By Chris Cox
Track and field is a sport filled with individual events, individual performances, and individual recognition. But what often goes overlooked by those outside of the track and field world is the team aspect of the sport.
Marion High School track and field coach Grant Thierolf says because his athletes take the team aspect of the sport seriously, a lot of his athletes find success.
“Tristen Dye (Jr) is a cross country kid and leads in the distance runs. He sets the tone in practice,” says Thierolf. “I’ve also been very pleased with McKinnon Waner (Jr). She leads both the boys and girls in the throws. She gets them organized and where they need to be. Jonathan Frese (Soph) is a quiet leader. He always wins in the sprints. We have a number of kids who set the tone. Campbell Winter (Sr) and Grayce Tankersley (Sr) are also leaders for us. They make sure everyone is at the standard we want to be at.”
With Frese finishing his sophomore year, and only six seniors set to graduate, Thierolf likes how his team is set for the next couple of years.
“Luke Wessel (Fr) in a distance runner that kept getting better and better as the year went along,” Thierolf says. “We also have a young girl jumper in Kenna Wesner (Fr) who placed in every meet in the long jump and triple jump. She has a good chance to be a good jumper and hurdler. Gabby Newell (Soph) has also done a nice job in the hurdles. A couple of other freshmen girls in Taryn Kraus and Addison Cooper could be very good if they continue to work and get stronger. On the boy’s side, Landon Dye (Soph) and Kayden Nelson (Soph) are throwers that have a chance to be very good but need to get stronger. All of them have a chance to be a very good track athletes over the next few years.”
Thierolf says he’s proud that his team has bought in to what he and his assistants like to preach.
“When you work hard, good things happen to you,” he says. “That’s one thing we’ve prided ourselves on. We’re going to work hard and we’re going to work smart. If you do that, and stay injury free, typically good things happen.”
Finally, Thierolf also attributes the success of the Marion track and field program to his assistants Deanna Thierolf, Charlotte Waner, Jerry Smith, and Shaun Craft.