The Marion Relays boys’ track meet Thursday was won by the Marion High School Warriors in classic fashion, with dominating performances in the field events and a blazing victory in the 4x400-meter relay.
The event featured a group of teams such as El Dorado and McPherson that the Warriors don’t typically face off against, Marion head coach Grant Thierolf said.
“We invite all these teams that are the 5As and 4As in here because it’s just fun to compete against them,” Thierolf said. “They’re good teams and great competition.”
On a chilly, blustery day at Warriors Stadium, Marion collected 81 of their 135 total points in the field events.
Dakin Ledford led a 1-2-3 Warriors’ sweep in the javelin, followed by Colten Johnson and John Nordquist.
“The competition was really good so we weren’t expecting to go one, two, three,” Johnson said. “We all practice together, and we all have the same coach, so it’s not a big surprise if we’re around the same area throwing.”
Ledford said practices are a good tuneup for meets.
“Every day out there is a competition,” Ledford said.
Thierolf reinforced Ledford’s perception.
“Our throwers are competitive, and it’s going to be a competitive year all along just to get a varsity spot on the team,” Thierolf said.
Ledford has come along in the event quickly, given that he didn’t pick up a javelin until his junior year.
“I decided to go out there and do itand I started throwing good and kept with it,” Ledford said. “Last year I was inconsistent at meets — I’d throw good at one, bad at the next. This year I’ve been pretty consistent throwing in the 150s.”
Johnson got his start as a sophomore, but it wasn’t because the javelin held a special allure for him.
“I started because Randy Regnier and I wanted to do an event that wasn’t running,” Johnson said. “We were in pole vault, so we thought that was two events we didn’t have to run in.”
Johnson said he’s still working on getting back into the groove of javelin throwing this season.
“I’ve gone down a little since last year — 160 was my best,” Johnson said. “I’m trying to get my form back and get my arm a little stronger.”
The 4x400 relay team of Johnson, James Jones, Brody Carroll, and Patrick McCarty demolished the competition with a time of 3 minutes, 35.6 seconds, nearly nine seconds faster than runner-up El Dorado.
“There’s nothing more fun than when you’ve got a good 4x400 relay time,” Thierolf said. “Our relay posted a very good time for this early in the season.”
Distance runner Jordan Hett trailed McPherson’s Wyatt Porter by at least 30 yards going into the final lap of the 3,200, but started closing ground on the backstretch. Hett passed Porter coming out of the final turn and held him at bay to win with a time of 10:59.36.
Thierolf noted the team’s performance came on the heels of competing in the Centre Central Kansas Track League meet two days earlier.
“It’s tough — two days is not enough time to recover. They competed pretty hard on Tuesday, so to come back to compete again Thursday, from that standpoint I’m pleased,” Thierolf said.
“It turned out to be a pretty good night for a track meet. We are very happy to win the meet — first time in a long time that we have done that,” Thierolf said.
The Warriors returned to the track Tuesday at Fairfield, and will compete Friday at the Smokey Valley Invitational at Lindsborg.
1. Marion 135
2. McPherson 123
3. Smoky Valley 84
4. Wichita-Independent 83
5. El Dorado 57.5
6. Chapman 57.5
7. Chase County 15
8. White City 14
9. Peabody-Burns 13
100-meter dash — 19. Zach Hammond, 12.68; Lance Knolla, 13.14.
200 — 5. Patrick McCarty, 23.78; 22. Zach Hammond, 26.85; 26. Dylan Carpenter, 28.42.
400 — 3. Patrick McCarty, 10. Tyler Neufeld, 59.47; Brad Stone, 1:03.59.
800 — 10. Quinton Hett, 2:25.87; 14. Braden Fahey, 2:32:61.
1600 — 3. Jordan Hett, 4:48.06; 10. Timothy Knolla, 5:31.69; 18. Josiah Meador, 6:41.71.
3200 — 1. Jordan Hett, 10:59.36; 12. Josiah Meador, 15:08.21.
110 hurdles — 1. Colten Johnson, 16.07.
300 hurdles — 3. Brody Carroll, 44.75.
4x100 relay — 5. Marion, (Brody Carroll, James Jones, Zach Hammond, Lance Knolla), 49.01.
4x400 — 1. Marion, (Colten Johnson, Brody Carroll, James Jones, Patrick McCarty), 3:35.6.
4x800 — 5. Marion, (Braden Fahey, Quinton Hett, Timothy Knolla, Tyler Neufeld), 9:48.67.
Pole vault — 1. Colten Johnson, 12-6; 2. (tie) Zach Hammond, 11-06; 7. Tyler Neufeld, 10-0.
Long jump — 4. James Jones, 19-00.75; 22. Seth Snelling, 15-07.
Triple jump — 2. James Jones, 40; Brad Stone, 31.
Shot put — 4. Nick Meyer, 40-00.75; 5. Jon Tacha, 39-08; 7. Isaac Baldwin, 36-10.75.
Discus — 1. Dakin Ledford, 121-11; 2. Nick Meyer, 119-07; 4. Spencer Fugitt, 114-11; 5. Kyle Palic, 107.
Javelin — 1. Dakin Ledford, 153-08; 2. Colten Johnson, 152-02; 3. John Nordquist, 136-02; 7. Spencer Fugitt, 131-01.