Marion claims twin league titles

Bryce Shults clears the bar for a second-place finish in the pole vault at the Heart of America league meet Friday. Shults cleared 12 feet, 6 inches to claim the silver medal.The Marion track and field teams combined for 10 gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals to bring home a pair of league championships from the Heart of America meet the Warriors hosted Friday.

“We had a great day on Friday at the HOA meet,” coach Grant Thierolf said. “As a coaching staff, we are so proud of our seniors for staying with us for the past six years. What a great way for them to go out, with league championships in both divisions.

“Our younger athletes did some great things as well.”  

The girls scored 117 points to lead the 10-team field, followed by Moundridge (88), Berean Academy (88), Bennington (84), Hutchinson Trinity (76), Sedgwick (36), Canton-Galva 34), Remington (17), Ell-Saline (16) and Inman (1).

Marissa Jacobson earned three gold medals on the day, winning both the long jump (16 feet, 10 inches) and the triple jump (36-3⁄4), and contributing to the first-place 4×400 relay (4 minutes, 20.70 seconds) with teammates Samantha Richmond, Samantha Kelsey and Marshelle Conley. Jacobson placed second in the 200 (26.85).

“Marissa had her best day of the year, showing what she can do when the pressure is on,” Thierolf said. “She had her best jumps of the year in the long and triple jumps and ran a very fast 200.”

Kristen Herzet claimed two first-place finishes, by winning the shot put (personal-best 34-61⁄2) and the discus (118-11).

“Kristen won two events and placed in a third to continue to dominate the HOA in the throwing area,” Thierolf said.

Erika Hess earned the girls’ sixth gold medal by winning the pole vault (9-6). She placed third in the long jump (16-0).

“Erika had a huge day in the pole vault and in the long jump, scoring points that we would need,” Thierolf said. “She has worked so hard to become a league champion.” 

Emily Schneider, Erika Hess, Emmy Hess and Conley were second in the 4×100 relay (54.47).

These additional Warriors placed third: Samantha Richmond in the 400 (1:05.70); Molly Hess in the shot put (32-1); and Emmy Hess, who tied for third in the pole vault (7-0).

The boys’ race for first place was a close one, with Marion edging Bennington for top honors with 1153⁄4 points, followed by the Bulldogs (1123⁄4), Berean Academy (73), Moundridge (611/2), Inman (51), Hutchinson Trinity (50), Ell-Saline (42), Remington (31), Sedgwick (16) and Canton-Galva (1).

Jack Schneider had a standout day and swept all three sprints. He won gold medals in the 100 (11.04), the 200 (23.33) and the 400 (53.77).

“Jack had a great day,” Thierolf said. “He is just now getting healthy, and his points were the turning point for us in this meet.” 

Tyler Palic earned the boys’ fourth gold medal in the discus (147-5), while also placing third in the javelin (139-6).

“Tyler had a fantastic day in the field, winning the discus and scoring more points in the shot put and the javelin,” Thierolf said. 

Colin Williams finished second in both the 800 (2:13.30) and the 1,600 (5:06.31).

“Colin had his best day of the year, running a great 1600, following that up with a gutty 800, and then turning in a blistering leg in the 4×400 relay,” Thierolf said.

Nicholas Stuchlik placed second in the high jump (5-10).

“Nicholas has helped us in the high jump, scoring points that we would not have gotten,” Thierolf said. “He is peaking at the right time.”

Bryce Shults earned a silver medal in the pole vault (12-6).

“Bryce vaulted very well for us and has a shot at qualifying for state next week in a good vault field,” Thierolf said. 

Tyler Arocha was second in the 400 (53.98) and third in the 200 (23.70); while Arocha, Shults, Williams and Schneider placed third in the 4×400 relay (3:42.63).

“Overall, just a great day for the Warriors,” Thierolf said. “We look forward (to) the regional meet at Lyons. It will be the toughest 3A regional, and our schedule has prepared us well for this meet.”

Coming—Marion will compete in a Class 3A regional meet hosted by Lyons Friday. Field events are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Preliminary track events are set for a 4 p.m. start.

Teams in the field in addition to the host school and the Warriors include Beloit, Council Grove, Ellsworth, Southeast of Saline, Hays-Thomas More Prep Marian, Hesston, Hoisington, Hutchinson Trinity, Minneapolis, Norton Community, Phillipsburg, Riley County, Russell and Sterling.

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