MHS track men and women pick up pace at state
The Bluejay track teams came up with several excellent performances in last weekend’s WIAA State Meet at UW-LaCrosse, but none of the athletes were able to scale the podium.
Senior thrower Renee Sladek was just one place away when she ranked 7th in the discus, just four inches short of sixth with a toss of 127’ 2”. She also ranked 14th in the shot put at 37’ 1.5”, just 8” out of 11th. The top 10 in field events reached finals.
Junior Morgan Marnholtz finished 13th in the triple jump at 36’ 1.5”, just 3.5” out of the top 11. She also placed 21st in the long jump, at 15’ 5.75, a foot from 11th place.
Junior Hannah Marrier rated 14th in the 300M hurdles, clocking :47.00. She was just .43 out of 11th.
Senior Kriss Philipp placed 14th in the 100M dash, a mere 4/100ths out of ninth place and the finals. He anchored the 400M relay team of sophomore Tyler Butler, senior Nick Peterson and junior Lucas Lee to a 16th-place :43.44, .35 out of 11th place.
Senior Ethan Schneider ran the 300M hurdles to 16th place in :40.66, just .19 out of 12th place. Junior Jake Anderson ended up 19th in the triple jump at 42’ 3.5”, 2-1/2” out of 17th place.
“The state meet didn’t pan out as we had hoped,” MHS girls coach Bethany Martinovici said. “When you get to such a big stage with elite athletes, pressure takes over and can get the best of you. Our girls felt the pressure. The weather played another important role in making things challenging for athletes to compete.
“Renee threw the disc four inches short of medaling. She was disappointed, but knew she had the shot put on Saturday. She didn’t throw her best shot either, not making finals. Morgan Marnholtz also was under fierce competition. She sure gets the most out of her speed and muscle. Unfortunately, the day didn’t go as she’d hoped it would. Hannah did not run her strongest race. She was off from the start and she knew it too. The best thing is they have another year to get there. (Reaching state) is an accomplishment in itself. Not a lot of people can say they have done it.”
MHS boys coach Kurt VandenHeuvel noted, “The guys peaked and did a nice job. I was happy with their efforts. They ran their best times at sectional and ran pretty much the same times at state. The hand-offs were flawless in the relay. Kriss had a little slip out of the blocks, but he still ran fast and hard. At state, one little mistake is the difference between the podium and not making the finals. We saw guys false start and pull hamstrings, but our guys didn’t do that.
“I think the weather delay threw everybody off on Saturday. All the triple jump guys were off by about two feet. But Jake finished the season with his name on the record board, so I can’t complain. You almost need two years at state; the first to see what it’s all about and the second to get the job done.”
The meet wraps up very solid season for both squads.
“It was a very disciplined season,” VandenHeuvel said. “The biggest goal I had was to put the season in the seniors’ hands and they did a great job with the maturity level and discipline. We have big shoes to fill with guys leaving (to graduation).”
Martinovici added, “The season as a whole was great. We placed first at Otto, third in conference, third in regionals, and fourth at sectionals. This was all from the efforts of the team and the girls listening to there respective coaches.
“Overall, I felt that there was a lot of drive and want to get better. I encourage all who participate next year to get in the gym, lift weights and work on speed.
“We lost a great group of senior girls and will miss their hard work ethic and interest in track and field.”