Orion girls track happy to be back

Mindy Carls
Orion High School

Orion girls track coach Morgan Matson’s Chargers lost a year of experience when COVID-19 forced cancellation of the 2020 season.

But that just makes the 2021 team eager to make the most of this season.

Returning varsity letter winners are seniors Maryn Bollinger, Lily Moen and Avery Noble and juniors Hayley VanDuyne, Maggie Nedved and Mackinzie Washburn.

New to the team are senior Kileigh Burge, sophomores Karly Wampler, Sydney Swope and Melaina Meisenburg and freshmen Abby Bindewald, Delaney Taets, Katie Christensen, Kylee Hanson, Latavia Hardwick, Lily Laws, Bella Traman and Olivia Thomsen.

“Olivia Thomsen and Maryn Bollinger will lead the way for the distance squad,” Matson said. “Maryn is a three-time state qualifier in the 4x800-meter relay and Olivia is coming off a great freshman cross country season.

“Our sprinters are headed by a lone senior, Avery Noble, who has great experience in all sprinting events and shows great leadership for the younger girls,” the coach said.

“We are very young and very inexperienced with high school track and field,” Matson said. “Especially since no one had a season last year, we are realizing our sophomores still need to learn things that they would have learned last year as freshmen.

The girls need to build strength and experience this season, the coach said.

“With the amount of younger athletes we have, we should have a bright future even if it doesn’t happen this year.

“Our distance squad, though smaller than usual, has some great leaders and more experience under their belts,” she said. “They know what needs to be done to be successful and are working hard to get back to state.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Three Rivers has not scheduled a conference meet this year, Matson said.

Instead, all of the conference teams are competing in duals.

“It will definitely depend on which teams decide to show up,” Matson said. “We are hosting all but one of our meets this year, so we have that advantage of not traveling to meets. I think in the comfort of our own track we will do well. We have some voids to fill in certain events, but we will have some girls step up and make special things happen.”