Boys track & Field named OAA Champs
It’s been a unique season for the Dragon track and field team at Lake Orion High School.
The Dragons went through their regular dual meet season only facing four other teams that included a Dual Meet Champion.
The boys had an early-season loss to Rochster Adams in their first meet of the season, also handing Lake Orion their first loss in eight years.
The Dragons finished the dual meet season with three straight wins, along with wins at the Oxford Invitational, the Waterford Mott Ashley Relays and a third place finish at the New Balance Invitational.
With the league meet, the red and white divisions are combined for a separate OAA League Championship with 10 teams competing — Adams being the favorite.
But the Dragons chose a great night to avenge their only league loss, putting up 125 points to beat Adams by 13 points and claim their 9th league championship in a row.
The boys only won three events but had five 2nd place finishes, which proved to be too much for the competition.
Junior Stephen Brown won the 100m dash, was 2nd in the 200m dash and was on the two sprint relays that placed 2nd, along with freshman Raymond Payne, sophomore Jeremy Parks and junior Joey Thede. Individually, Thede also was 2nd in the 110m high hurdles, and 5th in the 200m dash.
Junior Jacob Corless ran a personal best in the 400m dash to take an unexpected 5th place and was on the 3rd place 4 x 800m relay with junior Will Houvener, senior Carson White and sophomore Luke Peardon. Peardon also came back in the 800m run with a personal best to finish 2nd.
Peardon, White and Corless joined senior Nicolas Laurent on the 3rd Place 4 x 400m relay. Laurent ran a personal best in the 1600m run for 3rd place and was 4th in the 800m run for some valuable team points.
Junior Clayton Kuiper scored in the 1600m run with Laurent, running a personal best, also.
Junior Hong Bing Tang ran a personal best in the 3200m run, moving up in the rankings for a 5th place finish for valuable points that helped seal the win.
The girls had two regular-season losses in a tough OAA Red Division, along with two wins. When the two divisions were merged for the league meet, the girls held their own with a 4th place finish, only losing to one team from the white division.
Senior Sophie Novak put herself on the Lake Orion record board with her 3200m 1st place finish. Novak also scored in the 400m dash and ran on the 4 x 400m relay with fellow senior Grace Winkler, junior Alayna Tisch and freshman Sofi Sally, who ran a season-best time.
Winkler also scored in the 400m dash. Tisch was 2nd in the 100m dash, scored in the 300m hurdles and was on the second place 4 x 100m relay with senior Cate Leonhard and juniors Mecayla Long and Natalie Keogh.
Sally was 3rd in the 300m hurdles with a personal best time.
Junior Liz Hoffman threw a personal best in the shot put for a 3rd place finish, and teammate Bella DeLong medaled in the discus, with personal best throws.
Senior Cate Leonhard produced a lot of points by placing 2nd in the 100m hurdles, 4th in the long jump and high jump, along with being on the 2nd place 4 x 100m relay.
Leonhard was also 1st in the pole vault, an event that is not scored in the OAA. Fellow vaulters Carlie Knebi, Bella Monterosso and Anna Pheasant placed as well. — S.F., M.K.