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Cross country sends one to states



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Junior Kirk Hanson, freshman Andrew Lorant and junior Ted Rydquist stay in a tight pack. Photo by T. Connolly (click for larger version)
October 31, 2012 - The boys and girls of cross country ran in the regional tournament last weekend and while both teams managed to finish strong, only one runner will be participating in the state meet.

"It's a little disappointing from a team sense," said boys Head Coach Stan Ford. "Senior T.J. Carey won the regional and ran a really fast time. The other guys were packed up like they usually are but they were a bit too far back. We were all in the same order, but we were just on a different page."

Senior David Arenz took 22nd, junior Zach Seilkop took 33rd, junior Ted Rydquist took 40th and freshman Andrew Lorant finished 41st.

The boys managed to finish fifth but only the top three qualify, meaning Carey will be the sole representative for Orion on Nov. 3.

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"We knew it was going to be tough, because Romeo and Walled Lake Northern have beaten us before," said Ford. "It was a very fast course and we ran well but we needed to be better than our best. We were really sharp at the league meet about a week ago but sometimes it's just the pressure of what the meet means. Our guys ran what they usually run, but they needed to improve on that day- they really needed to be 10 seconds faster."

Running times traditionally go down from year to year, according to Ford. Carey placed 25th at the state meet in his freshman year and managed to decrease his time by 15 seconds in his sophomore year. Still, he finished 25th again.

Girls Head Coach Debi McDonald agreed with Ford and said despite coming in fourth she believed her girls ran exceptionally well.

"Sophomore Danielle Carr ran 16 seconds faster this year than she did last year but still took the same place, so it shows you how much faster the regional was that day," she said. "We have a lot of young runners and some girls that were kind of injured, but they are in their first full season of running and are coming on strong. I'm looking forward to a lot of varsity improvement next year."

She pointed, particularly, to Rochester, which the girls beat at the regionals despite having lost to them earlier in the year at the league meet. The girls finished seventh out of eight teams, but McDonald said that is due to the competiveness of the OAA Red Division.

"The top five teams in our regional were in our league and those teams will probably go on and be the top five in the state," she said. "We run in a great league, but when the girls are healthy we can really run great. We were eighth in the county this year which I was extremely impressed and proud with. Last year in the county we were 12th, so that's four places improvement. For us to be in the top 10 in the county, it can really allow us to shine as a team."

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