Conference track and field meet starts today
Mustangs, Wolves eye state berths
Matt Turner is hoping Eagle River High’s large track and field team will translate to multiple state berths.
With 88 on the roster, the Wolves’ head coach said Eagle River has the ability to more than double the number of athletes it sent to Fairbanks last season.
But that all depends on how they compete at the Cook Inlet Conference meet, which starts today (May 9) at Dimond High.
“You can be No. 1, but it doesn’t matter,” Turner said. “It all comes down to one meet.”
The first-place finishers from each region and the next best 12 times/distances statewide earn a berth to the state meet, which will be held May 17-18 at Lathrop High.
Eagle River, which sent 10 individuals to state last year, currently has the top girls 4x200 (Nikki Boggs, Shayna Wolery, Scout Warners, Elexa Walker) and 4x400 (Dreanna Ownes, Allonna Walker, Jordyn Bruce, Boggs) relays in the state, according to www.athletic.net.
Even without Warners, who will likely compete in four individual events, both relays should make state, Turner said.
Last year, Warners placed in four events (high jump, 200-meter dash, 300 hurdles, long jump) at state. The ERHS senior is ranked second in the 200, seventh in hurdles, fourth in high jump and is tied for third in long jump with Chugiak’s Paige Nelson.
Junior Kate Mondl was the Wolves’ only other female state placewinner last year, finishing fifth in the 3,200. Ranked in the top 10 in the state in the 3,200, 1,600 and 800, Mondl also has a good chance to qualify for state in multiple events, Turner said.
Mondl is also part of Eagle River’s 4x800 relay with Boggs, Sierra Richardson and Allonna Walker, which is ranked second in the state. Boggs is also ranked second in the 400.
On the boys’ side, Eagle River’s 4x400 relay (Kit Hoog, John Randall, Alec Smith, Peter Kott) is ranked second.
Kott is ranked third in the 100 — an event he finished sixth in at state last season to score the Wolves’ lone boys point.
Junior Ed Hall and senior Brandon Parrish also have good opportunities to qualify for state in multiple events, Turner said.
Hall cracked the top 10 in the 200 and shot put, an event he recently reclaimed the school record in with a heave of 46 feet, 1 inch. Hall’s throw at the Anchorage Invitational on Friday, May 3 surpassed teammate Rydell Reinbold’s previous record by more than 2 feet.
Reinbold, a senior, is ranked in the top 10 in both discus and shot put.
Parrish is a versatile athlete who competes in all three jumping events, both hurdle events and sprints. He’s ranked in the top 10 in both hurdle events and long jump.
For Chugiak, getting healthy will be key, said Mustangs’ head coach Jon Schroeder.
“We’re pretty banged up right now,” he said.
One of Chugiak’s injured tracksters includes senior Tyler Rohde, the defending state 110 and 300 hurdle champion.
Rohde suffered a knee injury at practice, Schroeder said, but he’s hopeful Rohde will be recovered by race day.
Rohde (110 hurdles) and Malia McVee (discus) won conference titles last year for the Mustangs.
According to athletic.net, Rohde is ranked first in the state in the 200 meters and 300 hurdles and second in 110 hurdles. Fellow Chugiak senior Chris Kveseth has the top times in the 400 and 800.
Chugiak’s boys 4x200 relay (Kveseth, Dillon Pratt, Sam Brownlee, Rohde) is ranked third, and Payton Fullmer (high jump) and Jake Brownlee (discus) are ranked in the top 10.
Chugiak’s girls 4x100 relay (Victoria Bensel, Natalie Musil, Hannah Babin, Brandy Bookout) and 4x200 relay (Kelly McBryde, Babin, Alicia Reitz, Bookout) are both ranked third.
The conference meet will be the first full outdoor meet for most athletes. Last week’s Anchorage Invite was reduced from three days to one due to weather.
Come race time, none of that matters, Schroeder said.
“This is your one chance,” he said. “Hopefully, you can have a PR day because that’s what you need.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.