Athletes from Skyview and Kenai Central got the track and field season off to a pretty good start with a dual meet Saturday at Kenai.
While team scores were not kept, the high jump took place in the gym, the shot was put in the parking lot and some of the races were omitted from the order of events, participants did get a chance to get out, stretch their legs and get some times and measurements to work with as they prepare for next week's Peninsula Relays.
"It couldn't have been better, with the weather and the attitude of the Kenai people running the meet," said Skyview coach Rob Sparks. "This was more of a teaching type meet -- we were able to be right up at the starting line, reminding our athletes of things.
"There's not too much pressure, and a lot of the kids are able to start out the season with some success."
Teaching is something that Kenai's athletes have had in abundance this season -- five coaches are working with the team, providing a great deal of individual instruction in each different event for the Kardinals.
"It's really helping us out," said Kenai senior Rocky Fanning. "I see coaches during the day, and they're reading over notes about a specific event to help us with technique, and figuring out how to help each person improve."
Fanning has been offering his experience to the newcomers on the Kenai track team as well, helping a freshman learn to use the starting blocks or showing the underclassmen the proper way to layer and stay warm at a meet.
Fanning had a good first outing, edging out Skyview's Paul Begins (second place, 12.0 seconds) and Jerrod Reynolds (third, 12.13) with a winning time of 11.97 in the 100-meter dash.
"I wanted to get the best time I could," Fanning said. "We haven't worked on starts at all, so it's something I'll start working on in practice. I'm happy with my races, except for the starts."
Fanning said that the Kardinals have been doing a lot of work in the hallways, in the gym and on the road while they waited for the snow to melt off the track. Fanning said he spent some extra time working on his endurance over the past couple of weeks.
"A couple of us last year didn't have the endurance to go 100 percent all the way through the race," Fanning said.
The early fitness work showed as Fanning ran well over the last half of the 400, winning with a time of 56.0.
Reynolds had the edge in the 200, though, posting a winning time of 24.86. Fanning finished second in 25.55.
"I wanted to get some times, and get some things to go for over the next couple of weeks in practice," Reynolds said. "You get what you can at the first meet and then go from there. I try to improve each week, and the first meet is out of the way."
Reynolds also ran on Skyview's 400 and 800 relays.
"The 4-by-200 was really strong," Reynolds said. "We ran 1:39.63, and that's an excellent time for early in the year."
Kenai's Tamanika Haynes and Nicole Spence dueled it out in the 100 and the 200. Haynes beat out Spence in the 100 with a time of 13.2, seven-hundredths better than Spence, but Spence came back to win the 200 in 29.55 while Haynes finished second with a time of 30.38.
"I had to jump right into the 100 when I came from taking my SATs," Spence said. "My legs are starting to feel a little lighter. Before in practice, they were feeling heavy -- so that's good."
Kenai's Catie Baldwin and Erica Smith finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Both cleared 4 feet, 10 inches, but Baldwin was able to do it with one less attempt.
Skyview's Erika Edwards got a good run in, winning the 1,600 in 5:15.89 and the 800 in 2:31.2, and the Kardinals shot putters also fared well as Krista Miller won the girls event (30-3 1/2) and Dane Myers took the boys event (43-4 1/2).
"We had a super turnout," said Kenai coach Rebecca Hunter. "The kids did an excellent job, and the weather was beautiful.
"We wanted the kids to go out with a good positive attitude and enthusiasm. The goal was to get the feel of the events today. They did well -- we had quite a few qualify for regions their first meet out, and a lot of newcomers that did awesome."
Skyview-Kenai Dual Meet
Team scores were not kept.
SHOT PUT -- 1. Krista Miller, Ken, 30-feet-3 1/2; 2. Jess Lackey, Ken, 27-6 1/2; 3. Kylee Vienna, Sky, 24-6.
HIGH JUMP -- 1. Catie Baldwin, Ken, 4-10; 2. Erica Smith, Ken, 4-10; 3. Erin Smith, Ken, 4-2.
100 METERS -- 1. Tamanika Haynes, Ken, 13.2; 2. Nicole Spence, Ken, 13.9.
1600 -- 1. Erika Edwards, Sky, 5:15.89; 2. Mary Krusen, Ken, 5:59.
800 RELAY -- 1. Kenai, 1:57.22.
400 -- 1. Smith, Ken, 1:04.97.
400 RELAY -- 1. Kenai, 55.8.
800 -- 1. Edwards, Sky, 2:31.2; 2. Krusen, Ken, 2:43.9.
200 -- 1. Spence, Ken, 29.55; 2. Haynes, Ken, 30.38.
SHOT PUT -- 1. Dane Myers, Ken, 43-4 1/2; 2. Angelo Luna, Ken, 38-9 1/2; 3. Justin Hogue, Ken, 38-7 1/2.
HIGH JUMP -- 1. Matt Kuhl, Sky, 5-4; 2. Trevor Tomkins, Sky, 4-8.
100 -- 1. Rocky Fanning, Ken, 11.97; 2. Paul Begins, Sky, 12.0; 3. Jerrod Reynolds, 12.13.
1600 -- 1. Eric Frost, Ken, 5:15.57; 2. Morgan Saltenberger, Ken, 5:38.34; 3. Jacob La Shot, Ken, 5:45.97.
800 RELAY -- 1. Skyview I, 1:39.63; 2. Skyview II, 1:51.64.
400 -- 1. Fanning, Ken, 56.0; 2. Begins, Sky, 57.27.
400 RELAY -- 1. Skyview, 51.51.
800 -- 1. Levi Adams, Sky, 2:22.25; 2. Grant Gebhardt, Sky, 2:23.28.
200 -- 1. Reynolds, Sky, 24.86; 2. Fanning, Ken, 25.55; 3. Jack Reed, Sky, 27.15.
1600 RELAY -- 1. Skyview, 4:13.65; 2. Kenai, 4:17.01.
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