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Promising Freshmen add their talent to LO Girls' Track Team



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Head Coach Sjonne Marie sprints with Madeline Marindale and Hannah Adair. (click for larger version)
March 23, 2011 - Graduating seniors can pose problems to high school sports teams as they take with them valuable experience and talent.

Yet Lake Orion High School Girls' Track and Field head coach Sjonne Marie is looking forward to the challenge of constructing a new team.

"This is my second year coaching the girls' track team, and coming into the team last year was a new coach's dream," said Marie. "We did awesome last year, broke records, and won regionals which is a first win in Lake Orion High School history.

"We may not do as well this year since we lost so much experience, but we're going to be a tough team to beat no matter what."

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The team also placed at every invitational and only lost two duel meets to Troy and Rochester.

While the team has lost experience, it has also maintained and gained talented individuals.

Senior sprinter Alexandria Johnson was last year's state champion for the Indoor 60 meter hurdle. Linnea Berriman is the only senior discus thrower, and took ninth place in the state last year, with aspirations of continuing the sport in college. Senior Missy Spec has proven herself as a leader and standby, easily earning a spot on the team as a captain.

On top of the remaining talent, Marie said the new crop of freshman look promising.

"I was really nervous because we lost a lot of really good seniors, but we seem to be making up for it with the freshman," said Marie. "Madeline Martindale, a freshman, is a pole vaulter, and she is very very good - she's already jumped 10 feet 10 inches."

Another freshman, Casey Stribbell, is also excelling in her category - the 400 to 800 meter run. She competed in an indoor league during the summer, doing well for her age.

Marie added she's relying on the older girls to teach and trust the younger girls, who have a lot yet to learn. Simultaneously, she stressed the importance of instilling enough confidence in the younger girls to "get out there and compete."

From a competitive standpoint, Troy and Rochester remain Lake Orion's biggest opponents. Marie said both the teams tend to have certain qualities Lake Orion currently lacks.

"They're both distance teams, and both tend to have a lot more depth for their runners," said Marie. "They have a lot of players that can run a lot of different events whereas we sometimes have only a few runners that specialize in one event.

"Having the same couple of girls running the same event for every meet can be very wearing on them, but it's just something we'll have to prepare for."

The girls' track team currently has around 65 members.

Their first meet will be Tuesday, March 29 against Troy.

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