump and as a member of the 400-relay team that placed sixth and in 2018 in the 400-relay team that placed eighth.
Mary Kahny has been one of the top shot and discus throwers during the past years, and Madeline Huwaldt has been a tough middle distance runner as part of the 3,200-relay team and 800 meters.
On the boys’ side, Justus Maertins was a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles in 2018, placing seventh, and in 2019 qualified in the 300 hurdles again as well as the 400 meters.
Distance ace Mason Bykerk qualified for the Norfolk Classic in the 3,200 meters and later for the state meet also in the 3,200 meters, where he just missed a medal, finishing 10th. He was also a member of the 3,200-relay team that collected an eighth-place medal.
Joshua Gansebom joined Mason on the 3,200-relay team for his eighth-place medal, and was a member of the same relay team the year before that also qualified to run at Burke stadium. Senior weight man Alexis Solorzano was one of the top throwers in the area and last season qualified for state in both the shot put and discus.
Another Tiger strongman was Landon Stelling, also one of the top throwers in the area, along with Nick Timmerman. Finally, speedy Aaron Chishiba was a top long jumper and sprinter as well a member of the Tigers’ 400-relay team.
Junior letter winner Johnson Chishiba was a member of the eighth-place 3,200-relay team in 2019, as well as finishing in 12th place in the 800 meters. Johnson was also a member of the state qualifier 3,200-relay team in 2018. Grayson Schultze qualified for state in the 1,600 meters, placing ninth, just one spot from a medal.
Other junior letter winners were Connor Gutz, Zach Huwaldt, Parker Johnson and Blake Bahr. Additional juniors were Octavio Palacios from Spain, and Brenden Gillespie.
For the girls, Lexi Beacom was a letter winner in 2019 and Elisa Herrera was a letter winner in 2018. Allie Aschoff and Tessa Dominquez are also junior members.
Sophomore letter winners for the girls’ team were Riley Wagner, Kiera Moes, Grace and Lillian Gansebom and Macy Aschoff. Molly Beacom-Timmerman and Macy Albrecht added to the class depth.
Sophomore boys were led by state qualifier Keaton Wattier. Keaton was one of the top 110 high hurdles in the area. Other letter winners were Hunter Beacom, Kaden Polt, Ryan Schmit and Bodie True. Additional sophomores were Mason Gansebom and Bryan Solorzano.
Sixteen freshmen were ready for their first year of high school track. For the boys, Zach Reikofski, Alex Vinson, Hudson Schultze, Kayson Maertins, Darren Kelly, Karter Johnson, Reese Hanna, Bradee Gubbels, Robert Aschoff and Connor Anderson had about a week of practice in. The freshmen girls were Taylor Thompson, Adomari Olguin, Reese Johns, Cali Gutz, Kyah Gray and Leia Buchanan .
“We were very excited for this season to start as our experience and senior leadership predicted great things,” noted Coach Joe Ortmeier. “The boys were going after their fifth district title in a row and a possible Lewis & Clark championship as well as collecting more plaques as the season went on. The girls were also positioned for a solid season with the experience and leadership on the team. The 20 team members on the girls team would give us depth that we have not had in a while.”