Running cross country-literally


The OHS Cross Country team will be running the game ball from New Prague to Owatonna on Friday

As Homecoming rolls around again, the  Owatonna Boys Cross Country team is preparing for a very, very long run- a 45 mile run from New Prague. The team will be completing their annual running of the Homecoming game ball from the opponent’s city to Owatonna. It doesn’t matter where the team is from, either. In 2012, the Huskies football team played Winona. The 85 mile run didn’t stop the team from arriving early in the morning at 6:00 a.m. to start the run. Senior Nick Raichle said, “We didn’t have to go to school because it was such a long run. It was also really fun to run with the upperclassmen like Mark Holzerland, Leif Peterson and Jack Leon.” This has been a tradition spanning over ten years and Head Coach Dave Chatelaine said, “We started it about ten years ago when Ken Hauer’s brothers, Dylan and Cody,who were 06’ grads, thought of it. I had heard of other schools doing it, but I had never thought of our team doing it.”

The boys will run the ball rain or shine, as they did last year. Senior Nelson Jourdan recalls last year’s opponent was Rochester Mayo and it wasn’t the prettiest day. The team ran the back roads from Rochester to Owatonna. Jourdan said, “The run was tough with all the uphill grades and strong gusts of wind. It was still fun, though, bringing the ball into the stadium.”

Friday afternoon, half the team will travel to New Prague in a van and start the run. Later, another van will bring the remaining team members to finish the run. The guys will run with a partner, carrying the ball, and will run two miles at a time. Then they hop in the van again. Each boy will run a total of six miles. Look for the boys making a victory lap around the track and handing the game ball off to officials at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct.1.