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OHS Cross Country sends four runners to State

November 3, 2021

Sophomore runners headed to State

The Owatonna Girls Cross Country team had a notable season. The team proved their dominance at the Big 9 meet with first place and continued the success the following week at the Section 1AAA cross country meet, where they placed fifth. Two runners qualified for the state meet. Sophomore Carsyn Brady finished 9th at sections, running a 19:37 and teammate sophomore Anna Cox followed her in 16th place, with a time of 20:04.

Sophomore Carsyn Brady leads her team in a home race (Sam Pfieffer)

This is Brady’s third year qualifying for state, which was one of her goals for this season. She has planted herself as the number one runner for a few years and works hard to maintain her spot. Head Coach Dan Leer said, “She’s a strong competitor and she has a drive to be the best she can be.” This season did not go without challenges for Brady. She started out struggling in a couple of races, not reaching the level of performance that she wanted to. Brady said, “I worked through it and tried to keep a positive mindset.” Her most recent meet proved her determination and grit. Not only is going to state an honor for Brady, she is eager to run and compete. Brady said, “I’m really excited about going to state this year especially because I have one of my teammates that qualified too.” Outside of cross county, Brady plays basketball and runs track.

Sophomore Anna Cox picks up speed at the end of the course (Sam Pfieffer)

Anna Cox is a steady and relatable member of the varsity squad. After working hard over the summer to improve, she grew a passion for running and at the beginning of the season took the number two runner spot. Coach Leer said, “She has been our most consistent runner this year and is a quietly fierce competitor especially in the last few hundred meters of races.” Cox is a key scorer for the varsity team. She not only enjoys the opportunity to improve her athleticism, but also to gain friendships with her teammates. Cox said, “Something else that always motivates me is having family, friends and other teammates cheering for me.” She is hoping to break the time of 20:00 at the State meet. Cox said, “I am so blessed to be able to get this experience of going to state and I hope to be able to do it again in the future.” Cox also runs track in the spring.

The passion that Brady and Cox have carried with them this season has caused them to become a key part to the cross country team this year. Coach Leer said, “A state qualifying time is the product of not just talent, but hard work, determination and a lot of guts. Carsyn and Anna have been our top two runners most of the season and have earned this tremendous honor.” This is not the last time that these young runners will have success.

Carsyn Brady and Anna Cox will represent the OHS Girls Cross Country team at the State Meet at St. Olaf College on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m.

Senior runners headed to State

Although the season is coming to a close, the success of the OHS Boys Cross Country team is not done yet. After winning multiple meets and the Big 9 meet, the boys went into the section meet with the intention of bringing the team to state. It has been a focus for the majority of their season. Sadly, they were six points short at the section meet and came out with third place as a team. They will still send two notable runners to state this year. Senior captain Preston Meier finished the race in fourth place with a time of 16:30. Seconds later, senior captain Connor Ginskey followed him across the line in sixth place with a time of 16:36.

Senior captain Preston Meier running at the front of the pack (Sam Pfieffer)

This is Meier’s third year qualifying for state. As a constant remarkable runner for the team, he has been the number one runner for a few years and has maintained his spot as a competitor and a leader. Meier said, “I’m very excited for the opportunity to represent Owatonna and run at the state meet again.” After state was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, Meier has been preparing and working to qualify for state again and bring his teammates with him. One of his favorite parts of this sport is the bonds that he has created with his teammates. Meier said, “Beating my times from previous races and doing the best I can for my team is what motivates me.” Outside of cross country, Meier also plays hockey and is a lacrosse captain.

Senior captain Connor Ginskey competing at a home meet (Sam Pfieffer)

Ginskey found a lot of success this year. He set a goal for himself to break the time of 16:40 and to qualify for state. He accomplished both. Ginskey has been a key contributor to the team’s on-going triumph. He has had to push through injury and keep up specific disciplines during the season. Ginskey said, “The main motivating factor for me was team success. We knew we had the talent to compete in most of the meets we ran in, so running as a team is something that really pushes you.” Like Meier, Ginskey has created special bonds and memories that he will never forget. One of his favorite parts of cross country is the result of all the time he puts in. He said, “Putting in all the hard work that we do as a team and then seeing the success that it has produced over the last few years is really cool.” Ginskey also plays basketball and is a track and field captain.

Meier and Ginskey have run cross country together for six years. As much as they would like to bring their team with them to state, they are still excited for the opportunity to run for their team. Head Coach Dave Chatelaine said, “Connor and Preston are hard workers, dedicated to the team, disciplined and great leaders.” Coach Chatelaine has great hopes for what the boys will be able to accomplish at state.

Preston Meier and Connor Ginskey will represent the OHS Boys Cross Country team at the State Meet at St. Olaf on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m.

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