By Jeremy Ratliff
Last Tuesday, Merrill Girls Track churned out a stellar performance over SPASH at their home Indoor Invitational, placing six athletes in the upper echelon of their respective events.
Senior Deanta Sanders (1600m run/6:12.9), and juniors Autumn Schenzel (200 m dash/28.6 secs) and Dalie Thomas (400 m dash 1:06.9) led the charge for the ladies with first place finishes, followed by sophomore Fiana Allen (50m hurdle/9.5 secs) and junior Emily Sczygelski (pole vault/8 feet) placing second. Thomas also finished second in the 50 meter dash with a time of 7.2 seconds.
Sczygelski (triple jump/30’ 1.75”) and sophomore Kaitlyn Arndt (1600m run/7:10.6) finished a strong third. Junior Morgan Wardall finished fourth in the shot-put with a solid throw of 29’ 11.5”.
“Tonight’s meet against SPASH went well,” comments head girls coach Bethany Martinovici. “SPASH didn’t run a 4×8 or 4×2 which gave our girls an advantage and the win, but at the same time had to focus on racing against time and competing against themselves, which proves to be very difficult.
“This put into perspective the comments and conversations we have had about character and mental toughness. This focus will need to continue well into the outdoor season. We will never be able to compete with the number of girls SPASH has, but the strength and potential in many athletes and their events continue to give us something to work toward.
“It will be our goal to take care of ourselves in terms of injury and illness prevention, during the next week so we can be ready to go at Marshfield’s Tiger Relays,” she adds.
“In addition to all the excitement, Tori Folz threw a best of 24 feet, 4 inches in the shot put. This distance is more than a foot farther than she threw last year. She had a good feeling going into this meet and knew that she could pop a personal record any day,” Martinovici said. “Her confidence and leadership on the team has been a standout thus far. Strong races and events, involving Dalie Thomas and Autumn Schenzel in the sprints, Emily Sczygelski in the pole vault and triple jump, Deanta Saunders in the mile and 4×4, Fiana Allen in hurdles, and Morgan Wardall in shot and high jump will round out our veterans.
“They leave everything out on the track and continue to set goals to reach at the next meet. They show passion and are never willing to settle. They appreciate every chance they get to coach others and pave the way for more girls to perform well. The young athletes will continue to grow and I am so glad that everyone was able to get a baseline and have something to work off of.”