Kosey makes it 4-for-4 in state track meet appearancesSenior will be joined by Anderson, Walpole, Magnuson, Holmes, Sziron, Kintop and Nelson at this weekend’s WIAA state meet
By: By Don Leighton, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
UW-La Crosse is the scene for the boy and girl state high school track and field meets being held today and Saturday. Boy’s competition began back in 1895, and in 1971, the WIAA began sponsoring a program in girls track and field. The best track and field athletes in the Wisconsin will be running, jumping, throwing and putting as they represent their school colors.
Superior High School is well represented this year competing in eight events after finishing among the top three at last week’s sectional meet in Rice Lake.
Spartans qualifying for state are as follows:
Carter Anderson, second place in the 110-meter hurdles; Lauren Magnuson, second place 100-meter dash; Evan Walpole, third place 1,600; Leah Holmes, third in 1,600; Raya Kosey, second in 400; Giselle Sziron, second in 300-meter hurdles; 4x100 relay (Natalie Kintop, Kosey, Autumn Nelson, Magnuson), third place; and 4x400 relay (Kintop, Holmes, Sziron, Kosey), second place.
Alternates who are eligible to compete on the relay teams are Julie Snyder and Emily LeSage.
This will be Kosey’s fourth appearance at state.
“How incredible is it that Raya is qualified for three events?” SHS coach Kris Leopold said. “She has some outstanding teammates in the relays who are making that possible, but her abilities as a runner are legend in Superior.”
Raya “The Rocket” is known all around the state for her burners.
“She has more records than the Beatles,” said coach Phil Roe. “Coaching her has really made me a better coach. She is the best captain I have ever had, period. She works hard and knows what it takes to be a winner and is not afraid to keep others in line. She is really something to behold.”
Kosey knows how lucky she is.
“State is always an adventure,” Kosey said. “You would think after the first or second time at state I would get used to the amount of fans in the stands and the talent of all the kids competing, but no, each time I go to state I am as shocked and in awe as I was my freshman year. It’s an incredible experience.”
She knows she could not get to state on her own.
“I couldn’t be luckier with the group of kids I get the privilege to run with this year at state,” Kosey said. “They’re all amazing kids, exceptional athletes and they all have bright futures ahead of them. My coaches have always gotten the most from me. I’m blessed to have always had great coaching. So many people have influenced me as an athlete.
“My parents have never missed a sporting event in my live. Our community is a great support system. I have met so many people throughout my high school career. But without my teammates, I would be nothing. But I think the most influential person I know is my sister Taylor. She is the perfect role model for the athlete and person I hope to become. She has been a huge supporter of me for my whole life. When times get tough, she has not allowed me to give up and has pushed me and made me get up. She has shown me that hard work pays off and has demonstrated what kind of person-caring, patient, loving and understanding-I want to be.”
Kosey will be taking her talents to Mankato State on a track scholarship next year. She is entering the field of corrections and law enforcement.
By referencing the Beatles, coach Roe hopes that “Run For Your Life” will be adopted as the official song of Kosey and her mates at the state competition.
Kosey does have some incredible teammates, including freshmen Lauren Magnuson and Giselle Sziron, who have had opposing coaches envious of coach Leopold. Magnuson is the only Spartan to ever beat Kosey in the 100 and Sziron, eighth in the state in gymnastics this year, is already perched to be the best female hurdler in SHS history.
“Giselle is one of the toughest kids I have ever coached,” Roe said. “She may fall in practice but gets right back up and continues. She has a rare combination of speed, flexibility and toughness that you just don’t see in many ninth graders.”
Holmes is known around the state as one of the best distance runners in cross country. Her speed and endurance make her ideal for the relays as well as the distance events. She is currently No. 3 in the state in the mile.
Kintop has battled injuries during her career, but is healthy this year.
“Leah and Natalie have bounced back from injuries last year and have come back this year even stronger,” Roe said. “I’m proud of both of them.”
Nelson is another freshman who has impressed Leopold at the Superior Middle School last year.
“Nelson is another bonus on the team,” Leopold said. “I was wowed by her ability at the Track O Rama last year. I think even she has impressed herself with how fast she is.
“Freshman Julie Snyder and sophomore Emily LeSage add depth and speed to the relay teams. They will do whatever we ask, are great kids and very, very coachable. They make us better.”
Roe is excited by this team.
“I’m very proud of this team,” Roe said. “I would say it is the best girls team we have had in school history-talent wise. We can’t wait to compete at state.
Of the boys, Walpole and Anderson, Roe smiles when he speaks.
“These two young men are very talented but are two of the nicest kids we have ever coached,” Roe said. “They have never been to state, but their hard work paid off and look what they are accomplishing. These two kids have ‘it’ and excel at their events.”
SPARTAN SPIN: The Beatles are one of my favorite groups. But in this case, I think I like Queen a little better. How about “Run For Your Life” and “We Are The Champions.” Not a bad combination. … This is the fourth time in five years the 4x400 relay has advanced to state. … The entire 2012 WIAA State Track and Field Meet will be produced by Play-On Sports (formerly When We Were Young Productions) and streamed live on foxsportswisconsin.com. … Kimberly’s boys team has qualifiers in 16 events. … Ashwaubenon, Bay Port and Verona are entered in the most events among the girls with 11.
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