Track to be dedicated to honor Larry Gilbertson

Track to be dedicated to honor Larry Gilbertson At a public ceremony Sept. 27 at 11 a.m., the new track at Austin High Schoolâ�?�?s Wescott Field in Austin, MN will be dedicated in honor of Larry Gilbertson, former track and cross country coach at AHS for more than 30 years. Gilbertson died on Dec. 30, 1998. Gilbertson grew up in Erwin and later moved with his family to Vermillion where he graduated high school. There, and at his alma mater The University of South Dakota, he was a decorated middle distance runner. Gilbertsonâ�?�?s coaching career started in 1959 as junior high track coach at AHS. He started the cross country program in 1961 and later became head track coach in 1965. While at Austin High, he also coached girlsâ�?�? track and cross country. Gilbertson was inducted into the 1994-95 Austin High School Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2004 was inducted posthumously into the Minnesota State Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame. In 1967, Gilbertsonâ�?�?s cross country team won the Big Nine, Conference and State championships. In 1979, his track and field team took Big Nine Honors. Jeff Jirele, one of Gilbertsonâ�?�?s former athletes and fellow AHS Athletic Hall of Famer, is coordinating the festivities surrounding the dedication. â�?�?Larry Gilbertson is one of the reasons â�?�? if not the main reason â�?�? I was inducted into the Hall of Fame,â�? said Jirele. â�?�?He insisted that I go out for the team and it changed my life.â�? A half-time ceremony will take place on Sept. 26 during the AHS/Owatonna football game at Wescott Field. Family, friends and former athletes will gather at Georgeâ�?�?s Pizza post-game to share stories. The formal dedication of the Larry Gilbertson Track will take place at 11 a.m. with an invocation by family friend and former pastor, G. C. Knutson. The all-male quartet, Forte, will perform. Following the dedication will be a noon luncheon at Our Saviors Lutheran Church. For more information, or to RSVP your attendance, call or e-mail Jeff Jirele at (480) 893-3585 or thebluegoose@qwest.net.

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