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Thinclads take state title



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June 06, 2012 - It's been a series of close calls and tight loses for Orion teams during the 2011/12 sports season but thanks to the mens track team, Orion is again a state champion.

On May 31 the Dragons traveled to Grand Rapids to East Kentwood high school to do battle against over 50 different represented teams. When the dust settled Orion came out on top with 50 points and nine scoring runners of the 12 that qualified. The second place team, Grand Blanc scored 44 indicating the tight competition.

"It was a tight, tight meet where every point was valuable," said Head Coach Stan Ford. "These meets are low scoring because of the large number of individuals scoring points. Saline, for example, had 42 points in the end and they were less than half a second behind us in the 1600m relay. It really was a team effort."

The win marks the first state title for LOHS in track and field and the first time since 1997 that a team from Oakland County has won.

Scoring runners included sophomore David Diaz who came in fourth in the mile for his second state honor of the day. Junior T.J. Carey came in fifth in the two mile while senior Alex Roberts took fourth in both the 100m and 300m hurdles for two state honors.

Junior David Arenz, senior George Modrak, Diaz and Carey set a school record in the 3,200m relay while senior Nick Balavich, junior Josef Deneau, sophomore Zach Arnold and sophomore Corey Ester took second in the 800m relay. Lake Orion's one first place was in the 1,600m relay, ran by a team of Diaz, Balavich, Arnold and Ester.

Ester also took fourth in the 100m dash.

Ford said the seniors from this team, which he previously called the best team he's ever coached, will be missed and mentioned Balavich in specific. He sad the senior's physical presence and demeanor would be missed on and off the track.

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