Valley girls indoor ups the stakes
The Merrill girls stepped into a different zone of competition when they traveled to UW-Stevens Point for last Tuesday’s WVC Indoor.
The girls held up well, managing to rank fifth in the seven-team meet.
“I had really hoped for a fourth place overall finish, but will continue to fight for the spot as we edge toward outdoor season,” MHS coach Bethany Martinovici. “The girls had nice performances and we are now anxious to see what they can do outside, despite the recent snow fall.”
Wausau West won the event with 163 points, topping host SPASH by 17 points. D.C. Everest (115.5), Marshfield (76), Merrill (58.5), Wausau East (42) and Wis. Rapids (20) filled out the field.
Morgan Marnholtz blew away the 400M dash crowd, winning by nearly 1-1/2 seconds in 1:03.05. That was just 1-10th of a second off Corri Kisselburg’s 1998 team record.
She was also leading the triple jump after the prelims at 33′ 10″, but was beat out by four inches in the finals. Ashley Berton (31′ 9″/32′ 11.5″) also was 5th and Lauren Hojan (31′ 4.5″) placed 7th in Merrill’s best event.
Hannah Marrier qualified 5th (:09.79) in the 55M hurdles but dropped her time to :09.52 in the finals for 3rd.
The 1600M team of Kaitlin Berry, Hojan, Berton and Marnholtz also went 3rd, in 4:23.01. Berton tied for 4th in the pole vault (8′ 6″).
“Morgan Marnholtz again was successful in many events including her leg in the 4×4 and the open 400,” Martinovici said. “She makes her races look very easy. She is continually working hard and motivated during practices. I am thrilled that she is having this much success as a sophomore.
“Hannah raced well in the prelims of the hurdles and was determined to do as well or better in the finals. She proved that she has the competitive edge and overall drive to make it far this season. Ashley Berton had a personal best in the triple jump and competed on the 4×4 relay team.”
The Jays grabbed a few 6ths, with Marrier in the 200 hurdles (:32.65), the 800M team (Marrier, Hojan, Kennedy Soderberg, Berry, 2:26.92), and the 3200M squad (Morgan Pettit, Kate Williams, Kendra Andreska, Svetlana Heisinger, 11:18.90).
In the high jump, Rylee Folz (4′ 8″) and Hojan (4′ 6″) placed 5th and 9th. Merrill ended up with three 8ths, in the 800 with Williams (2:44.52), in the shot put with Aubrey Wardall (30′ 5″), and in the 3200 with Heisinger (13:34.22).
“For her first open 800 this year, Kate did well,” Martinovici said. “She had to turn off her two-mile race and concentrate heavily on taking the top eight. This time will continue to drop with more racing and practice with speed. She is a game changer for the distance squad this week and I know she felt proud after her race. Now, she will need to continue to keep this race up and fight hard to reduce her time over the season.”
Other solid finishes came from: McKenna Robbins (9th, LJ, 13′ 8.5″); Christa Schleif (10th, PV, 7′ 0″); Pettit (11th, 1600, 6:22.0); Berton (12th, 200 H, :34.42); Berry (12th, 55, :08.08); Bri Piepenbrok (14th, 55, :08.10); and Soderberg (15th, 200, :30.86).