EVART — It’s a new season for Mara VanOrder in a familiar sport.

The junior Evart athlete is returning to cross country for the fall. She ran the sport as a freshman, but last year played JV volleyball.

“I came back to cross because I feel it gets me more prepared for basketball,” VanOrder said. “It will help strengthen my middle distance running in track.”

During the summer, VanOrder has done some personal training to get ready for the cross country season.

“I look at running as a hobby sport, kind of,” VanOrder said. “It makes me feel good to run. I love the friendships about running.”

VanOrder recalls a Highland Conference meet as a freshman when she placed ninth.

“I thought that was a bit of an accomplishment,” she said.

VanOrder is looking to get into the low 22-minute range, perhaps lower.

“I need to definitely work on my endurance during the middle part of my race, and not going out too fast,” she said. “I have a strong finish and usually start too quick. Especially with cross country, you have more miles to run, I definitely need to have a more even pace.”

Evart’s girls have about five runners right now.

“The girls team is looking really fun,” VanOrder said. “I’m excited to make a lot of good memories with them.”

The season continues with meets Aug. 27 at Hesperia and Sept. 3 at Manton. The first home meet is Sept. 9 with Farwell and Harrison.