MHS track girls step up to second at Panther Invite
The Bluejay girls rose to the top of several events in Friday’s nine-team Panther Invite and it showed in their runner-up finish to powerful SPASH.
Merrill secured wins in seven of 19 events and tallied additional points in four of them.
“Our girls showed up to compete!” MHS coach Bethany Martinovici said. “I loved to see the hard work and overall effort in a meet like the Panther Invite. They were determined to do well despite the ugly weather. There were many new teams that we hadn’t seen this year and the teams had great competition. We had a nice week of practice that prepared our girls to perform well. Our individual place finishes were outstanding which lead to the overall second place finish. It seemed like everyone was on. Field events, hurdles, sprints, and relays had so many shining moments. I hope this is just a precursor as to what we will see Tuesday and Friday (Otto Bacher).
“Another accomplishment–athlete of the meet that was nominated by coaches–was awarded to Morgan Marnholtz. She had earned 28 individual points. She had a terrific night! She is well deserving of this award. She works hard on the track, competes well, and doesn’t want the spotlight for too long. Morgan is very generous and wants to focus on the team as a whole.
“Other girls that were in the running for the award were Hannah Marrier with 25 individual points and Renee Sladek with 20. Their performances were dynamic!”
Marnholtz was a double winner in the 400M (1:02.72) and triple jump (35’ 5”), while placing second in the long jump (16’ 0”). Hannah Marrier doubled up in the hurdles with a :17.06 in the 100’s and a :48.85 in the 300’s.
The Jays pulled a 1-2-5 finish in the discus with Renee Sladek (115’ 1”), Ashley Berton (98’ 11”) and Aubrey Wardall (95’ 5”). Sladek also won the shot put by almost 4’ at 38’ 4.5”. They went 1st, 5th in the high jump with Lauren Hojan (4’ 1”) and Rylee Folz (4’ 6”).
Christa Schleif rated third in the pole vault (8’ 0”) and 100 hurdles (:17.37). Berton finished 4th in the TJ (33’ 7”). In the relays, Merrill ranked 3rd (1600, Kaitlin Berry, Hojan, Berton, Marnholtz, 4:27.98), 4th (400, Marrier, Kennedy Soderberg, Berry, Sladek, :54.43) and 4th (800, McKenna Folz, McKenna Robbins, Soderberg, Berry, 2:00.84).
Other solid finishes came from: Wardall (9th, SP, 30’ 8”); Berry (11th, 100, :13.90); Morgan Pettit (11th, 3200, 14:17.04); and Soderberg (12th, 200, :29.55).
Team standings– Stevens Point 190.5, Merrill 127.5, D.C. Everest 121.5, Appleton West 80.5, Wisconsin Rapids 48, Wausau East 46.5, Rosholt 36.5, Adams-Friendship 34, Lakeland Union 15.
The 10-team Otto Bacher will feature both Bluejay boys and girls teams and begin at 5:00 p.m.
“I want to see the same determination and fire in their eyes on Friday as we host local teams at Otto Bacher,” Martinovici said. “I anticipate a lot of great races, fighting finishes and the opportunity to keep the trophy at home.”