REDWOOD FALLS - After watching his team dominate the Southwest Conference track and field meet on Thursday, head Marshall boys' track coach Mike Jacobs was ready to shower praise on the Tigers.
"I've seen it in previous years with cross country teams that I've had that kind of dominated; they went to sections, the string of teams we had that went to state, expecting to win it," Jacobs said. "They have a great sense of pride and tradition and I hope that two years back-to-back here establishes a little tradition in track for the boys. They came here with the right attitude and competed hard."
Scoring 167.5 points, 37.5 more than second-place Luverne, the Tigers cruised to the conference title while recording points in each individual event. Marshall's girls' team took second at the conference meet, falling to Luverne 212-174.5 in what was essentially a two-team field.
Marshall’s Danny West, right, competes in the 110-meter hurdles against Redwood Valley’s Macius Schroeder, center, and Jackson County Central’s Jon Harmening during the Southwest Conference Track and Field Championships Thursday in Redwood Falls. West finished third with a time of 17.16 seconds to help the Marshall boys’ team to its first-place finish.
"I'm really very proud of my girls that showed up and competed today," said Marshall girls'' head coach Marie Sample. "Everyone that came and competed gave 150 percent of their heart and soul and we had a lot of awesome performances.
"We're a building team," she added. "We've got a lot of sophomores, freshman, seventh and eighth graders. That's a lot of our team. We've got a great group of girls and we've got a really cool thing brewing."
Although the Tiger boys ran away with the conference title, they had just two individual champions on the day. Sam Marshall won the 400 meter dash with a time of 51.97 seconds. Promise Nkwocha took top honors in the 300 meter hurdles as well, clocking in at 42.05.
Instead of dominating a few events, the Tigers won with balance. Marshall was especially effective in the distance events, scoring one-third of their points in the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs.
The triple jump and hurdles were also big scoring areas for Marshall. Jacobs credits the improved depth of the Tigers for the success of the team this season.
"I think one of the things that has helped us is that we've had a couple more guys to put a little better combinations together than we have in the past," Jacobs said. "And you can't say enough about Promise. To have a guy, a senior, lead off that 4x400 with a 53 second quarter mile, he does that 42-foot triple jump and then wins the 300 hurdles; that was quite a find for us."
Marshall's girls' team also received balanced scoring, being blanked in only one event - the 200 meter dash. The Tigers scored high in the distance events, as well as the relays on Thursday, but still lag behind Luverne in the field events.
"Our distance events were super strong, our field events will get stronger," Sample said. "We just need to add more bodies. Luverne just kind of out-bodied us today, they're deeper."
Claire Boersma and Nichole Sample went 1-2 in the 1600 meter run for the Tigers
The duo were also a part of the Tigers' champion 4x800 relay, along with Madi Verschaetse and Jenna Christianson. The team ran two total miles 9:54.91.
Sarah Andersen also had a strong day for the Tigers, sweeping the long jump and triple jump. The senior posted marks of 16-feet-02.5 inches and 33-08 respectively to provide 20 points for the Tiger cause.
"I'm just really proud of my team," Marie Sample said. "We were really close to Luverne. We got it handed to us in Worthington, but we did a nice job of cinching up the gaps. I'm excited for our team and I'm excited for sections."
Both Tiger track teams will be back in competition on Monday at Hutchinson before tuning up for the Section 2AA meet on May 29.
Girls' Team Results: 1. Luverne 212, 2. Marshall 174.5, 3. Worthington 76.5, 4. Pipestone Area 69, 5. Jackson County Central 67, 6. Windom Area 55.5, 7. Redwood Valley 38.5
Marshall Individual Results:
100m: 3. Kendra Soupir 13.56; 5. Brittney Andreas 13.98
400m: 2. Jenna Christianson 1:04.03; 7. Abby Louwagie 1:07.55
800m: 3. Madi Verschaetse 2:30.67; 5. Jackie Turner 2:33.63; 7. Samantha Gianelli 2:36.13
1600m: 1. Claire Boersma 5:20.29; 2. Nichole Sample 5:21.44; 5. Turner 5:29.40
3200m: 2. Shyla Hansen 12:24.48; 5. Sydney Blomme 12:40.62, 6. Marah Hart 12:54.23
100m Hurdles: 2. Rachel Miller 17:11; 4. Jessica Oaxaca 18.45; 8. Emily Buysse 19.26
300m Hurdles: 6. Miller 54.12; 7. Lucress St. Louis 54.79
4x100 Relay: 2. Soupir, Gianelli, Belle Dieken, Andreas 53.86
4x200 Relay: 5. Sophia Buysse, Dieken, Soupir, Louwagie 1:56.09
4x400 Relay: 2. Verschaetse, Sample, Boersma, Christianson 4:21.73
4x800 Relay: 1. Sample, Verschaetse, Boersma, Christianson 9:54.91
High Jump: 7. Oaxaca 4-06; 8. Courtney VanKeulen 4-06
Pole Vault: 2. Miller 8-00; 4. Soupir 7-00
Long Jump: 1. Sarah Andersen 16-02.5; 6. Emily Buysse 14-01
Triple Jump: 1. Andersen 33-08; 7. Sophia Buysse 29-10.25
Shot Put: 4. Celeste Werner 33-05.5; 8. Haley Bennett 30-10.25
Discus: 2. Werner 99-10; 7. Bennett 91-08
Boys' Team Results: 1. Marshall 167.5, 2. Luverne 130, 3. Redwood Valley 129, 4. Worthington 87.5, 5. Jackson County Central 81, 6. Windom Area 71, 7. Pipestone Area 30
Marshall Individual Results:
100m: 3. Rhett Struve 11.81; 4. Sam Marshall 11.83
200m: 3. Marshall 23.54; 5. Struve 23.87
400m: 1. Marshall 51.97; 3. Struve 53.68; 7. Salah Haji 55.54
800m: 2. Mike Larson 2:04.27; 5. Bilal Ali 2:12.65
1600m; 2. Andrew Bell 4:41.21; 4. Larson 4:48.78; 6. Wade DeAustin 4:55.11
3200m: 2. Bell 10:23.67; 4. Blaine Moran 10:51.04; 5. DeAustin 10:51.86
110m hurdles: 3. Danny West 17.16; 8. Isaac Hart 19.91
300m hurdles: 1. Promise Nkwocha 42.05; 5. Ryan Schultz 45.39; 8. Hart 46.60
4x100m relay: 5. Jacob Falconer, John Lothert, Drew Tykwinski, Coby Hilton 48.14
4x200m relay: 6. Ali, Schultz, Lothert, Bryan Rose 1:39.59
4x400m relay: 2. Zack Drum, Haji, Nkwocha, Schultz 3:38.63
4x800m relay: 7. Moran, Trevor Johnson, Walker DeAustin, Brandon Barrientos 9:41.66
High Jump: 5. Schultz 5-08; 8. Drum 5-04
Pole Vault: 7. Tykwinski 10-00
Long Jump: 4. Struve 20-00.25; 5. Nkwocha 19-11
Triple Jump: 2. Nkwocha 42-02.25; 4. Drum 40-08.5; 6. Lothert 38-06.25
Shot Put: 5. Brock Baumgarn 45-08.25; 8. Brandon Appel 40-10
Discus: 2. Baumgarn 135-04