Soldotna senior Lagi Wong led the Kenai Peninsula at the Class 4A state track meet at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks by winning the shot put Saturday.
The Peninsula added more golds in the Class 1-2-3A meet, with Cook Inlet Academy’s Madison Orth winning the triple jump and 100-meter hurdles, CIA’s Cara Davidson winning the discus and Seward’s Tessa Adelmann winning the shot put.
Wong won the shot put at 37 feet, 1.25 inches, beating Rachael Huffman of Palmer, who threw 36 feet, 8.75 inches.
Wong is a quick-learning athlete. She has become a valuable power hitter for Soldotna’s softball team despite just picking the game up this year. She said she just started throwing the shot last year in Utah.
She said it is her competitive drive that allows her to do well at sports.
“I like the competitive part of it,” she said. “When someone is competing against me, I’m willing to do what it takes to win.”
Wong had her winning throw in the second attempt in the finals. She then had a nervous moment when Huffman put out a longer throw, but she scratched on that throw.
“I just thought about all the things my coaches told me and put it in one place,” Wong said.
Orth won the triple jump with a leap of 31 feet, 4.75 inches. Olivia Jaconette of Anchorage Christian Schools was second at 32 feet, .25 inches.
“I just started practicing for it two weeks ago and decided to do it,” Orth said. “I had lot of jumping practice from the long jump. In jumping, speed also helps a lot, and I’ve been practicing for the 100.
Orth also won the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.80 seconds, beating Sarah Geagel of ACS by .40 seconds.
She ran her best time by about a half of a second. She credited the weather and the track.
“It’s a lot easier to run when your muscles are already warm,” Orth said. “Coming from Su Valley and a concrete track to one of the nicest tracks in the state made a major difference.”
Orth started hurdling in seventh grade and said the hurdles are probably her favorite event.
“She had a good weekend for sure,” CIA coach Drew Dickson said. “In a lot of her events, she got a p.r. A lot of things came together and she’s been working hard. It’s fun to see it happen at the state meet.”
Orth, just a freshman, also finished fourth in the long jump and fifth in the 100.
“She has a good attitude, works hard and is coachable,” Dickson said. “She has a lot of ability, it just depends on what she wants to go for in the next few years.”
Davidson won the discus with a toss of 102 feet, 2 inches. Alisha Young of Haines was second at 96 feet, 8 inches. It was the second straight discus title for the junior.
On her four throws, she scratched twice, but her other two throws were easily good enough to win.
“I was hoping for a new p.r., but winning is definitely good enough for me,” Davidson said.
So, what about a three-peat?
“There’s always that potential,” Dickson said. “A year is a long way off. There’s definitely that potential, though.”
Davidson said her personal best now is 110. She would like to win again next year and throw 120 consistently.
Adelmann added another title for the peninsula by winning the shot put. She threw 34 feet, 3.25 inches, to beat Rekia Hueton of Su Valley and her 33 feet, 9 inches.
Also for CIA, Zach Taplin finished second in the shot put with a toss of 45 feet, 5.75 inches. Erik Johnson of Grace won at 47 feet, .5 inches. Taplin also was fifth in the discus.
“As coaches, we were pleased with the meet,” Dickson said. “Not just with the success, but with how they held themselves throughout the meet.”
The highlight of the meet for Skyview was a third place in the 1,600 relay. The team of Richard Reynolds, Micah Hilbish, Albert White and Cody Williams ran 3:31.32, while Chugiak was at 3:28.60 to win.
For Skyview, the 400 relay of Reynolds, JoeBen Hawkins, White and Jasen Suonvieri took sixth. White also took sixth in the 200.
Soldotna assistant Dan Gensel said his team had a great meet.
“We had the best two days we could possibly have,” Gensel said. “(Friday), every kid that competed had a personal best.”
For Soldotna, Jelly Nolden took third in the long jump, Hannah Cristiano took fifth in the discus, Jay Ulen took sixth in the high jump, Mariah Ulen took fourth in the 100 hurdles, and Bree Mucha took fourth in the 400.
Mucha was able to take fourth even though she injured a leg muscle during qualifying for the 200 on Friday.
Bailey Beeson led Kenai by taking third in the 800 in 2:20.57, about a half second behind Wasilla’s Morgan Dampier. Beeson shattered the school record in the prelims on Friday, running 2:16.30.
“She’s going to have her name on our board and she deserves it,” Kenai coach Tim Sandahl said. “She’s run in the shadow of Morgan Dampier, but at least that solidifies what she’s done at Kenai.”
The Kenai 1,600-relay team of Kyla Whannell, Leah Sandahl, Carolyn Kiefer and Beeson took second in 4:09.92, while Wasilla won at 4:09.49.
“We were second to Wasilla by just a hair, but we dropped 12 seconds from last week,” Sandahl said. “I don’t know how it happened. Every kid improved.”
Also for Kenai, Beverly Schneider, Olivia Pfeifer, Kiefer and Beeson took fourth in the 3,200 relay.
For Homer, Tayla Cabana took fourth in the long jump,
Moving to the Class 1-2-3A meet, Nikiki’s Sayyid Parrish provided the most drama of both meets at the end of a hotly contested 200, running the same time as Eielson’s Scott Delauder — 23.86 seconds. Delauder was declared the winner.
“They used a high-speed camera,” Nikiski coach Dan Adair said. “It took them quite awhile to figure it out.
“The head referee said it came down to the front of a shoulder. Gauging from his finger, it was about 2 inches.”
Parrish also finished second in the long jump, jumping 18 feet, 10.75 inches. Augustus Simmers of ACS won at 19 feet, 11.75 inches.
Nikiski’s 400 relay team of Seth Carstens, Tristin Apted, Stephen Hartley and Parrish finished second, about a half second behind Haines.
“They expected gold of themselves, so they were initially a little disappointed because they are extremely competitive athletes,” Adair said. “But now that everything has settled down, they are happy to go to state and get a silver medal.”
Also for Nikiski, Carstens tied for fourth in the high jump, Johnson was fourth in the discus, Parrish was fifth in the 100 and Hartley was sixth in the 100.
Seward got a second-place finish from the boys 3,200-relay team of Tannen Berry, Michael Marshall, Matthew Moore and Miles Knotek. The group finished at 8:48.56, a little over eight seconds slower than champion Grace.
Also for Seward, Miles Knotek was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600, the girls 3,200-relay team of Laura Dyer, Alice Pfeiffenberger, Josephine Braun and Ashley VonBorstel was third, Emily Brockman was fifth in the 100 hurdles, Pfeiffenberger finished fifth in the 3,200, Adelmann was sixth in the discus, the 800 relay team of Sasha Hamner, VonBorstel, Ava Dotomain and Meg Berry was sixth, the 400 relay team of Hamner, Brockman, Adelmann and Berry was fourth, Berry was sixth in the 300 hurdles, the 1,600 relay team of Jacob Marshall, Matthew Moore, Michael Marshall and Tannen Berry was fifth,
For Ninilchik, Jack Wheeler was fifth in the long jump.