McVee, Rohde lead charge to state meet
It’s simple, but essential for success at the ASAA/Alaska Class 4A Track and Field State Championships.
And Malia McVee would know.
The Chugiak High junior finished ninth in discus last year, but after winning the Cook Inlet Conference title May 11 at Bartlett, McVee is eyeing a top five finish Friday and Saturday, May 18-19 at Lathrop — or better.
“I’d love to win it all,” she said after receiving her first-place medal May 12.
With all the pressure the atmosphere state brings, athletes need to remain calm, McVee said.
“It is very mental,” she said.
Especially in discus, a sport that’s all about technique and flawless execution, McVee said.
“You have to have everything perfect,” she said. “It’s harder than it looks.”
McVee won the CIC crown with a throw of 99 feet, 11 inches — more than 2 feet better than East’s Tina-Louise Dunbar in second. Windy conditions hampered throwers, McVee said.
Her personal best of 103 feet, 11 inches ranks McVee eighth in the state this year according to www.athletic.net, which compiles track and field statistics.
Fellow Chugiak junior Tyler Rohde is ranked first in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. Rohde ran a personal best and tied the CIC record in the 300 of 39.15 seconds in the preliminary race Friday. But on Saturday, West’s Pedro Pena edged Rohde by two-hundredths of a second.
Rohde, who won the 110-meter race in a time of 14.79, wasn’t fazed by finishing second to Pena in the 300.
“At least it’s gonna be a good race at state,” he said.
Like McVee, Rohde said tracksters need to be mentally prepared for state.
“It’s gonna be a huge mental game,” he said. “You have to get enough rest for sure.”
Like they have all season, Chugiak’s female jumpers shined at the CIC meet. The Mustangs claimed three of the top four places in long jump and had three in the top six in the triple jump.
“I don’t know what’s up with that,” said senior Alex Collins, who led Chugiak with second-place finishes in both events. “We have a lot of good jumpers this year.”
Collins is making her fourth trip to state and said she wants to finish in the top three in her events.
“I’ll be a little nervous,” Collins said. “But I kind of know what to expect.”
Chugiak’s athletes weren’t the only ones taking home CIC honors from the meet.
The Mustangs coaching staff swept the Coach of the Year awards, with Jon Schroeder winning the head coach honor and Melissa Hall earning Assistant Coach of the Year.
Overall, Chugiak qualified 28 athletes for state, including six relays. The relays include: Girls 4x800 (Terra Holayter, McKenna Mitchell, Hali Young, Naella Lundell, Alea Robinson, Sam Hartke); girls 4x200 (Kelly McBride, Victoria Bensel, Brandy Bookout, Rachel Gregg, Alicia Reitz, Hannah Bolin); boys 4x200 (Dane Prince, Jake Wenzl, Chris Kveseth, Rohde, Sam Brownlee, Tyler Carnahan); girls 4x100 (Mollie Matthis, Alex Collins, Bolin, Kenzie Matthis, Bensel, Bookout); girls 4x400 (Hartke, Bensel, Kenzie Matthis, Bookout, Gregg, Holyater); boys 4x400 (Kveseth, Rohde, Duncan Keith, Wenzl, Nathan Dennis, Tim Sorensen).
Individual event qualifiers include: Bensel (400); Bookout (400); Alex Collins (triple jump, long jump); Parker Collins (300 hurdles); Gregg (triple jump, high jump, long jump); Hartke (1,600, 800); Roger Jorgensen (high jump); Keith (triple jump, long jump, 300 hurdles); Kveseth (400); Kenzie Matthis (100, 200); Malia McVee (discus); Paige Nelson (long jump); Dane Prince (200); Reitz (triple jump); Rohde (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles); Wenzl (110 hurdles, 400).
Eagle River qualified 10 individuals: Nikki Boggs (400); Samantha Brown (long jump); Ed Hall (shot put); Megan Holmquist (100 hurdles); Peter Kott (100); Kate Mondl (3,200); Rydell Reinbold (discus); Sierra Richardson (3,200); Hannah Stevens (3,200); Scout Warners (high jump, long jump, 300 hurdles, 200).
Mike Rud is Birchwood Christian School’s lone runner heading to the 1A-2A-3A state meet. Rud won the 800 at the Region II meet May 11-12 at Su Valley.
Eagle River’s alternates (who qualify if other athletes pull out of the meet) include: Girls 4x800 (Richardson, Brooke Meredith, Hailey Sandefur, Stevens, Brown, Mondl); Stevens (800); Mondl (1,600); Brandon King (400).
Chugiak’s alternates include: Sorensen (1,600); Jacob Brownlee (discus); Bolin (100 hurdles).
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org