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David Chatelaine and several of his runners pose with the Big 9 Championship trophy.

Nick Williams, Writer

Both the OHS Boys and Girls Cross Country teams had outstanding seasons this year. The Owatonna Girls Cross Country team, coached by Dan Leer, finished first in the Big 9 despite being the second seed going into the Big 9 meet. The girls went on to finish fourth at sections and both Carsyn Brady and Zinash Valen would have participated in the state tournament if it were to be held this year. As for the Owatonna Boys Cross Country team, with David Chatelaine as their head coach, they finished first in the Big 9 and third at sections. Preston Meier would have been a state participant.

With the great success that the boys and girls cross country teams had, both head coaches were selected as the Big 9 coach of the year. Head coach of the girls cross country team Dan Leer said, “Being selected is a direct reflection of the dedication our athletes have to cross country. You absolutely need that for team success.”

The boys team had an equally successful year. Head coach David Chatelaine said, “It is a great honor to receive from my coaching colleagues in the Big 9. I consider this an honor for the entire team and my assistant coaches.”

The runners for the girls cross country team really enjoy coach Leer as a coach and look up to him as a role model. Senior, Annika Andrix said, “Mr. Leer is one of the most encouraging, caring, and supportive cross country coaches out there and makes it fun to show up to practice every day.” The boys runners also have great respect for their coach. Junior, Brayden Williams said, “Coach Chatelaine pushes us to be the best we can be every day and holds us to a high standard which allows us to be successful.” Both Coach Leer and Coach Chatelaine lead their teams to very successful seasons and are both well deserving of Big 9 Coach of the Year.