Staff photo by Delbert Peters
Marion junior Tyler Palic prepares to hurl a shot at the state track and field meet Saturday in Wichita. Palic won the Class 3A discus Friday, and placed sixth in shot put.
Palic leads Marion to 8th in state
Only 1 athlete in any class outperformed him
Not only did junior Tyler Palic’s winning discus throw help Marion to an eighth-place team finish at this weekend’s state track and field meet in Wichita.
His throw of 175 feet 11 inches, which won in Class 3A by nearly 20 feet, would have been the best in every class except 4A.
Tyler would have won Class 2A by nearly 18 feet, Class 5A by nearly 2 feet, and Class 6A by nearly 18 feet, and he would have tied in Class 1A.
The only discus thrower in any class to surpass Tyler’s winning heave was junior LeeRoi Johnson of Class 4A Tonganoxie, who bettered Tyler’s mark by a little more than 4 feet.
“Tyler Palic had a fantastic weekend,” coach Grant Thierolf said, “and has established himself as one of the top throwers in the state of Kansas.
“He is such a good athlete and has such tremendous body awareness that he always seems to get balanced and he finds his release point almost every throw.”
Tyler also placed sixth in shot put, setting a personal record with a heave of 48 feet 5½ inches.
Although he trailed winner Garet Johnson of Remington by nearly 5 feet, only one of the five who finished in front of Tyler — Samuel Thimmesch of Garden Plain — will be back as Tyler will next year, and Samuel bettered Tyler’s mark by less than 5 inches.
“We were so happy with his shot put, getting a PR in the competition and placing sixth,” Thierolf said. “We are excited for next year and the improvements that Tyler will make in each of his events.”
Two other Marion athletes captured bronze medals at the state meet.
Senior Marissa Jacobson also placed third in long jump with a leap of 17 feet, just 6½ inches off the lead.
“Our seniors all brought home medals, and that is always fun,” Thierolf said. “(Marissa) has been very steady throughout her career in this event. and her experience at state showed, as she climbed from sixth place to third place in the finals.
“She has had an extremely successful career and will be missed.”
Junior Jack Schneider placed third in the 200-meter dash with a personal record of 22.51 seconds, half a second behind the winner. Both sprinters who placed ahead of him were seniors.
“Jack Schneider had a great weekend as well,” Thierolf said. “He has come back from major knee surgery and has established himself as one of the top sprinters in the state of Kansas.
“He PR’d in the 200, placing third in a loaded field, and then came back to anchor the 4x400 relay to a strong sixth place finish. He has had a remarkable year, and we look forward to next season.”
Jack and teammates Tyler Arocha, Zachary Stuchlik, and Colin Williams recorded a time of 3:32.04 in the 4x400, less than 7 seconds off the winning time.
“We were so excited to get Tyler Arocha to state this year, and he did a fabulous job in starting our 4x400 relay,” Thierolf said. “Tyler has been a key figure in our three straight league championships and has helped lead our team on the track this year.
“(I’m) so proud of him for keeping with it for four years and working his way to the medal platform.”
Others placing at the meet included senior Bryce Shults, who finished seventh in pole vault with a best of 12 feet 6 inches, 1½ feet off the winning mark.
“Bryce Shults medaled for a second straight year in the pole vault, and that is a great accomplishment,” Thierolf said. “Bryce has been an invaluable member of our track and field team for the past four years and has been someone who will jump in and help his team with anything that he can.”
Junior Colin Williams placed 8th in the 1600-meter with a personal record of 4:40.22, a little more than 9 seconds off the winning mark. He also finished 16th in the 800-meter run.
“Colin Williams ran a fantastic 1600, setting a new PR and bringing home a medal for a second year in this event,” Thierolf said. “He kind of took one for the team in the 800, realizing that to run with the leaders would have taken a great deal out of him, and he made the truly unselfish decision to save some energy and be ready for the 4x400.
“Once again, we cannot wait for next season to see what Colin can do.”
Thierolf offered specific praise for another of Colin’s 4x400 teammates, Zachary Stuchlik.
“He runs a very solid second leg in our 4x400 relay and sets the table for Colin and Jack,” Thierolf said. “He will lead our jumpers next spring, and we look forward to another year with Zachary.”
Among girls, Marissa Jacobson placed 12th in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 50.74 seconds. Overall, Marion’s girls finished 24th.
“We had a great weekend in Wichita,” Thierolf said. “The coaching staff is very proud of our athletes and the way they battled at the state championships. They competed like Warriors and represented our school extremely well.”