Monday, May 21, 2012

Nice State Meet!

I think I've seen every Alaska state championship meet since we moved here--well other than 2004 when I had just arrived in the state and the meet was in Anchorage. Other than that definitely. Now that I know a lot of the kids it seems even better. It's a small state and truthfully most kids are just rounding into shape by the time the season ends. Our outdoor track season is only 1/2 to 2/3 as long as any other state in the country.

Girls 3200, Colony's Audrey Michaelson showed she could be the best all-around runner in the state since Leah Francis (2007-10) by running an 11:04 with a blistering final lap. Michaelson repeated in the 1600, finishing with a 69 or 70 sec final 400 m to win easily in 5:04. Easily has potential to run 10:40s/and down around 4:50 this year. Just as dominant was Wasilla's Morgan Dampier who took three 1sts (200, 400, and 800) and a second place in the 100. She has a great range.

In all divisions the 800 was the most exciting with each being decided at the wire. The funkiest was the girls 4A with a tired Dampier controlling the pace at a jog (72 at 400) along with two Wasilla teammates who effectively boxed Michaelson onto the rail for most of the race. They didn't start picking up the pace until about 250 m to go and it looked like Dampier would walk away with a 10 meter win, and perhaps there would be a Wasilla sweep, but on the home stretch she inexplicably swung wide, just when Michaelson poured on a kick and gained with each step. Only 0.01 separated them at the finish. Dorky pace but a good tactical race.

For the boys middle distances talk about breakout races when it counts! Max Romey's PR for 3200 m prior to Friday was 9:43 and his best 1600 4:36. The rangy senior from Service hung with the lead group for five or six laps (led mostly by Kodiak freshman Levi Thomet) before taking control and putting down a 2:10 final 800 to win in 9:29. On Saturday our own Peter Noon from West Valley led for the better of three laps, going 62, 2:08, 3:16 but he was shadowed by Romey who took over on the homestretch of the third lap to win in 4:21, a PR of 15 seconds, and one second ahead of Noon's school record 4:22.

THE most exciting race of the day was the boy's 4A 800 meters. Senior Joe Day of Palmer has had a great year, breaking 2 min almost every time out, and with several relay legs in the 1:55-56 range as well as Friday's prelim in 1:55. But Lathrop's Kyle Hanson has been running strong all year and has posted 1:57s was expected to challenge. After that it was wide open with Ryer Kornkven from Lathrop and Brandon Kowalski also posting sub 2s this year. But it was Jordan Fogle of Kodiak--fresh of a championship 4X800 team earlier in the day--who went after Day's fast (55 sec) first lap, with Hanson and the field 10-15 meters back. Day looked to be a lock with 150 and then 100 m to go, but Fogle (with a previous best of 2:00) held on, and with just 5 meters to go, Day's leg buckled and he stumbled which gave the fast closing Fogle enough to escape with a huge win and nearly six second PR, 1:54.86!


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