staff photo by david colburn
Tyler Arocha, left, and Jack Schneider round the final corner of the 400 meters race Friday at the Heart of America League meet in Sterling. The boys won the meet, while the girls placed sixth.
Warriors run away with title
Palic, Shults, and Arocha lead the way in field
A record-setting discus throw by Tyler Palic, a personal-best-tying vault by Bryce Shults, and a huge winning leap by Tyler Arocha in the long jump, gave Marion a comfortable lead going into running events finals at the Heart of America league meet Friday in Sterling.
When Jack Schneider and Colin Williams came through with anticipated wins, no other team could come close as the Warriors amassed 126 points to win the league championship by a 49-point margin over runner-up Bennington.
Palic’s winning discus throw of 178 feet, 6 inches was about 14 feet farther than the existing meet record and 40 feet farther than the next closest competitor. He also took second in javelin and fourth in shot put.
For the second time this season, Shults soared 13’6” to win pole vault, with teammate Austin Neufeld placing fourth.
Arocha let loose with a 19’4” leap to win long jump, 4 inches farther than third-place teammate Zachary Stuchlik.
Other field events points came from Stuchlik, fifth in triple jump, and Cade Harms, fifth in shot put.
Schneider came into the meet with seed times in the 100 and 200 meters better than any of the competition, and he didn’t disappoint, winning the 100 in 11.03 seconds and the 200 in 22.87.
Schneider’s winning time in the 400, 52.53, was just two-tenths of a second better than runner-up Arocha, who also placed fourth in the 100.
Surprising the field in the 1600, Williams broke away from the pack midway through the race for a sizeable lead he held to the end, winning in 4:50.21.
Shults took fifth in the 300 hurdles. The 4x400 relay of Williams, Stuchlik, Shults, and Schneider placed fourth. The 4x100 relay of Kolton Brewer, Aaron Riggs, Shults, and Neufeld finished sixth.
Girls finish sixth
The going was tougher for the girls, who finished sixth.
Marissa Jacobson captured the team’s only gold with a leap of 17’ in long jump. She placed second in triple jump and third in the 300 hurdles.
The only other runner to score individual points was Sam Richmond, who placed third in the 400. The 4x100 relay of Emily Hutchinson, Maria Stuchlik, Emmy Hess, and Richmond placed second, and the 4x400 relay of Jazmin Lewis, Hutchinson, Stuchlik, and Richmond placed sixth.
In the field, Michaela Regnier placed fifth in pole vault, and sixth-place finishes went to Drew Helmer in discus, Jessi Lewman in javelin, and Lewis in pole vault.
Up next is a Friday trip to a regional meet in Russell. The top four finishers in each event will advance to the state meet in Wichita.