Lauren Buchholtz, Riley Queensland, Emily Hovden, & Anika Reiland

June 13, 2018 08:35 PM

(ABC 6 News)- The Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland (GMLOK) girls' 4x200 meter relay team can call themselves state champions.

“We knew we had a fast team, that we have the ability (to win) but we didn’t really know how possible it was to make it (to the state championship),” Junior Lauren Buchholtz said.


The GMLOK girls' 4x200 meter relay team, which ran a state-best 1:45.12 in the 4x200, included a senior (Emily Hovden), a junior (Buchholtz), a sophomore (Riley Queensland), and a 7th-grader (Anika Reiland). The group of runners says they did not expect to be taking home a Class A state title this year.

“Winning was something that we didn’t really know we could do,”  Buchholtz said.

However, GMLOK head coach Aaron Thauwald said he believed they could because of their ‘work ethic’ and their ‘bond’.

“The close-knit family bonds that form throughout the season, I think that allowed them to compete at a really high level,” Thauwald said.

“I went leg track fanatic throughout the season,” Hovden said.  “I was looking at the other team’s times that we usually compete against and comparing them to where we were at.  We were always ahead of them so I had the thought in the back of my head that we could win first (at state), but they are bigger schools, (so I wasn’t sure). 

“We also do this warmup thing before every meet and we all get in a line before we run and I give everyone a back massage and a pep talk and remind them that we’re just going to do our best and what happens is what happens."

Well, they happened to break the section record in the 4x200 meter relay.

“At sections, it definitely gave us the confidence going into state we ran our best time we had all year and that just made us want to compete at our highest level,” GMLOK Sophomore Riley Queensland said.

“After the section meets, when we broke the section record I thought we had a very good chance (at state),” Thauwald said.  “That’s why you run, anything can happen but I felt fairly confident that we could place really high at state.”

The GMLOK girls relay team proved that, placing first at the Class-A State Track & Field Championship.

“It was crazy I was just so happy and relieved too, going into it I was really nervous I just wanted to do the best for my team and I didn’t want to let anybody down,” Queensland said.

This is the second straight year the GMLOK 4x200 girls relay team has made it to the State Championship, but first state win as a relay team.


Diana Cannizzaro

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