Five Seniors anchoring boys track in 2021

Mindy Carls
Shoes at the starting line

Five seniors are leading the Orion High School boys track team this spring.

COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 season, which followed a highly successful 2019.

Orion won its own sectional that year, scoring 96 points to 78 for second-place Spring Valley Hall.

The 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter relays all qualified for state. Ryan Fowler, Hunter Bambauer, Alec Noyd, Caleb Spranger, Camden Sellers, Ryan Wegerer, Andy Wampler and Trent Scharpman were on the relays.

Logan Lee advanced in shot put and discus, Caleb Spranger in triple jump and 300 hurdles, Scharpman in pole vault, Wegerer in the 800 run and Sellers in the 400 dash.

Lee placed second by 1.25 inches in shot put.

Except for Noyd, who was a freshman, all have graduated since then.

The 2021 team includes the five seniors, who are all returning varsity letter winners. They are senior distance runners Eli Kayser, Nathan Monzon, Luciano Bradley and Collin Meisenburg and senior thrower Josh Spranger.

New to the varsity are senior thrower Shaw Ringier and junior distance runner Kade Scharpman, as well as sophomore sprinter Cole Kimball, sophomore sprinter/jumper Jase Brokaw and sophomore distance runner Eric Thorndyke.

Freshmen are Brody Straw, thrower; Gus Nedved, distance runner and jumper; Nic Shillington, thrower and sprinter, and Tate Schneider, distance runner.

“Josh Spranger will be one of our top athletes in the disc and shot,” coach Logan Hohl said. “He has already taken first place at both home meets so far this year.”

Spranger is throwing the discus about 115 feet and the shot about 37 feet, Hohl said.

“We are hoping to boost both of these numbers and hope to look at a strong presence at sectionals,” the coach said.

Monzon, Bradley, Meisenburg and Scharpman are teaming up for the 3200 relay.

“They all swap roles and challenge each other at practices,” Hohl said. “This is where our strongest leadership is coming from. These are the track veterans, along with Spranger. We are hoping to knock their time down and compete at sectionals.”

“A lot of freshmen and sophomores are going to be extremely important to our program’s future,” the coach said. “There is a lot of potential for future success with all of them.

“We are struggling this year to recover from losing our season last year,” Hohl said. “Getting back into shape has been difficult. We are suffering from injuries and a lack of off-season training. We are getting better each week.

“Sectionals will be difficult with such low numbers (15) and so many being underclassman,” the coach said. “Our best shot at a state appearance will be Josh Spranger and the 4x800 team.”