Track and field: Geneva's Gattinger tries hand at track; St. Charles North's Oshin relishes program shot put record
Karl Gattinger already made his strong athletic impression on the soccer pitch, and with one month left before he returns home to Germany, he's doing it once again.
This time, on the track. Gattinger, a German foreign exchange and Geneva student, landed on competing in track after initially weighing joining the boys volleyball team.
"I wanted to do something new. Track and field was something new for me," Gattinger said during the 31st annual VanDeveer Relays hosted at Geneva High School on Saturday. "After soccer, I knew I was fast, but I didn't know I had good times ... I went to many open gyms for volleyball. It was really hard for me to decide which sport I was going to do the rest of the season. Track started earlier, so I went to track. I saw I did actually really well, so I stayed."
Gattinger took second in the 100 meter dash (11.81 seconds), was the third leg of Geneva's first-place 200 meter relay (1:33.46) and was the second leg for Geneva's third-place 100 meter relay (45.40).
The full meet was unable to be competed due to lightning. For the girls varsity portion, through seven scored events, McHenry was first (44), followed by Burlington Central (34), Geneva (34) and St. Charles North (32).
For the boys varsity portion, through six scored events, Burlington Central led with 50 points, followed by Geneva (46), Reavis High School (36) and McHenry (15).
"It was super fun," Gattinger said. "Since day one, the people [are] super nice ...[the camaraderie] means a lot if people are saying [I'm so fast]. It pushes me forward, of course. Also, for the relays, it's a team sport, so everybody has to do their best."
St. Charles North sophomore thrower Tosin Oshin was just days removed from achieving the program's all-time outdoor record in shot put, a new mark of 35-feet, 3/4 inch. Oshin followed up with efforts of 10.6 meters in shot put and 28.77 meters in discus.
"It means a lot [to achieve the record] because I just never expected myself to be in that position," Oshin said. "When I came in freshman year, I was doing alright, but I didn't think I was going as far as I am today."
Making the jump from "alright" to setting records is in part due to Oshin's dedication for improvement -- however she could.
"I think since the end of freshman year, I realized I could really do it," Oshin continued. "I just put in that little bit of effort and I tried as much as I could. We always know I should be moving faster from the back of the ring to the front, and [also] making sure I'm staying back as much as I can before I throw."
North Stars sophomore sprinter Ava Miedema took first in the 100 meter dash (13.4), followed by teammate Jennifer Todd (13.59). Miedema and Todd also lifted their 100 and 200 relays to second place finishes. In the 100 relay, their 50.68 second finish broke a school record.
"I've been [competing] pretty good. I've been working on getting down to the 12s again," Miedema said. "I think the group of girls that we have and our coach and what we do at practices are different than what other teams do [like unique body maintenance exercises]."
Running, it turns out, was always Miedema's forté -- and fuel for her dreams later in life.
"When I was in elementary school, I would always run everywhere. Running was my favorite thing. I couldn't wait to get to high school to run. I've always wanted to go to college for track. In elementary school, I always said I was going to go to the Olympics, so I love track."
Central senior and future Liberty University runner, Paige Greenhagel, is back to build upon her four state-qualifying event showing last year.
"I'm just going to try my best and work my hardest to improve my times, my heights and distances for my jumps," said Greenhagel, who took second in the long jump with a 5.29 meter finish. "Having the support of teammates and coaches is always helpful."