Golden Girl


Julia Zeiner clears the final hurdle on her way to winning her 300-meter hurdles preliminary Friday morning at Cessna Stadium.


Kayley Heerey runs the opening leg of the 4×100 relay during preliminaries on Friday. The team qualified for the finals with a time of 51.95, then placed fifth in the finals in 52.04 seconds.


Marion?s Elliott Hett races to a 42.21 time in the preliminaries of the 300-meter hurdlers on Friday, which qualified him for Satur?day?s finals. Hett placed fourth in 40.76 seconds.

With a mark of 38 feet, 51⁄2 inches, Julia Zeiner won Class 3A triple-jump gold and became Marion High School?s first multiple-event state champion since Gary Melcher.

Early Saturday morning, she beat Norton Community?s Kara Jo Jones by more than a foot in the long jump (18-1). It was the first of four final events Zeiner competed in, and she, like the weather, was just warming up.

Competing in the triple jump at midday, the mark she posted exceeded by more than 20 inches the silver medal distance set by cross-county competitor Dakota Kaufman from Hillsboro.

Later, Zeiner came within an eyelash of catching Cara Barnes in the 300 hurdles. She placed second with a time of 46.35 seconds while Barnes, representing Douglas, stumbled over the last gate and finished in 46.25.

?Julia had a tough day on Saturday with all four finals on that day, but she came through like the champion she is,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?She was pretty close to winning the 300 meter hurdles but just did not have enough of the run left to catch Barnes. But it was a fantastic finish to the year for her. She finished the year undefeated in the triple jump, which is pretty impressive when you go back and look at the quality of competition we have faced.?

Zeiner teamed with Kayley Heerey, Kristen Steinborn and Danae Edwards to take fifth place in the 4×100 relay (52.04 seconds). The same group won gold last year.

?Our 4×100 team ran into some tough competition and did pretty well,? Thierolf said. ?We've got one more year to see if we can get back to the top of the podium in that race.?

As a team, the Marion girls placed seventh with 32 points.

Senior Camille Christensen made her way to the podium with a time of 12 minutes, 15.01 seconds?good for seventh in the 3,200. She and fellow senior Amanda Richmond led the 4×800 relay (11:01.25) to 14th place.

Freshman Whitney Gordon tied for 10th place in the high jump (4-10).

Behind Nick Klenda?s championship performance in the discus throw, the Warrior boys placed fifth at the state track and field meet held Friday and Saturday at Cessna Stadium.

With 72 points, Garden Plain took command of the team scoring on the boys side, leaving Oskaloosa (33), Herington (33) and Mound City (33) locked in a 3-way tie for second place. The Warriors totaled 30 points.

?Our boys team was right in the hunt all day for a state trophy and that made it fun,? Thierolf said. ?It was great to see the senior class go out so well at the biggest track meet any will ever be part of.?

Klenda?s best discus throw sailed 167 feet, surpassing runner-up Chris Seiler just moments after Seiler posted the silver medal throw (166-04).

?Obviously we were thrilled for Nick,? Thierolf said. ?He did a great job of responding to a big throw by Seiler and then held form through the finals. It was a well deserved championship. He and his coach, Dick Schwartz, work very hard at the event and it is nice to see all of the hard work rewarded.?

Elliot Hett double-dipped with fourth place finishes in both the 100 hurdles (15.87) and the 300 hurdles (40.76).

Thierolf said he ?ran very well and very aggressively…and placed above his seed in both.?

Luke Gordon cleared 6-4 in the high jump, separating himself from the group of seven that cleared 6-2. Taylor Buck of Medicene Lodge and Chase Keyser of Galena both cleared 6-8, with Buck taking first place.

Tylor Neil placed fourth in the boys triple jump (43-0).

Mitchell Leppke placed seventh in the javelin (162-1). Sheldon Boone was seeded two slots ahead of Leppke but did not compete.

Marion?s 4×800 relay team of Ryan Jones, Eric Vogel, Louis Holt and Adam Regnier placed seventh with a time of 8:33.17.

?Adam Regnier competed like a Warrior,? Thierolf said. ?What a great race those four ran, taking 13 seconds off their season best time.?

Brad Klenda held the eighth-best seed in the pole vault, but finished 11th (12-0).

?Some days everything comes together in that event and some days they do not, but Brad competed very well for us,? Thierolf said.


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