Local athletes shine at state track and field meet
With its star senior soaring to new heights, Chugiak’s track and field team again showed why it’s one of the state’s elite programs Friday and Saturday at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Division I Track and Field Championships at Machetanz Field in Palmer.
On the opening day of the meet, Chugiak senior Emma Nelson broke the state record in the high jump by more than two inches to pick up the first of three individual wins for the second-place Mustangs, who were going for a third consecutive state title but had to settle for the runner-up trophy behind South.
Nelson cleared the bar at 5 feet, 9 inches on her second attempt to break the record of 5 feet, 6.5 inches set by Wasilla’s Ceil Dunleavy in 2016.
“I’m really excited,” the Oregon State-bound senior said after winning the event.
Later Friday, she won the triple jump by more than a foot over South freshman Addison Stevenson. On Saturday, her dominance continued with a victory in the long jump as she cemented Most Outstanding Athlete honors among Division I girls.
Nelson’s big day wasn’t the only big performance turned in by a Chugiak athlete Friday, as junior Daniel Bausch continued his dominance of the Division I class by running away from the field in the 3,200 meters.
Bausch’s distance dominance continued Saturday, when he again dusted the field en route to a 12-second victory in the 1,600 meters. Bausch also finished second in the 800 meters as he led the Chugiak boys to a third-place finish. The Mustangs also got a second-place finish from sprinter Jeremiah Wilson and a third-place finish from Kenny Huffer in the discus.
Eagle River senior Mason Wadsworth repeated as the state champion in the 110-meter hurdles for the Wolves, who were 10th in the team competition. Wadsworth also notched third-place finishes in the 300-meter hurdles and the high jump for the Wolves, who got a fourth-place finish from Carter Gladwill in the 400 meters and a fifth-place finish in the 800.
On Saturday, Chugiak sophomore Brooklynn Gould earned a state title in the 100-meter hurdles, as did Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh in the 800 meters. Walsh also finished fourth in the 3,200 meters for Eagle River girls and also teamed up with Ashley Walsh, Claire Nelson and Helen Wilson to win the 4x800 meter relay. The Wolves’ Morgan Bolin was second to Gould in the 100-meter hurdles for the Wolves, who finished fifth out of 18 teams. Gould also finished second in the 300-meter hurdles and teamed with Nelson, Alexus Babb and Reilly Hall on Chugiak’s second-place 4x200 relay team.
The track and field season isn’t quite finished for some local athletes, as teams will travel to Kodiak this weekend for the annual season-ending Brian Young Invitational. The meet will give Bausch a chance to square off against Galena star Jacob Moos, who ran away with the Division II 3,200 championship Friday and is Bausch’s top competition this season in long distance races — but hasn’t yet gone head-to-head with the Chugiak standout.
“I’m looking forward to that,” Bausch said of the looming showdown.
In the Division II meet, Birchwood Christian freshman Mariyah Becker finished fifth in both the 100- and 200-meter dash to help the Warriors to a 13th-place finish; the BCS boys didn’t have a finalist, with Bjorn Peterson placing 12th in the discus and 800 meters and 16th in the 400; and Stephen Sterling 10th in the 200 and 11th in the 100.
For complete meet results, visit athletic.net.
Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]