The Marion track team intends to capitalize on young talent and some returning experience to find success this year.
“We’re really looking forward to this year,”coach Grant Thierolf said. “We think we’ve got some young kids who are poised to break out, and have good years.
“We have so many new kids, so many young kids,” he added. “We graduated so much experience last year at the state level.”
Thierolf said he is confident the team will be pretty solid in all the events this year, thanks to good depth in most of them.
“I think we’re going to be really strong in the pole vault this year,” Thierolf said. “We have three returning state qualifiers—Dylan Richmond, Randy Regnier—and we’ll be getting Colton Johnson back.”
Johnson is recovering from a wrist injury sustained during the wrestling season.
“Our distance runners are going to be awfully good,” Thierolf said.?“Jordan Hett, Patrick McCarty, both are talented young men. We’re just really excited about that group of distance runners.”
Thierolf said he is excited for how the Warrior jumpers will do this season.
“Whitney Gordan was fourth in the state last year in the high jump,” he said. “She’s going to be awfully good. She seems a little more focused and understands that being the oldest girl out here, a junior, that leadership falls to her.”
Thierolf said he is looking forward to some great things in the jumps from Michael Antosyk and newcomer to the track team Jordan Versch.
Versch, a senior, will be competing at the high jump for the first time.
Thierolf also is looking for strong performances from Corey Shields, whom he said has been working really hard.
“I think she’s ready to have a big year in the throws,” he said.
Thierolf said the one event the Warriors do not have much experience in is sprints.
“On the boys’ side, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a really strong sprint team,” Thierolf said. “It’s just a matter of building some depth on the boys’ side and figuring out where everybody fits.”
He said Marion would be doing a lot of moving competitors around to find the best fit for them.
“It’s just going to be a good year,” Thierolf said. “We’re looking forward to a lot of good things happening.”
The girls’ biggest challenge may be numbers.
“We don’t have large numbers in the girls, but the girls we have, we’re really thrilled with how competitive they’re going to be,” Thierolf said. “They’re all young.”