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.