Jr. High runner breaks Elk Lake High School record
BY HEIDI ZENEFSKI
Eighth grade runner Cody Oswald broke the Elk Lake High School record in the 800m race on Wednesday, April 2 during a track meet against the rival Montrose Meteors.
Oswald crossed the finish line in an impressive 2:13.7; the 800 meter is two laps around the track. Runners and fans from both schools cheered as the announcement was made over the loud speaker that Oswald had beaten the school record.
Oswald said that breaking the record “makes me feel fulfilled as I end my junior high career this year. I’ve been looking forward to going for the record, but didn’t expect to break it during the first meet.”
Clearly, Oswald is a rare talent and a hard worker who looks forward to four years as a varsity runner to break more records. “As a varsity runner next year you should be expecting me to put in a lot of hard work and dedication,” he said. “I’m putting forth as much effort as possible my high school career because I know colleges are always looking. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll place in events, but I’m not worried about that as of now. I’m just going to give it my all.”
Coach William Squier said, “Cody Oswald definitely has a bright future. He is an excellent student, a hard worker and an all-around good person. I have high hopes for him as well as a group of young distance runners coming up on the boys’ side.”
Oswald also plays basketball, but running is his best sport and he also participated in Cross Country.
Oswald said, “What I like about running is it being a team as well as an individual sport. It lets us compete as a whole, but it allows us to have our own individual successes, too. Plus, my team is my family. They’re the people I look up to. Nothing could replace them. I want to thank them, my coaches, my family, and anyone else who supports me. Without them I wouldn’t have even considered running.”
Oswald also competed in the 3200 relay and the 1600, leading his relay teams to victory in all of the events in which he competed.
Squier has been coaching track and cross country at Elk Lake for 13 years, with state championships among his competitive successes. “I am always seeking talent for our teams and encouraging athletes to participate, and then there has to be consistent focus and training that that yields sustained development of new runners and excellence in the experienced runners.”
Squier said he is impressed by the hardworking athletes achieving their full potential that inspires him most as a coach. “And that is not necessarily the best runners,” he said.
Senior Matt Woolcock is a jumper for Elk Lake. Squier said the field athlete has worked hard “and is going to have a good year in the high jump and the long and triple. The rest of my boys are young and developing.”
On the girls’ side, senior Olivia Laudeman competes in the long and tripe jumps and sprints, Squier said.
“The rest of my girl jumpers are underclassmen, but there is some good talent there, specifically in Emily Forba and Gracyn Bushnell,” the coach said.
Brother and sister javelin throwers, Hunter and Taylor Watkins are standouts on the team. “Hunter broke our school record with a throw of 172 feet, pretty good for a sophomore.”
Squier said the Elk Lake teams lost a lot of experienced competitors over the past two years. “We will be very competitive this year in our division, as we develop these younger athletes.”