Marion Track qualifies ten athletes for state meet

Emmy Hess shows the form that led to a state-qualifying fourth-place finish in the long jump with a personal-best leap of 16-3 ½. Janae Rempel/Free PressTen Marion track and field athletes qualified for state with top-four performances at the Class 2A regional meet the Warriors hosted Friday.

“We were really pleased with how our athletes performed on Friday,” coach Grant Thierolf said. “Our regional was very tough in selected events, and many of those events were ones in which we had a strong competitor as well.” 

Girls—The Warrior girls earned two gold medals on the day.

Anne Baliel won the pole vault, clearing 10 feet, ahead of teammate Michaela Regnier, who placed second (9-0).

“Anne had another strong day in the pole vault, just missing a school record vault,” Thierolf said. “She and Michaela scored 18 points in that event, and it looks like they will be in the running at state in the pole vault.” 

Baliel, with teammates Maria Stuchlik, Abigail Stuchlik and Heidi Grimmett won the 4×400 relay, recording a time of 4 minutes, 26.65 seconds.

Grimmett earned two silver medals, placing second in both the 800 (2:30.64) and the 1,600 (5:40.56).

“Heidi ran two great open races in the 800-meter and 1600-meter,” Thierolf said. “She will be ready for state and will prove that she belongs when mentioning the best middle distance runners in Class 2A.”

The 4×100 relay, consisting of Maria Stuchlik, Emmy Hess, Abigail Stuchlik and Baliel also placed second (52.88).

Hess also qualified with a fourth-place finish in the long jump (personal-best 16-3 ½).

Hess scored additional points with a fifth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (personal-best 16.94), missing fourth place by 13 hundredths of a second. She was sixth in the triple jump (personal-best 33-8 ½).

“Emmy had one of her best days ever, setting a PR in all three open events and qualifying for state in only the long jump,” Thierolf said. “What a competitor—she shows up big on the big days, and we look forward to a great Saturday morning long jump from her.”

Drew Helmer was sixth in the discus (93-0).

As a team, the girls finished third with 60 points among a field of 14 teams. Bluestem won with 75.

Boys—Meanwhile, Colton Mercer was the boys’ highest finisher. He placed second in the 800 (2:09.06).

“Colton ran a very strong 800-meter and will surprise some people at state,” Thierolf said. “He is getting stronger as the season progresses and will be at his best on Saturday afternoon.”

Noah Dalrymple qualified for state with a third-place finish in the high jump (personal-best 6-4).

“Noah set a PR in the high jump and is right in the middle of the best jumpers in Class 2A,” Thierolf said. “His experience at state last year will help him this year.”

Charlie Nordquist placed fourth in the discus (personal-best 136-5).

“Charlie got back to his early season form in the discus,” Thierolf said. “We look forward to seeing what he can do in Wichita.”

Nordquist, with teammates Burton Harshman, Dalrymple and Mercer, finished fourth in the 4×100 relay (47.23).

Others scoring points with top-six finishes were: Todd Palic, fifth in the discus (personal-best 134-7, less than 2 feet behind fourth place); Campbell Winter, fifth in the pole vault (10-0) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (46.98); Harshman, sixth in the triple jump (personal-best 38-7 1/4); and the sixth-place 4×400 relay (4:07.89).

As a team, the boys scored 29 points to finish 10th among a field of 15 teams. Hillsboro won with 116.

Coming—Marion’s 10 state qualifiers will compete in Class 2A at the all-class state meet at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium Friday and Saturday.

On the track, Class 1A will compete at or near the listed times, followed by 2A.

Friday will begin with the girls’ 4×100 preliminaries at 9:45 a.m. The boys’ 4×100 will take the track at 10:05 a.m.

At 11:30 a.m., Baliel and Regnier will participate in the pole vault, Nordquist will throw the discus, and Dalrymple will compete in the high jump.

The girls’ 4×400 relay preliminaries are scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Friday.

Saturday will begin with Hess competing in the long jump at 11:30 a.m. Grimmett will run the 1,600 at 1:20 p.m. and the 800 at 5:05 p.m. Mercer will conclude the day with the boys’ 800 at 5:30 p.m.

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