Jays reach state after regional/sectional wringer
The Bluejays competed in both regional and sectional track meets last week and are sending several athletes to state. The girls ranked fourth of 17 teams at UW-SP on Friday, while the boys were ninth.
The girls will send three individuals in five events – Hannah Marrier in the 300 lows (1st, :46.47), Renee Sladek in shot (2nd, 37’ 8.75”) and disc (3rd, 122’ 6”), and Morgan Marnholtz in long (2nd, 17’ 2.5”) and triple (2nd, 35’ 10.5”) jumps.
The boys advance one relay – the 400M with Tyler Butler, Nick Peterson, Lucas Lee and Kriss Philipp (1st, :43.31) – and three individuals – Jake Anderson in the triple jump (3rd, 44’ 3.5”), Philipp in the 100 dash (3rd, :11.25) and Ethan Schneider in the 300 hurdles (3rd, :40.04).
“Those girls will be working hard this week to focus their time and efforts to state competition,” MHS girls coach Bethany Martinovici said. “In addition, the girls who competed (Friday) that ended their season on a high note were Kaitlin Berry, McKenna Folz, Rylee Folz, Kennedy Soderberg, Miranda Jahnke, and Ashley Berton. We will only lose two seniors (Sladek and Berton) this year in the group that attended these meets, so we look forward to coming back powerful next year. I also look forward to many incoming freshman that will choose track and field as their spring sport. We have some holes to fill that will be challenging, but I am looking forward to the bright future as well.”
MHS boys coach Kurt VandenHeuvel commented, “When you get to the sectional meet you need to expect someone/team is going to peak and set the standard. I am proud to say it was Merrill’s 400 relay who were seeded third ended up winning and setting the school record! Kriss and Lucas represented Merrill well in the open 100 and the way they finished the race I knew the 400 relay was going to be tough. The relay guys have been working on getting the biggest stretch for hand-offs as possible and that night they were flawless. Each member got out hard and finished hard, allowing us to pull away at each hand-off.
“The last couple of weeks Jake had done extremely well listening to coaching and has applied it on the track allowing him to place third and break the school record in the triple jump. Knowing anything can happen, Ethan was going to finish fourth just shy of state until Kerion Howlett hit the last hurdle falling and going from first to eighth in the matter of seconds and putting Ethan in the qualifying spot! I am excited to see so many guys go to the state show and even though we did have a few guys fall short (Tyler Schmidt, the 4-by-4, Brandon Bartz, Thomas Grund, Dalton Wilding and 4-by-2 at regionals) we still got stronger and ran the best times of the year. If only we had another week I think the 4-by-4 would definitely be in the top three teams.”
Athletes that placed fourth, just missing state, were: Ashley Berton (TJ, 35’ 7”); Marnholtz (400, 1:00.79); Marrier (100 IH, :16.27); and the 1600 rel. (Anderson, Bartz, Grund, Schneider, 3:28.77).
Fifths – Rylee Folz (HJ, 5’ 0”); Lee (100, :111.54); Sixths – 400 rel. (Kaitlin Berry, Miranda Jahnke, Kennedy Soderberg, McKenna Folz, :53.02). Eighths: Schmidt (D, 114’ 3”); 1600 rel. Soderberg, Berry, Berton, Marnholtz, 4:21.01.
Wausau West Regional
The girls placed fourth while the boys were fifth in last Tuesday regional meet. Athletes needed to place in the top four to qualify for Friday’s sectional.
“Regionals on Tuesday was a strong day for the girls,” Martinovici said. “We sent five individuals and two relays to the next level.”
Marnholtz won the 400 (1:00.89) and long jump (17’ 2.5”) took third in the triple jump (35’ 3.25”). Marrier captured the 300 lows (:46.39) and was the 100 ints. runner-up (:16.69).
The boys ranked 2-3 in the 100 dash with Philipp (:11.14) and Lee (:11.36), and Butler also made the finals. Anderson jumped second in the triple (42’ 10.5”). The 400 squad of Butler, Peterson, Lee and Philipp was also second (:43.86).
Sladek was a double runner-up in the shot (36’ 6”) and disc (122’ 2”). Folz tied for third in the high jump (4’ 8”), while Lauren Hojan tied for sixth at the same height. In the 300 ints., Schneider was third (:41.26) and Bartz was fifth (:42.00). The 1600 team of Connor Kolehouse, Bartz, Grund and Schneider was third in 3:29.59. Also qualifying fourth were: Berton (TJ, 35’ 2.5”); Schmidt (D, 128’ 3”); the 400 (Berry, Jahnke, Soderberg, Sladek, :53.47); and the 1600 (Marrier, Berry, Berton, Marnholtz, 4:32.66).
Fifths– Anderson (LJ, 20’ 6.5”); Berton (D, 96’ 7”); Schmidt (SP44’ 2.5”); 800 rel. (Berry, M. Folz, Soderberg, McKenna Robbins, 1:56.78). Sixths– Schneider (110 HH, :15.77); Todd Grund (PV, 12’ 6”). Sevenths– Christa Schleif (PV, 8’ 0”/100 IH, :17.06); Schmidt (200, :23.99); Kate Williams (1600, 6:20.69); Drake Hirte (800, 2:13.00); 3200 (T. Grund, Wilding, Hirte, Jagger Scholz, 8:48.0); 3200 (Katie Bagley, Morgan Pettit, Williams, Sarah Ranta, 12:07.06).