BIG C RELAYS
Billed as the largest indoor or outdoor track meet of the season, the two-day Big C Relays provided every opportunity for big time performance. The meet was held at The Dome April 4-5.
The interior of the North American continent’s largest full-air supported structure also sported one of the state’s largest population densities with more than a 1,000 athletes and another 500-plus family, fans and volunteers inside the building, helping the large-scale meet go off like clockwork.
With all the tarps, sleeping bags and lounge chairs on the field turf inside the track for the athletes, the scene resembled a large campout, minus the fires and s’mores.
But members of the Eagle River and Chugiak track and field corps posted finishes that might cause many of the competing sports programs throughout the state to take notice.
Top of the chart was the first- and third-place showings of Eagle River senior Ed Hall, in the discus and shot put, respectively. Hall’s heft of 138-10 in the discus was four feet longer than that of second-place finisher, Jake Brownlee of Chugiak.
Hall later teamed up with Peter Kott, Justin Patin and Alec Smith to place third in the 1,600m sprint medley relay.
Chugiak’s Alicia Reitz placed third overall in the women’s pentathlon, competing in the high jump, shot put, 300m hurdles, 100m and 800m.
Relays were generally the run of the event, both figuratively and literally, with several special combinations in addition to the traditional 400m, 1,600m and 3,200m varieties.
The Granddaddy of all relays was the 2014 Laird Prosser Memorial Mile, actually a 4 X 1652m mixed relay of two boys, two girls. Prosser, a 1995 Dimond High graduate, was a former state record holder in high school before running track and cross-country at the University of Oregon. Prosser died in 2009.
Jake Moe won the individual race in 4:25.97, while Kenai Central won the team event in 20 minutes, 51.85 seconds. Chugiak High placed sixth, with members Tim Sorensen, Sara Hartke, Hannah Booher and Ty Jordan posting a time of 22:27.02.
The Chugiak 400m relay team was deemed “King of the Mountain” through the five heats of the event, with the foursome of Vanessa Aniteye, Paige Nelson, Cerina Bush and Hannah Babin, claiming the event in 52.58 seconds, bettering their time of last week by nearly a second.
Eagle River’s girls relay teams placed second in the 1,600m sprint medley with Nikki Boggs, Lauren Grismer, Allonna Walker and Jordyn Bruce doing the honors; and second in the traditional 1,600 meters with Bruce, Kaitlyn Maker, Walker and Boggs.
In the only running final, the 3,200, Eagle River placed two in the top ten, with Kaitlyn Maker, 4th, and Peyton Young, 9th. Chugiak’s Hannah Booher finished 12th.
In the boys 3,200 finale, the Mustangs placed two among the top dozen, with David McPhetres, 10th, and Roan Hall, 13th.
Top individual finishes on the track were provided by Eagle River’s Jordyn Bruce, claiming the 300m hurdles, and teammate Nikki Boggs, second in the 400m. Chugiak’s Aniteye was third in the girls 400.
Chugiak’s Dillon Pratt placed second in the 100m finals, with a time of 11.48 seconds, after advancing through preliminary and semifinal round races.
Both Chugiak and Eagle River coaches said they were pleased with their team’s performances for this early in the season.
Eagle River’s Matt Turner said the Wolves faced a challenge with the scheduling of the school’s Fine Arts Cabaret, which called away some of the athletes from late action Friday. The problem ended up giving an opportunity to other athletes, many of them underclassmen, allowing them to shine in some of the relay events.
Birchwood Christian sprinter Tia Goward placed 16th in the girls 100m prelims, with a time of 13.90.
Other large indoor meets are scheduled for another two weeks, prior to dual meets and outdoor competitions, weather permitting. The Pro/White Championships will be held at The Dome from 3-7 p.m. April 11 and 7 a.m.-1 p.m. April 12.