June 15, 2006 at 8:28 a.m.
MINNESOTA STATE HIGH SCHOOL LEAGUE All-State
Christian Swanberg (11th grade)
NORTH SUBURBAN CONFERENCE All-Conference
Andy Olness (12) – Triple Jump
Chris Golv (11) – Long Jump
Christian Swanberg (11) – 100 meter and 200 meter dash
4x200 meter relay – Chris Golv (11), Blane Maher (12), Brian Jennissen (11) and Christian Swanberg (11)
Academic All-Conference (Seniors with a GPA of over 3.5)
Rookie of the Year: Kurt Jung (12)
Most Improved: Nathan Gieske (10)
Field Event Athlete of the Year: Andy Olness (12)
Track Event Athlete of the Year: Christian Swanberg (11)
Team Athlete of the Year (tie): Zach Hunter (12) and Chris Golv (11)
Nick Berchin Award: Christian Swanberg (11)
“It’s interesting how Kurt Jung came to be on the track team as a senior,” said Wildcat head coach Ken Orwoll. “Kurt Hattenberger, a sophomore, talked Jung and Chris Hernick into going out for track this year, as seniors. It’s not unheard of for kids to come out for track for the first time during their senior year, but Kurt did surprisingly well. Kurt is a natural runner with good form. I really appreciate the effort he put in.
“His 100 meter times improved all season, and he started getting points in some of the smaller meets. Our times in the four by 100 relay got better after we put Kurt in there. At the banquet, Chris Golv and Christian Swanberg also gave Kurt the “Smartie” Award, telling him ‘if you’re so smart, how come it took you ‘till you were a senior to come out for track?’ The audience got a kick out of that one.” Orwell continued.
“Nate Gieske worked hard all year and became one of our better half-milers. He wanted to be on the four by 400 relay team and ended up as the second best runner for that group. Also, his mile time improved throughout the year. Nate’s just a sophomore, so we’ll be glad to have him around for a couple more years,” the coach added.
In addition to the awards Andy Olness got as a triple jumper, he made it to the state championship. “Andy’s done outstanding,” said Orwoll. “He could have called it quits when he had some injury problems, but he hung in there, battled back and helped out the team out despite the pain.”
“What more can you say about Christian Swanberg?” said Orwoll. “He made it to the state championship meet and won all kinds of honors. He was clearly our best runner this year. He got more points than anybody in our meets, running in two individual events and in two relays. It was gratifying to see him get a medal for the 200 at the state tournament.” Swanberg set the school record in the 200 meter dash this year, and is intent upon breaking his own record next season.
“The team athlete of the year award goes to the individual or individuals most willing to do anything to help out the team. Chris Golv did anything we asked of him. He was one of the few team members who participated in four events, the limit, at every meet. He would do whatever we needed – long jump, high jump, triple jump, sprints and sprint relays. And he did them all well.
“Zach Hunter ran distances for us. I asked him to run the 300 meter hurdles at the state true team meet. And lo and behold, he ended up being our best kid in the 300 hurdles. He normally ran the 800, 1600 or 3200 for us. When I asked him before big meets what he wanted to run, he’d say ‘I don’t care, coach – wherever you need me.’ Now that’s an unselfish kid.”
The namesake for the Nick Berchin Award coached track and cross country at Chisago Lakes High School for over 20 years. Berchin, who owns an A&W in Pine City, still works as a starter at Wildcat home meets. “We give the Nick Berchin Award to someone who’s dedicated and takes the extra steps he needs to be successful. Christian Swanberg exemplifies those qualities. He trains all winter long in Blaine to get better, and it has paid off for him,” Orwoll concluded.
The future looks bright for the Wildcats, as Swanberg, Golv, Jennissen, Gieske and a host of other experienced underclassmen will be back to help the Wildcats next season.