Padgett highlights individual feats

Kayci Woodley

Sickness and injuries set back the Orion girls track team at the beginning of the season, coach Jeff Padgett mentioned at the awards banquet in May. But, after finishing with personal bests near the end of the season, Padgett looks forward to next year.

The two biggest season highlights for the girls included placing sixth out of 11 teams at the Rockridge meet and finishing second out of five at the Orion Invitational, according to Padgett.

The lack of depth in the team this year hurt the standings and the team morale, but the last three meets were some of the best for individuals this season.

Relay teams may have suffered this season because of low numbers, but in individual event runners on the girls’ track team continued to improve. 

Ending the season with a state qualifier and a record in the two-mile run are means for a bright future in the Orion track program.

Anytime a team ends on a high note, it looks good for the future of the program. But, the girls’ track team will need more members next year to fill more of the races and relays at meets, but the returning runners should be a benefit to the squad.

Many of the runners had personal bests, but overall Padgett says next year he will need a higher commitment from the team.

Freshman Ashley Anderson was the lone state qualifier on the girls’ team, advancing in the 800-meter run. Anderson ran 2:25.85 at the state meet, a personal best for the season.

While sophomore Megan Miller did not advance to the state meet, she still ran her fastest time at sectionals, breaking under 13 minutes in the 3200-meter run.

Anderson, Cara Christal, Kaitlyn DeBaillie, Randi McMullin, Lindsay Pettifer, Sara Marshall, Jordan Knoll, Miller, Sarah Mizen, Brittany Scott, Baillie Hancock, Morgan Martin, Katie Williams, Melissa Fielding, Morgan Mason and Alex Martens were all members of the girls team in the 2009 season.