Bluejays girls up and running

The Merrill girls got their feet wet in last Tuesday’s quad scrimmage in Stevens Point, then returned Friday for a decided increase in the level and quantity of competition.
The Bluejays ended up 10th of 27 teams in the meet held at UW-SP.
“We can not be disappointed in any performances up to date,” new MHS head coach Bethany Martinovici said. “It is exciting and refreshing that we are accomplishing so much already. I am really excited when we return a couple of veterans who are taking care of pulled muscles. I can’t be more excited for what is to come.”
Sophomore Morgan Marnholtz pulled out the top finishes for the Bluejays, ranking second in the 400-setting a new indoor school record of 1:02.93-and the triple jump (34′ 4 3/4″). She was .12 out of the 400 win, 2.2 seconds ahead of third. She also qualified 2nd in the TJ, at 33′ 1.5″.
“Morgan had a killer night, battling the open 400, triple jump, and 4×4 relay. Morgan is such an easy athlete to coach-always going above and beyond what is being asked of her. This shows her dedication and hard work towards the sport of track and field. She will be very exciting to watch the rest of the season in all her events.
Hannah Marrier qualified 6th (:09.46) in the 55 high hurdles and placed 8th after the finals (:09.90). Ashley Berton ranked 8th in the pole vault (7′ 6″), and Berton (TJ, 31′ 6″) and Aubrey Wardall (shot put, 31′, 6.25″) both just missed the finals while placing 10th.
“What an incredible amount of speed and concentration (Hannah) has as she steps over the hurdles,” Martinovici said. “To be where she is now during the first two weeks of practice is a tribute to her hard work on and off the track. As for hurdles, now we will work on three-stepping.
“This was Aubrey Wardall’s first meet back from an injury that placed her behind with practices, but she was able to concentrate on what was at hand and throw a couple of tremendous tosses. We are excited to have her back and ready to compete.”
The 1600 relay team of Cassandra Chism, Lauren Hojan, Berton and Marnholtz rated 11th in 4:36.26.
Hojan was 13th in the high jump (4′ 6″). The 3200 squad (Svetlana Heisinger, Sarah Ranta, Kate Williams, Morgan Pettit) placed 15th in 11:55.12, and the 800 group (Marrier, Daneeca Stewart, Kennedy Soderberg, Kaitlin Berry) was 15th in 2:02.79. Heisinger ran 22nd in the 3200 in 13:19.36, and Christa Schleif was 23rd in the 55 HH (:10.68).
Neenah captured the meet with 80.5 points to edge out Kimberly (78.5). Valley placings included: D.C. Everest (3rd, 52); SPASH (5th, 41.5); Marshfield (8th, 24.5); Merrill (10th, 17.5); and Wausau East (19th, 6).
Trials, no tribulations
Tuesday offered a first glimpse at the season ahead.
“This meet was not scored, but gave us a good chance to see who was where in our lineups,” Martinovici said. “For many, this was the first experience with track and field and did well competing in many events. We also were able to take the results and form some pretty competitive relays. Although this meet was relaxed, there was an emphasis of competition in the air.
“The 4×4 team was fun to watch. (Freshman) Anna Finnell is a positive addition to the team with a lot of drive and competitiveness. All four of the girls (Finnell, Hojan, Berton, Marnholtz) don’t like to lose and will push themselves to the limit. The time was 4:28.05.
“Ashley Berton jumped a height of 8′ in the pole vault. I was very impressed with this jump considering the amount of time dedicated to pole vault in practice this week. Ashley does a nice job of setting aside the other events she is competing in and focuses on the one in front of her. Ashley is another standout that will be followed throughout the season.”

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