OHS runners compete for nationals

While football players were getting dressed for the big game on Saturday, members of the Owatonna cross country team were lacing up as well. Seven boys traveled five hours to Kenosha, Wisconsin to race in the Footlocker, a regional qualifying race for nationals.

Running this year were seniors Arthur Bartholomew, David Chatelaine, Jeremiah Waypa and Nick Rethemeier, junior Claas Fillies and freshmen Braydon Kubat and Ross Stevensen.

Though this race is five kilometers, the normal distance for in-season boys cross country races, the course itself is very challenging. Not only is the first half mile of the race entirely uphill, there are steep and long hills throughout the course.  According to senior runner David Chatelaine, some of the best runners in the United States have competed at this meet, including future, past and present Olympians.

Chatelaine also said, “I have always looked forward to this race every year for as long as I can remember- I used to tag along with my dad and the guys on the cross country team over the years. It will be strange not coming to the first day of Cross Country practice next summer and finishing the season at Footlocker. There was no better way to end my high school Cross Country career.”

Not only does this course offer a challenge, it also offers a great way to end a season.

Senior Nick Rethemeier agreed to the challenge aspect that the race provides. “I like running the footlocker because it is a fun way to end the season. It’s a tough course because there are a lot of hills but there are a lot of fast times. I also like being able to run against people from different states.”

This year in the Junior-Senior race, the Owatonna runners were the top Minnesota team. Rethemeier finished 10th overall with a time of 16:58. Nili Waypa was 99th (18:32), Arthur Bartholomew was 103rd (18:41), D.J. Chatelaine was 115th (18:57) and Claas Fillies was 116th (18:59). In the Freshmen-Sophomore race, Braydon Kubat was 146th (20:48) and Ross Stevenson was 156th (22:10).

Whether you were playing at the dome or racing at Kenosha this past Saturday, all can agree that it was a very successful day for Owatonna athletes.