Four state vets will fuel Marion

These seniors and returning state qualifiers will form a solid core for the Marion track and field team this season: front row (from left), McKenzee Remmers, Emily Schneider, Erika Hess, Kristen Herzet; (back row), Marshelle Conley, Marissa Jacobson, Tyler Palic, Brittany Hett, Jerid Schafers.With the return of four state qualifiers, the Marion track and field team is primed and ready for another season.

Coach Grant Thierolf returns for his 17th year at the helm, and remains optimistic for what the season will bring.

Girls? team

Three state medalists return to anchor a solid girls? team this season.Marissa Jacobson was Marion?s highest finisher at state last year, earning the bronze medal in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, 51?2 inches. She also placed fifth in the long jump (16-51?2).

Junior Marissa Jacobson was Marion?s highest finisher at state last year, earning the bronze medal in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, 51?2 inches. She also placed fifth in the long jump (16-51?2).

Jacobson will compete in the long jump, triple jump, 400-meter dash and relays.

?(Marissa) had a little knee issue during volleyball season that never really got resolved,? Thierolf said. ?As she gets in better shape through the course of the season, I think she?ll get better as the season goes.?

Senior Kristen Herzet returns having set a personal record in the discus at state (119-3) last year, which was good for fifth place. She will compete in the discus, javelin and shot put.

?She?s really worked her tail end off in the weight room,? Thierolf said. ?She?s done really everything that we?ve asked her to do and done more than that because she?s put the time in. She puts weekend time in. She throws during the winter. Everything she gets, she earns. I?m really looking forward to seeing what she can do because it?s going to be exciting to see her take off this year.?

Senior Marshelle Conley finished seventh in the open 400 at state (1:02.19). She comes into the season recovering from an ankle injury sustained in basketball and is expected to contribute in the 200 and some relays in addition to the 400.

?We?re going to make sure she?s healthy and get her ready for May,? Thierolf said.

Senior McKenzee Rem?mers will run the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 and be a member of the relays; senior Brittany Hett will run the 3,200.

Emily Schneider, a senior, will run the short sprints and in the relays, while senior Erika Hess will compete in pole vault, jumps and relays.

Junior Molly Hess is expected to contribute in the shot put and javelin.

?(Molly?s) been in the weight room for the first time this year,? Thierolf said. ?We?re excited for her, and we think she?s going to be pretty good.?

Sophomore Samantha Richmond will run the 400 and compete in pole vault and relay; sophomore Meggan Freese will run the 1,600 and 3,200.

Newcomers include freshmen Samantha Kelsey (triple jump, high jump, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Michaela Regnier (pole vault) and Maria Stuchlik (800).

Thierolf expects the Warriors to be competitive.

?We think we?ve got depth across the board in virtually every event that we?ve got somebody who can score some points for us,? Thierolf said. ?Our top-line girls have a lot of experience. They?re battle-tested as far as the state goes, and we just look forward to seeing what they can do.

?We?ve got a great group of senior girls who have trusted us for six years to coach them right, and we hope that we send them out the right way.?

Boys? team

The boys will be led by returning state qualifier Tyler Palic, a sophomore. He capped his freshman season with a personal-best throw in the discus (135-11) to finish 10th at state. In addition, Palic will throw the javelin and shot put.

?He?ll be one of the better throwers around,? Thierolf said. ?He?s had a very good sophomore year so far, and he just keeps working at it and getting stronger.?

Joining Palic in the throws are juniors Cade Harms, Jeremy Hett and Aaron Riggs, sophomore Caleb Hett and freshman Charlie Nordquist.

?We?re going to be OK there,? Thierolf said. ?We won?t be like we?ve been in the past. We?re young and we?ll be developing that depth.?

Junior Bryce Shults will compete in several events, including pole vault, high jump and both hurdles races.

?Bryce is really a college decathlete waiting to happen if he wants,? Thierolf said. ?He?s pretty decent in the hurdles, he?s a good pole vaulter, he can high jump. All he?d have to do is learn how to throw. He?s got some skills and will be in a number of skill events for us.?

Sophomore Jack Schneider brings speed to the track and will run the 100, 200, 400 and relays. He also will participate in the long jump.

Also returning are juniors Tyler Arocha (long jump, 100, 200) and Devin Regnier (800, 1,600, relays), and sophomores Colin Williams (800, 1,600, relays), Austin Neufeld (1,600, 3,200, relays), Zachary Stuchlik (high jump, long jump, relays) and Kolton Brewer (100, 200, 400, relays).

Newcomers on the track include freshmen Colton Mercer (800, 1,600, 3,200) and Noah Kukuk (200, 400).

Thierolf said the boys? scoring will be split across multiple events.

?I think our boys will evolve through the season and get better and better and better,? he said.

Season outlook

It will take hard work, Thierolf said, to return to state this season, yet the Warriors? goals remain the same.

?We want to win the league, we want to win the regional, we want to win the state,? he said. ?That?ll never change. We?ll just keep working towards doing that.?

Marion was scheduled to open the season at home April 5. The Warriors will host the Marion Relays April 8. Events are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

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