8 returning from state
The Marion Warriors track and field team has 47 members this year, 30 boys and 17 girls. Of those 47, more than one-sixth competed at the state track meet last season.
The returning state qualifiers are Brody Carroll, 1,600-meter relay; Spencer Fugitt, discus and javelin; Jordan Hett, 1,600- and 3,200-meter run; James Jones, long jump and 1,600-meter relay; Alicia Maloney, pole vault; Patrick McCarty, 1,600-meter relay; Nicholas Meyer, shot-put; and Corey Shields, shot-put.
Head coach Grant Thierolf thinks there are several athletes who could join that group at state this year.
“We will be very strong in the field events and distance races,” Thierolf said. “Our relays will be strong and we should do well in the sprints. Our field events in the past have really racked up the points and we expect that to continue. We will be very solid in the boys throws, great depth and some very quality performers.”
He said Morgan Wheeler and Kyle Palic both could make the leap to qualify for state this year in throwing events, and Clint Kroupa should be competitive in discus and shot-put.
“Our jumps will be solid, we need to find another high jumper to go along with Patrick,” Thierolf said. “Our vaulters are our strong corps, especially on the girls’ side with Alicia, Kelli (Hess), and Kirsten (Hansen).”
Thierolf said he also thinks Zach Hammond can compete for a state qualifying spot in pole vault, Marshelle Mermis and Emily Schneider could advance in the jumps and sprints, and Katey Ehrlich could advance in the jumps and hurdles.
Timothy Knolla, Kaelyn Thierolf, McKenzee Remmers, and Erin Meierhoff are leading candidates to qualify for state in distance races, and Tyler Neufeld could advance in middle-distance races.
“The distance runners we have have been doing a great job, and we hope they have fun and run fast,” Thierolf said.
Thierolf focuses on the relays and sprints. He is joined in coaching the team by Rex Wilson and Charlotte Waner, throws; Deanna Thierolf, jumps; Jerry Smith, pole vault; Shaun Craft, throws and hurdles; and Jeff McMillin, distance.