With many talented runners returning, the Osseo cross country teams under third-year head John Rundquist are looking to improve on last year’s conference and section showings.
Osseo lost to graduation varsity runners Quinn Gamble, Mark Gooley, Zach Benton, and Riley Nortrom. In 2013 seniors Adam Berkowitz and Jason Schulte will be leading the boys as the captains.
“We have four senior boys that go into our season as our strongest runners — Adam Berkowitz, Alex Naughton, Tanner Wetzel and Jason Schulte,” Rundquist said.
A group of juniors are vying for the final varsity spots and this includes Luc Robichaud, Mitchell Cramer, Mitchell Dehmer, Ben Miller and Carter Eich.
There are a couple of under-classmen and new upper classmen that could be in the mix for varsity as the season progresses.
Osseo is looking to make some strong gains from last year’s seventh-place finish out of 15 schools in Section 5AA. Centennial is the strong favorite to repeat as Section 5AA champs with Mounds View, Totino Grace and Maple Grove fighting for the highly coveted runner up spot. Centennial, Robbinsdale Armstrong, and Maple Grove are expected to compete for the top spots in the Northwest Suburban Conference Meet.
The Osseo girls return six of their top runners from last season when they took eighth place out of 15 teams at the Section 5AA meet. Captain for the girls squad is senior Jenny Schoenrock. They are looking to build off of last season’s experience and overall progress that took place during the course of the season.
On the course Osseo looks for leadership from junior all-conference runners Grace Koskela and Maddy Hvidston. Remaining varsity spots will be filled by seniors Jenny Schoenrock and Michelle Perri and juniors Kaitlin Anderson.
Underclassmen will also play an important role on the continued improvement with the squad. This include sophomores Kaylee Fickle and first-year runner Bridgette Howell. Ninth graders Alliana Houfek, Joanna Lee, Maren Strooman, Maddie Thomas, and first-year runner Taylor Cristen look to contribute also.
For Section 5AA, Totino Grace and Mounds View look to fight for the top couple of spots. For the Northwest Suburban Conference meet Elk River and Robbinsdale Armstrong look to have solid teams returning from last fall.
Osseo will host their invite Thursday, Sept. 26, at Elm Creek Park with around 10 teams participating.
They will also help with the running of the Osseo Lions Roar Fun Run/Walk Saturday, Sept. 7, with the proceeds going to the cross country program. Registration forms can be found at OsseoCrossCountry.com.