Marshall boys, girls sweep Big South Conference titles

The Marshall Tigers Track and Field teams swept the Big South Conference Championships as both the boys and girls teams used full team efforts to bring home the gold bars. On the boys’ side the Tigers took first with 151 points, edging out second place St. Peter by 2 points. On the girls’ side, Marshall scored 186 points, which placed 38 points of St. Peter’s 148.

Boys championship

The boys team race came down to the final two events between St. Peter and Marshall. After a back-and-forth battle throughout the day that had both coaches and athletes consistently refreshing their phones to check the team scores, St. Peter led the team race by 14 points with two events left to score, the 3200 and the 4×400. Marshall needed their athletes to come up big for them in those two races, which they did.

In the 3200, a pack of 7, which included three Marshall runners and two St. Peter runners, settled in behind Worthington’s conference champion, Fanuel Wolday. Landon Marthaler, Kohen Holcomb, and Chase Werner battled with St. Peter’s Alexander Bur for second through fifth place. The Tiger runners, acutely aware of the team situation used a pack mentality to help each other throughout the race. In the end, the Tigers got what they needed out of their runners as Marthaler and Holcomb finished in second and third just ahead of Bur. Werner placed 5th just ahead of Fairmont’s Brier Lenort, thereby securing crucial team points for the Tigers.

With St. Peter in first place by two points going into the final event, Marshall needed to win the race to win the title. In the first leg, St. Peter’s runner took an early lead, but the Tigers’ Ethan Bly closed the gap and passed him in the final stretch to hand off the baton to Josh Leibfried. Leibfried took the baton and put Marshall in the lead going into the third leg. Running the third leg for the Tigers, Keagen Anderson held off surges from New Ulm, Fairmont and St. Peter to keep the Tigers in the lead with just one leg to go.

Anchoring for the Tigers, Alex Franson extended the Tigers’ lead and secured the Conference Title for the boys.

Franson was a key scorer for the boys on the day as he won the 400-meter dash and also picked up All-Conference honors in the long jump. Franson’s long jump points were a bit unexpected as he had never done the event before and only had a few practice jumps under his belt.

Another key scorer for the Tigers was Josh Leibfried who in addition to running on the 4×400 meter relay also took home two conference titles. Leibfried began his day by winning the 1600. He then took home a second conference title in the 800-meter race.

The 800- and 1600-meter races were crucial races for the Tigers on the day. In addition to Leibried’s victories, Sam Deutz placed third in the 1600 and second in the 800 to take home two All-Conference honors. Holcomb also earned key points for the Tigers in the 1600 with a sixth-place finish and Anderson picked up points in the 800 with a fourth-place finish. Anderson also earned himself All-Conference honors with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash.

The Tigers 4×800-meter relay team consisting of Chase Werner, Ethan Bly, Mykel Paulson and Landon Marthaler started off the day on a high note, by winning the race and earning the runners each All-Conference honors.

Aidan Schuerman picked up a pair of All-Conference honors with his efforts in hurdles. Schuerman placed third in the 100 hurdles and had a personal-best time to place second in the 300-meter hurdles. Schuerman also picked up a key point by placing eighth in the 200-meter dash.

Mickey Hess earned All-Conference honors with a personal best time in the 200-meter dash to place third. Hess also had a personal best time in the 100-meter dash to place fourth.

Jack Meier had a personal best in high jump as he cleared 6’1″ to place third for the Tigers and earn All-Conference honors.

In addition to the athletes mentioned above who earned individual All-Conference honors, the Tigers needed a whole team performance to secure the victory. Several athletes finished eighth or better in their events to pick up a few key points for the team. Jacob Allex, Davian Xayarath, Austin Dunn, Mykel Paulson, and the boys 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays all earned points for the team to contribute to the teams Championship.

Girls championship

Like the boys, the Marshall Girls team started of the day with a victory in the 4×800 meter relay. Oakley Schneekloth, Landry Graven, Kaitlyn Leibfried and Anna Kuecker fended off the St. Peter team to win the race and earn All-Conference recognition.

Aysia Miles sprinted her way to three All-Conference honors. Miles placed second in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Miles, along with Chioma Onyeaghala, Alexi Schneider and Averi Schnieder won the 4×100 meter relay. Onyeaghala also picked up All-Conference recognition in the long jump where she placed second.

Peyton Boeck also earned All-Conference honors in three events. Boeck won the triple jump, took second in the 400-meter dash and was on the conference champion 4×400 relay team.

Ally Sample picked up a pair of All-Conference accolades as she won the 3200 and placed third in a very competitive 1600-meter race.

Taleigha Bigler also picked up multiple All-Conference honors with her third place in the 800-meter run and with her part in the champion 4×400 relay. Bigler also picked up key points in the 1600 with a fourth-place finish.

Kaitlyn Leibfried earned All-Conference honors in two events. In addition to the 4×800 relay, Leibfried placed second in the 800-meter run.

Paige Gillingham earned All-Conference honors in both the shot put and discus events. Gillingham placed third in both to help the team with key points and earn All-Conference recognition.

In addition to Boeck the Tigers had two other girls win their field event. Autumn Deutz won the pole vault to earn herself a Conference championship and Brooklyn Purrington took home top honors in the high jump.

The Tigers closed off the day the way they began by winning a relay. Much like their 4×800 teammates, the 4×400 meter relay team also won their race. Boeck, Kuecker, Avery Schneekloth and Bigler led from start to finish to cap off the championship day for the Tigers.


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