Senior Soel Riser commits to Mankato for track and his academics. Riser competes in the relay and runs the 400.
Senior Soel Riser commits to Mankato for track and his academics. Riser competes in the relay and runs the 400.
Photo submitted by Soel Riser

Soel Riser committed to Mankato for track and academics

Senior Soel Riser committed to Minnesota State University Mankato for track and his academics. Riser has been in track since 5th grade and he has continued it throughout high school while also playing football.

Sports can impact a student’s life in so many ways and it can take time to find one that they are interested in.

Being in sports during the school year can be challenging and stressful as sports take up a lot of time and commitment.

Riser believes school comes first and he makes sure to get all his work done before sports.

“My dad and mom made that a huge thing for me,” Riser said.

During the track season each event group gets to pick the schedule of their practices, but most varsity coaches have practice six days a week. They also have conditioning and there is usually strength training as well.

“We work hard to be a top level team in the state and it shows we have been to true team state 38 times in 40 years. It something we take great pride in and this is a team effort,” science teacher and track coach Ben Straka said.

The track team holds two of their indoor meets at Mankato each year and they have a DEA and NCAA program, which the boys really enjoy and do well in.

“It is almost Stillwater south with the number of guys we send down there,” Straka said.

The school has a good relationship with Mankato and Riser is following in the footsteps of Thomas Rosengren, who has the school record, Risers goal is to beat that record before he goes to Mankato.

Ever since I was a little kid I have played many different sports. I got into track in fifth grade and realized there was something special there so I just kept going.”

— Soel Riser

“It is pretty difficult to run your freshman year but I want to be able to just run and contribute to the team,” Riser said.

Riser likes the coaches at Mankato and that is one of the reasons he is going because he has a good connection with the coach. He wants somebody he can talk to and feel they will be there for him if needed.

In the years Riser has been on track, he has been a team leader and his peers voted him for captain this year. Riser’s close friend and teammate senior Eliott Strong says he deserves captain and he is a great leader.

“As Soel has gone through his three years, he has developed those relationships with different athletes that allow him to lead athletes,” Straka said.

During sports it can be hard to stay motivated, but Riser’s family and friends make sure to motivate him when needed.

“He is motivated through friends and family and he wants to do the best for him. And he’s a great guy because of that,” senior Strong said.

Riser is a leader on his team and he works hard to accomplish his goals. On a team, leadership is needed to have success and guidance, Riser shows that to many people on his team and outside of sports as well.

“Soel has done a great job over the course of his three years working with Coach Peterson and in growing as an athlete,” Straka said.

Risers leadership and motivation will help him succeed and be ready for his next few years at University Of Mankato.

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