Alison Triebenbach has been with the Osakis cross country program for the last five years. After transitioning into the head coaching position this fall, she is looking to keep building on the progress the program has made in recent years.
Triebenbach was the assistant coach under Justin Dahlheimer since the program started in 2014. After the conclusion of the 2018 season, a mutual agreement led to the coaching change.
“It’s more of a title change than anything,” Triebenbach said from practice on Aug. 13. “Coach Dahlheimer and I have been co-coaching this team over the last five years. It was just a matter of who had the title of head coach. We both had some job changes, so it worked better for me to be the head coach and him to be the assistant.”
Triebenbach knows the ins and outs of the program. Not to mention, having the former head coach still on staff will make her first season at the helm fairly routine.
“It should go very smoothly,” she said. “I haven’t gotten used to some of the meetings I have to go to or talking to reporters, but it’s new and exciting and I’m ready to get this season going.”
Through her first two practices of the season, Triebenbach has made it clear what the intentions of the coaching staff are for this fall.
“We expect our kids to train hard and stay healthy,” Triebenbach said. “For us, it’s about adjusting our training program as we see how they react to what we are having them do. Keeping them healthy is the No. 1 priority.”
Like many high school sports, the competition is only half the battle. Developing students as more than an athlete, but also a person is what many coaches strive to achieve.
“We hope every athlete can better themselves,” Triebenbach said. “We want all of them to grow as athletes and as people. I think we have a culture here that does that well.”
In 2018, Triebenbach was named the Section 6A Assistant Coach of the Year. After five years of growing the program from the ground up, Triebenbach wants to meet the standards the coaching staff has helped set.
“My personal goal is to maintain the level that we’ve been at before and that I don’t lose track of the things we’ve done in the past,” she said. “We like to keep things fun with a light atmosphere. I don’t want to get caught up in trying to get the team winning, and I still pay attention to keeping the team happy and healthy.”
Carter Grove was the first Silverstreak to qualify for the state tournament a year ago. He and other experienced runners return to a team with high expectations this fall.
“I want these kids to keep improving from what they did last year,” Triebenbach said. “The girls have won meets. The boys have won meets. We’ve had success here and we want to keep it that way.”
For the seniors, their final season in black and red is about finishing what they started.
“The seniors here were the 7th-graders when this program started in 2014,” Triebenbach said. “It’s emotional seeing them at their last first practice. We’ve talked to them about leaving a legacy. We want them to be leaders and teach the younger kids how to lead and carry on what they have been part of.”