Girls Cross Country: DL had to overcome adversity
There were several obstacles thrown in front of the Detroit Lakes girls’ cross country team during the 2013 season, which ultimately slowed the Lakers down a bit in the midst of some high expectations.
The “senior whammy,” which seems to affect the Lakers annually, was no different this season, as front runner Megan Ostlie was inflicted with a blood disorder, which effectively shortened her season.
In the past, DL has been plagued by injuries to their seniors and Ostlie’s condition stayed the course.
“I thought the more we got the ball rolling, we had another setback,” said DL head coach Jon Freeman. “Megan getting sick was an obstacle and I thought the kids pulled through it well.
“But it still seemed the kids kept getting their legs kicked from underneath them and that became frustrating.”
Freeman believes, though, this season was the best ever for training, and the talent did show through, despite some of the challenges which occurred.
Ostlie had a great start to the season and also came back towards the end of the year to run well.
Her younger sister, freshman Mackenzie Ostlie, was propped up to the lead runner status, something she was last year as an eighth grader.
“When thrown into the fire as an eighth grader, Mackenzie really produced,” Freeman said. “She was like a backup QB this season, in that she had to step up and lead after her sister went down.
“Mackenzie went after it the last few weeks of the season and now she will be one of our seasoned vets next year as a sophomore.”
The seniors also were important runners to the team, even though they may not have been leading the pack during races.
Seniors Anne Holzgrove, Emily Zok, Karissa Berg, Lauren Lies, Mackenzie Foltz, Megan Ostlie, Rachel Wentz and Tanisha Perlmutter each played their roles as leaders and performers.
“We had personal best times across the board” Freeman said.
Freeman pointed out that freshman Kendra Kvebak broke out later in the season, after struggling with varsity races.
“She was an unexpected participant on varsity, simply because she made the decision to go at it and not worry about the small things,” Freeman said. “Heather Kunkel also had a great season and she did everything we wanted her to do.”
With the amount of seniors lost this season, next year the Lakers might be short on numbers.
“Numbers will be a concern, but we do have some good talent coming up from the seventh grade group,” Freeman said. “Runners like sophomore Sarah Schumacher may have to step up in the leadership roles and with a big freshman class, I know we will have the talent to compete.
“We’ll need a couple of surprises from our younger girls, though.”