Region track meet is ticket to state
Talk about pressure.
Prep track and field athletes have one chance to make state — and it’s all riding on their performance this weekend.
Only the top finisher in each event at the Cook Inlet Conference meet, which will be held at Bartlett High on Friday and Saturday, May 11-12, will be guaranteed a trip to Fairbanks. After that, the next best 12 times/distances statewide will join each region’s first-place finishers at Lathrop High on May 18-19.
“It all depends on one meet,” Eagle River head coach Matt Turner said. “It puts extra pressure on you.”
Turner’s words will be echoed to Chugiak’s team, Mustangs’ head coach Jon Schroeder said.
“You’ve spent the last three months preparing for this weekend,” he said. “Make all that hard work and time and sweat you put in pay off.”
Turner said the Wolves will be tapering this week, but will still have up-tempo practices.
“It won’t be easy easy,” he said. “We’re definitely still trying to heal.”
While the prospect of state will add a mental burden on tracksters, everyone is familiar with the venue. Portions, if not all, of the previous three meets have been held at Bartlett. Most recently, athletes competed in the Anchorage Invitational on May 4-5.
The competition gave athletes one last chance to prepare for the CIC meet, Schroeder said.
“This is the practice region meet,” he said.
Chugiak’s Malia McVee won the discus with a throw of 99 feet, 11 inches. Alex Collins won the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 11 ¼ inches. With a jump of 33 feet, 2 inches, Collins also won the triple jump.
Chugiak junior Tyler Rohde won the 300-meter hurdles. For full results, visit www.athletic.net.
Eagle River has a chance of sending about 12 to state. On the boys’ side, sophomore Peter Kott is currently ranked eighth in the state in the 100-meter dash on www.athletic.net.
Senior Ricky Ayala is ranked third in the 200 and fourth in the 400. Eagle River’s 4x200 relay of Ayala, Kott, Ed Hall and Stephen Wescott are ranked sixth.
The Wolves’ 4x400 relay of Ayala, Ed Massey, Brandon King and Ben Hall is ranked sixth.
Hall, a sophomore, is also ranked 10th in discus.
On the girls’ side, it’s not if Scout Warners will make state, but how many events she’ll compete in. The Eagle River junior is ranked eighth in the 200 and 300 hurdles and fourth in high jump. Turner said Warners qualified for state in one event as a freshman, two as a sophomore, and she would like to compete in three events this year.
Distance runner Kate Mondl, too, will likely be representing Eagle River in multiple events at state. The sophomore is currently ranked second in the 3,200 and eighth in the 1,600. Mondl’s also part of the fourth-ranked 4x800 relay with Brooke Meredith, Sierra Richardson and Hannah Stevens.
For Chugiak’s boys, Rohde is ranked No. 1 in both hurdle events and sixth in the 200. He’s also part of the second-ranked 4x200 relay with Dane Prince, Jake Wenzl and Chris Kveseth.
Kveseth is ranked second in the 400 and 10th in the 800.
Chugiak has the 10th-ranked 4x400 relay (Parker Collins, Nathan Dennis, Duncan Keith and Wenzl) and the ninth-ranked 4x800 relay (Kevin Greco, Kveseth, Tim Sorensen and Keith).
Keith is also in the top 10 for high jump (10th), long jump (seventh) and triple jump (fifth).
On the girls’ side, Chugiak’s 4x100 relay (Mollie Matthis, Collins, Hannah Bolin and Kenzie Matthis) is ranked eighth. The 4x400 relay (Sam Hartke, Terra Holayter, Victoria Bensel and Brandy Bookout) is 10th.
McVee is seventh in the discus and Bookout is eighth in high jump. Freshman Rachel Gregg is ranked eighth in high jump, ninth in long jump and seventh in triple jump.
Collins, a senior, is ranked fourth in long jump and third in triple jump.
Schroeder is hoping to send 20 Mustangs to Fairbanks.
“That’s kind of the goal I threw out there,” he said. “I think we have a chance to do that.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]