GMLOKS sprinting star Reiland gets it done the old-fashioned way
Anika Reiland is a Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostranders/Kingsland/Southland standout in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. She's also the clear leader of a team chalk-full of excellent sprinters.
It was the afternoon that Anika Reiland cashed in a wager with Ellie Buchholtz that she realized she could be something special.
The offering from Buchholtz was a meal at Perkins should Reiland beat Rochester Lourdes sprinting star CJ Adamson in a race. An eighth-grader at the time competing for track-and-field cooperative Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland/Southland, Reiland did indeed post the upset. She then went with the Perkins chicken noodle soup and french silk pie.
That was three years ago.
Buchholtz wouldn’t dare make that offer now. That’s because Reiland went from losing to Adamson all but that one instance as an eighth-grader, to now being the clear-cut sprinter to beat from Section 1A.
That status was earned a year ago when Reiland won the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the Section 1A meet. That included going against current senior stars Olivia Gardner (Winona Cotter) in the 100 and 200, and Adamson in the 200.
Reiland went on to finish fourth at state in the 100 (12.48), fifth in the 200 (26.31) and combined with Anna Oehlke, Hailey Hindt and Chantle Reiland to finish first at state for the third straight time in the 4x200 relay (1:44.41). That streak began when Anika Reiland was a seventh-grader. Due to COVID-19, there was no track-and-field season two years ago.
Relay looks to four-peat
All of those runners, except for the graduated Hindt, are back for more this year, making the GMLOKS 4x200 relay team a state favorite again.
“I think it’s been really cool that we’ve been able to do that (win state titles) three seasons in a row,” Anika Reiland said. “We’ve had to adapt with a new set of athletes every year. I think it’s remarkable that we’ve performed as well as we have.”
There’s been one common denominator with all three of those state-title relay teams — Anika Reiland.
The Kingsland junior is a special one. Not only is the all-around athletic star (track and field, basketball, volleyball) fast, but her drive also comes in first.
GMLOKS sprints coach Jim Hubka knows he not only has a major talent on his hands with Reiland, but the perfect person to lead this team, particularly in those relays.
She combines talent with a ferocious work ethic. While her teammates occasionally ebb with their energy and drive — like most teenagers — Reiland skips the ebbing and just flows.
“Anika is a very naturally gifted sprinter,” Hubka said. “But she has that drive. She’s very competitive and always wants to be in front. She has the attitude that she’s going to beat you.”
Hubka changed things up one day at practice, allowing those who wanted to cut a workout short, to do it. Everybody took him up on the shortcut, save for one person.
Reiland finished things up on her own.
“If (Hubka) gives us the option to quit or do another rep, I’ll always go back and finish the workout,” Reiland said. “It makes me feel a lot more satisfied when I do that.”
Reiland’s feeling of satisfaction hit a crescendo one year ago at the Section 1A meet. She’d won the 100 and 200, landing her in the state meet as an individual for the first time in her career. Beyond hoping her 4x200 relay team would repeat as state champion, Reiland had nothing else on her state wish list.
“I just wanted to make it to state; I didn’t care what place I took in an individual event,” Reiland said.
Care or not, she wound up on the medal podium twice as an individual, finishing fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200.
Assuming she makes it back there again this year, expect her state wish list to be much more extensive.
“I’d have to say that winning a state individual event would be really cool,” Reiland said.