Track returns many qualifiers

News editor

Coach Grant Thierolf expects field events to lead the charge for a competitive Marion track and field team.

“We have a number of state qualifiers returning and we look forward to coaching this group again,” he said. “We believe that we have some very talented newcomers entering our program and believe they will greatly enhance our teams.”

Field events have been a strong suit in recent years, and the coaches expect that to continue this year.

“Our boy throwers have demonstrated that they are state quality throwers,” he said.

Seniors Nick Meyer and Morgan Wheeler run neck-and-neck in shot put and discus, with season bests from 2013 being 6 inches apart in shot put and 1 foot apart in discus — 45’9” in shot put and 139’9” in discus for Wheeler and 45’3 and 138’9” for Meyer.

Junior Kyle Palic will compete in all three throws. He placed eighth at state in discus and javelin last year. His bests were 148’6” and 166’9” in discus and javelin, respectively.

John Nordquist in javelin and shot put, Clint Kroupa in shot put and discus, and Adam Janzen in javelin round out the top throwers.

He said Kaelyn Thierolf is likely to be the leading thrower in her first full year in the events. Her season bests last year were 98’9” in javelin and 89’9” in discus. Kristen Herzet and Molly Hess also will throw.

James Jones will be expected to lead the jumpers. After placing third in long jump and fifth in triple jump at state in 2013, he is one of the top horizontal jumpers in the state.

Thierolf also expects Seth Snelling and Brad Stone to place in the jumps at meets and earn points for the Warriors. In addition, Snelling was part of the fifth-place 4x400 team.

Kelli Hess, Kirsten Hansen, and Marissa Jacobsen will be counted on to lead the girls’ jumpers. Hess and Hansen were two legs of Marion’s state third-place 4x400 relay last year.

“We have a strong history of pole vaulters and Alicia Maloney and Seth Snelling return after placing at state last year,” Thierolf said.

Maloney has qualified for state the past three years, improving her placing every time. Last year she finished third at state. Snelling placed eighth.

“Tyler Neufeld and Kirsten Hansen both vaulted well last year and will score points again this year,” Thierolf said.

He said coaches are interested to see the showings of Nicholas Stuchlik and Erika Hess in the high jump.

The sprints are Marion’s strong point on the track. Jones qualified for state in the 200 meters and was part of the fifth-place 4x400 relay at state. Thierolf added that Neufeld, Snelling, Braden Fahey, and Quinton Hett will give the team solid opportunities in the middle sprints and provide competitive legs in relays.

“Our girl sprinters are some of the best in the state,” Thierolf said.

Marshelle Mermis qualified for state in the 200 and 400 meters and ran in the third-place 4x400 relay at state. Hansen, Jacobsen, Kelli Hess, Erika Hess, and Emily Schneider will all compete in the sprints and contribute in the relays, as well.

Katey Ehrlich leads the hurdlers after qualifying for state in the 300-meter hurdles last year. Brad Stone will run hurdles for the boys.

Thierolf said Timothy Knolla and McKenzee Remmers will lead the distance runners, who should get progressively better through the season.

“We cannot wait for the season to begin — best time of the year,” Thierolf said.

Marion begins its track and field schedule at the Remington quint April 8.

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