The Scarlet Ink

The Student News Site of Orion High School

The Scarlet Ink

The Scarlet Ink

OHS Cross Country 2023

Back Row (Left to Right): Svea Carlson, Maya Van Duyne, Olivia Thomsen, Jordan Dodd, Cash Duhs Front Row (Left to Right): Abi Kayser, Linah Pettifer, Braxton Story, Noah Belowske

Cross country is a grueling sport that requires a lot of grit and determination. Cross country runners are in great physical and mental shape because running helps the body out in a variety of ways. 

This year, OHS is happy to say that we have a full girls’ cross country team which hasn’t happened for a few years. These girls are: seniors Olivia Thomsen and Maya Van Duyne, juniors Svea Carlson and Linah Pettifer, and sophomore Abi Kayser. Although we don’t have a full boys’ team, we still have 4 great male athletes: juniors Cash Duhs and Braxton Story, sophomore Jordan Dodd, and freshman Noah Belowske. Our head coach is Morgan Matson and the volunteer is Coach Nick Juenger.

The cross country team has had a great and successful season through their first five meets. Olivia Thomsen, the top girl runner, has placed in the top 20 in all of the meets. Her current season best time is 19:49. The second girl runner, Abi Kayser, is off to a steady start, with her current season best of 23:27. Maya Van Duyne has improved a lot throughout the season starting with a 26:46 and cutting off almost two minutes to get a 24:58. Linah Pettifer has also had a nice season so far, running a best of 29:00. She, too, has cut off  minutes from her original time. Svea Carlson is back to cross country, although she hasn’t run it since middle school. Her season best is 30:33 

On the boy’s side of things, their top two runners are Noah Belowske and Jordan Dodd. Noah is just a freshman, but has had a great first high school season. His season best time is 19:43. Jordan has also had a good first season of running cross country with a season best of 19:46. Braxton Story is running cross country for the first time this year. He has improved his time from the start of the season until now by a little more than one minute. His best is 20:13. Cash Duhs is returning to cross country this year, after running as a Freshman. He has cut more than 4 minutes off of his time. His best is 22:21.

The cross country team still has big meets to come with TRAC conference at Kewannee Baker Park on Tuesday, September 26th and regionals in Bureau Valley on Saturday, October 28th. 

When asked why she decided to go out for cross country this year, senior Maya Van Duyne replied, “I wanted to open myself up to completely new experiences and people. None of the sports I have done in the past are anything like it, which was very daunting at the start of the season.” She adds, “I am very glad that I joined cross country because it has challenged my perseverance abilities and improved them which will benefit me in the long run”.

OHS cross country could always use more runners. It’s not too late to join! It’s a great opportunity to get into amazing shape while spending time with friends. For more information go to

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