Palic shines in final meet
Warrior senior sets state discus record
A week ago, Marion senior throwing sensation and defending Class 2A state discus champion Tyler Palic was taking a backseat at regionals to the biggest threat to unseat him, Hillsboro’s Wes Shaw.
It was the first time this year anyone not named Patrick Larrison or Nick Phelps had beaten Palic in discus.
But Palic got the best of Shaw in their final showdown Saturday at the Kansas state track and field championships at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
Down to his final throw in what had been a barnburner of matches between the two, Palic flung the discus a meet record 182 feet 6 inches to repeat as state champion.
Palic joins fellow two-time state champions Gary Melcher (1968-1969) and Nick Klenda (2009-2010) as the Warriors’ only repeaters.
“He had a heck of a competition in this event, and the Shaw kid really brought out the champion in Tyler,” Warrior coach Grant Thierolf said. “He fell behind in the finals and hit the winning throw on the last throw of the competition.
“It’s a great testament to hard work and grit. What a great way to end his athletic career at MHS, winning the state championship on the last throw of your career.”
While Palic has been the dominator in discus, Shaw has been it in shot put, leaving Palic fourth with a 46’9¾” heave.
Shaw set a state record of his own at 60’11¾”.
Outside Palic, the other Warrior state qualifiers found tough sledding. The boys finished 16th out of 49 teams with 15 points.
Out of 46 teams in the girls’ competition, Marion finished 33rd with 5 points.
Junior Emmy Hess and freshman Anne Baliel were the lone medalists for the girls.
Hess finished seventh in long jump and Baliel finished sixth in pole vault.
Hess leaped 15’10” while Baliel cleared 9’6”.
“Emmy just found a way to get out into the pit in the long jump and stayed very consistent this weekend in her jumps,” Thierolf said. “She is every bit the competitor we thought she would be and will work hard to get back to state next year.
“Anne had a great year in the pole vault and finished her freshman campaign with a sixth-place finish. She has a great future in front of her in this sport, and it will fun to watch her progress in the vault and in her other events.”
This weekend closed out the careers for the boys’ senior trio of Jack Schneider, Zach Stuchlik, and Colin Williams, and Sam Richmond for the girls.
Schneider’s career ended on a rough note, failing to qualify in the 100 and false starting in the 200.
Schneider teamed up with Stuchlik, Williams, and Colton Mercer in the 4x400, finishing 9th in 3:34.65.
Williams was 13th in the 1600, but has three previous medals from state to show for it.
Richmond has competed twice as part of relay teams, earning a medal, but neither the 4x100 nor 4x400 made it out of preliminaries.
Stuchlik just missed qualifying for state at regionals in long jump.
“We had four seniors end their careers at MHS this weekend, and even though the results were not what they had hoped for, it doesn’t diminish what they’ve given to their school,” Thierolf said.
“We look forward to Colton Mercer and Noah Dalrymple returning. They got a taste of the state meet and hopefully will work to get back to this big event. We have a majority of our girls’ team members back, and with a good year of training, we have a chance to get the relay teams back to the state meet.”