Chugiak High girls first, boys second, in CIC track and field finale
Vanessa Aniteye waits in the blocks for the starting gun before the girls 2x200 meter run at the Region IV Championship Track & Field Meet May 17.
By the narrowest of margins, the Chugiak High girls track and field team secured the team title in the Cook Inlet Conference Championship, defeating host school Dimond, 107-105.5, Saturday.
First-year head coach Melissa Hall said the accomplishment epitomized the squad’s team emphasis.
“Everyone had a part in the team title, with the fifth and sixth place finishes, making the difference in the end,” said Hall Sunday evening, yet relishing the win.
“It was a total team effort. All those points put together proves the adage that every point counts,” she added.
Hall gave credit to all team members and to the team’s assistant coaches as both boys and girls teams gained team hardware, with the Mustang boys team surprising East for second-place, behind Dimond.
Riding a tremendous first-day showing including a pair of victories by Paige Nelson in long and triple jump, with event members Cerina Bush, Kassidy Murfin and Alicia Reitz earning valuable points, the Mustangs enjoyed a hearty lead. Samanthan Cooper earned a second in the high jump as did Kaitlyn Gallager in discus. Gallagher placed seventh in the shot put, with Myranda Bailey fourth in the shot as well.
That lead narrowed considerably on the track with junior foreign exchange student Vanessa Aniteye providing the lone win in the individual events, with a time of 59.52 in the 400m.
The Mustang girls’ relay teams did well, however, placing first in the 400m relay, setting a school record, in 50.82, and second in the 800m relay.
The Chugiak boys’ team had a huge day on the track Saturday, after junior Jake Brownlee supplied the only individual title, in the discus Friday.
Dillon Pratt paced the team’s sprint core, placing second in the 200, fourth in the 400m, with Ty Jordan, third in the 1,600m, sixth in the 800m, freshman John Weaver fifth in the 400, and David McPhetres and Roan Hall, fifth and seventh, respectively in the 3,200m. Michael Williams placed third in the 300m hurdles, with Damiyen Wilkerson, fifth.
The team’s only win on the track came in the 3,200m relay with three of members setting personal best 800m splits said the coach, including a sub-two-minute split from Jordan. Other relay members included McPhetres, Weaver and Hall.
Eagle River placed fourth on the girls side, and eighth, in guys.
Senior Ed Hall won the shot put, second in discus, and was part of the school’s second-place 400m and third-place 800m relay teams.
Cody Keith placed fourth in the discus for the Wolves, and Eric Andersen, sixth in the high jump.
The Eagle River girls team was led by Jordyn Bruce, first and second, in the 300m hurdles and 800m, respectively, with Kaitlyn Maker, first and third, in the 3,200 and 1,600m runs. Nikki Boggs placed third in both the 400m and 800m.
Eagle River girls also had success in the relays, finishing second in the 3,200m event and first in the day’s last event, the 1,600m.
Eagle River was in second-place for much of the race until anchor Jordyn Bruce passed the Dimond runner in the last ten yards before the tape, helping the foursome of Boggs, Emma Tvelia, Drea Owens and Bruce in sequence, ran to the title, loping four seconds off the school’s best mark in the event.
Chugiak’s Coach Hall said she know the scores were close for the team title, but didn’t suspect the team had won under she was called over to the coaches’ tent after the final event.
Hall said she expects Chugiak to qualify 24 members (14 girls, 10 boys) for this week’s state meet, also at Dimond High. Eagle River coach Matt Turner said the Wolves advanced seven boys and five individual girls along with both the girls 1,600m and 3,200m relay squads to state.
In order to advance in individual events, only the winner of each region is guaranteed, with the next 12 best given at-large berths. In relay events, the winning team from each region moves on, along with the next four fastest times statewide.