ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and in the case of the Marion boys’ track team, the whole was good enough to win the Cottonwood Valley League track and field championship Friday at Marion.
The Warriors scored 1971/2 points to outdistance second place Wichita Independent with 160.
“I thought we did very well,” coach Grant Thierholf said. “We had some very pleasant surprises on the track and I thought our field events did well also.”
Leading a strong showing in the field events were Alan Vogel, Steven Boone, Tyler Smith, Casey Nelson and James Davis.
Vogel won the shot put (47 feet 2 inches) and Boone won the javelin with a throw of 159 feet-more than 20 feet beyond his nearest competitor. Boone also placed second in the shot put (45-11/2).
Smith won the discus (137-9) and placed third in shot put (41-7).
Davis and Nelson both vaulted 12 feet, while Davis was fifth in the high jump (5-6) and second in triple jump (39-73/4).
On the track, Joel Versch led the Warriors by winning the 110-meter hurdles (15.45) and the 300-meter hurdles (43.05).
“Anytime you win two events at a league meet, that’s just outstanding,” Thierholf said.
Thierholf got some key points from Dallas Wells, who finished fourth in the 100 meters (11.57) and fifth in the 200 meters (24.45).
“Dallas did something we hadn’t gotten all year long,” Thierholf said. “He dropped his times considerably and we were very happy with what he did for us.”
Thierolf also experimented by placing Josh Smith in the 100 meters. Smith responded with a fifth-place finish (12.07).
“We were thrilled with his finish,” Thierholf said. “We just put him in the 100 as a whim, and to have him place fifth was just tremendous.
“Those fourth- and fifth-place finishes got us some important points that really added up,” he added.
Continuing his steady performance, Zac Ewert won gold in the 3,200 meters (10:51.60) and added a second place in the 1,600 (4:57.34).
Gavin Moore finished second in the 3,200 (11:00.48) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:04.81). Torey Hett finished the 3,200 in 11:03.20.
“We were just thrilled that some of those kids decided to perform well on a night that we need them to shine,” Thierholf said.
“Our young kids especially showed up for us.
“I think this gives us a boost heading into regionals,” he added. “I think it shows us that we’re able to compete.”
On the girls’ side, the Warriors finished third as a team, scoring 95 points. Wichita Independent brought a strong squad and won with 197 points.
Several individual accomplishments drew Theirolf’s praise.
“Shawna Hett and Chelsea Arnold vaulted really well on a day that wasn’t really a very good day to vault,” Thierolf said. “Sara Regier had a great day in the shot taking second (32-91/2).”
Megan Moore took time out from her softball schedule to win the javelin with a toss of 118-2.
“Megan Moore threw really well,” Thierholf said. “We’ve come to expect that from Megan, though, and I think we’re a little bit spoiled.
“Being a full-time softball player, it’s really amazing for her to win the javelin two years in a row.
“Allison Maddox also did a nice job for us,” Thierholf said. “She ran the hurdles really well and it was nice to see her have that success.”
Maddox placed second in the 110-meter hurdles (18.58) and third in the 300-meter hurdles (54.83).
Jessica DeForest placed third in the 1,600 (6:03.71), just three second behind the winner.
“Megan and Shawna lead us right now as far as the opportunity to get to state for the girls,” Thierholf said. “Our regional in the javelin is really loaded and it will come down to who performs well on that day.”
Regional action is scheduled for Friday at Marion. Thierholf is looking forward to showcasing not only his team, but the school’s ability to host a track meet.
“I think we put on a good track meet, and we’re really excited to host it,” he said.