Marion track and field athletes claim gold medals at home debut

Two Marion track and field athletes earned gold medals at the Marion Relays Thursday. The meet was originally scheduled for Friday but moved up a day because of the weather forecast.

Coach Grant Thierolf said he was pleased with his team’s effort, especially for the first meet of the year.

“I thought our kids performed pretty well,” Thierolf said. “It does make a difference, sometimes when you’ve had a meet before, and I think that kind of showed a little bit, kids forgetting how to pace themselves through a race.

“But the effort was good, and comparing the times and the distances from last year, we’re quite a bit ahead—especially on the boys’ side—of where we were a year ago.”

Jack Schneider won the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.59 seconds. He finished third in the 100 (11.53), fourth in the 400 (53.71); and anchored the second-place 4×400 relay with teammates Colton Mercer, Zachary Stuchlik and Colin Williams (3:41.18).

Tyler Palic earned a gold medal with a winning discus throw of 171 feet, 3 inches. Palic was third in the shot put (44-10) and sixth in the javelin (137-2).

Additional top-six results were: Austin Neufeld, third in pole vault (10-6); Williams, fourth in the 800 (2:09.79); Noah Dalrymple, fourth in the high jump (5-6); and Stuchlik, sixth in the triple jump (38-1).

As a team, the boys finished third among 13 teams with a score of 60 behind McPherson (109) and Smoky Valley (82).

In the girls’ competition, Sam Richmond led the team with a third-place finish in the 400 (1:05.53).

Two Warriors placed among the top six in pole vault: Anne Baliel was third (8-6) and Michaela Regnier was fourth (7-6).

Two Warrior relays placed fourth: Alfwenna Meyer, Emily Hutchinson, Maria Stuchlik and Emmy Hess in the 4×100 (56.48); and Abigail Stuchlik, Maria Stuchlik, Baliel and Rich­mond in the 4×400 (4:34.00).

Additional top-six finishers were: Baliel, fifth in the 400 (1:07.00); Jessi Lewman, fifth in the javelin (97-0); and Emmy Hess, who was sixth in both the 100 hurdles (18.54) and the long jump (15-7).

As a team, Marion finished eighth among 12 teams with 30 points. McPherson won with 155.5.

Thierolf said he was pleased to see his team be competitive.

“The competition’s tough,” he said. “We’re going to bring in some pretty good schools there, so sometimes the places aren’t quite where you really want them to be, but I thought our kids competed really hard.”

Coming—Marion was scheduled to host a meet Tuesday and will travel to Smoky Valley Friday.