Track finally gets started

After numerous cancellations, weather cooperates

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2004

After a couple of false starts, the track season on the Kenai Peninsula finally got under way Tuesday afternoon at Skyview High School with a quad meet featuring Skyview, Soldotna, Nikiski and Cook Inlet Academy.

Due to the extended grip of winter, all three of the track meets scheduled for the peninsula before Tuesday had been canceled. Tuesday, runners and throwers were greeted by mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-40s. Such weather, as CIA coach Noah Shields noted, is considered good in Alaska track.

The clearest message sent in the meet came from the Soldotna girls, who won 13 of the 15 events contested on the girls side. Kaylee Wilbanks (shot put and discus), Brittany Gardner (long jump and triple jump), Tracy Pitts (100- and 300-meter hurdles), Ari

Goldstein (1,600 and 800) and Brandi Denna (400 and 200) all came through with big performances for the Stars.

Soldotna coach Mark Devenney, whose boys team received victories in the shot put and discus from Matt Hicks, said he tested his team by working them really hard in practice on Monday, then seeing how they would respond Tuesday.

"They were hurting last night, but they came back and competed tonight," Devenney said. "I knew some of them had it in them, but for a lot of them it was unchartered territory.

"They responded well."

Skyview coach Rob Sparks, whose boys team won 8 of the 16 events contested, also was happy with how his team did in the first meet of the year. Kaleb Shields picked up victories for Skyview in the high jump and 110 hurdles, while Nathan Schmidt won the 100 and 200.

"I was running the meet and I was the starter, so I didn't have much time to coach," Sparks said. "The kids weren't up in the bleachers huddled under a blanket, though. They were ready to go without me telling them what to do."

Nikiski coach Ned Clooten, whose two wins came from Angie Doty in the 100 and Billy Anderson in the 400, said the meet also did a good job of showing athletes their level of fitness.

Clooten's squads just got on their track at the end of last week. There also is still snow preventing the Bulldogs from practicing the discus, so Debbie Duggin's toss of 90 feet, 11 inches, came without any practice.

"We're behind in our training right now," Clooten said. "We have a lot of room to improve, but we have to try and bring kids along quickly without giving them shinsplints."

Noah Shields, who received a pair of seconds from Brian Beeson in the 1,600 and 800 and some solid performances from freshman Melissa Moffis in the sprints, said it was a nice day simply because athletes were finally on the track competing.

"It was great to finally get them out here and run," he said.

GIRLS

SHOT PUT -- 1. Kaylee Wilbanks, Sol, 31 feet, 7 inches; 2. Christina Shadura, Sky, 29-9; 3. Brittany Howard, Sol, 28-7 1-2.

DISCUS -- 1. Kaylee Wilbanks, Sol, 105-3; 2. Alyssa Emery, Sol, 92-10; 3. Brittany Howard, Sol, 90-11.

LONG JUMP -- 1. Brittany Gardner, Sol, 13-10; 2. Liana Purugganan, Sol, 12-4; 3. Annie Gardner, Sol, 11-8.

TRIPLE JUMP -- 1. Brittany Gardner, Sol, 30-7 1-2; 2. Annie Gardner, Sol, 29-4 1-2; 3. Cortni Brown, Sol, 26-8 1-2.

HIGH JUMP -- 1. Jennifer Holland, Sky, 4-6; 2. Cortni Brown, Sol, 4-2.

100-METER HURDLES -- 1. Tracy Pitts, Sol, 16.7 seconds; 2. Ella Fehrer, Sky, 18.0; 3. Laura Harrow, 18.6.

100 -- 1. Angie Doty, Nik, 13.7; 2. Lindsey Sanders, 14.3; 3. Jess Jezerski, 14.4.

800 RELAY -- 1. Soldotna, 2:04.0; 2. Skyview, 2:16.7.

1,600 -- 1. Ari Goldstein, Sol, 5:20.4; 2. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 5:33.3; 3. Hannah Thompson, Nik, 6:16.4.

400 RELAY -- 1. Soldotna, 55.0; 2. Nikiski, 57.0; 3. Skyview, 57.9.

400 -- 1. Brandi Denna, Sol, 1:05.7; 2. Liz Lettington, Nik, 1:14.9; 3. Anna Rotheker, 1:20.8.

300 HURDLES -- 1. Tracy Pitts, Sol, 49.0; 2. Ella Fehrer, Sky, 51.0; 3. Jennifer Holland, 56.2.

800 -- 1. Ari Goldstein, Sol, 2:29.4; 2. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 2:35.0; 3. Katy Pankoski, Sol, 2:36.7.

200 -- 1. Brandi Denna, Sol, 28.6; 2. Angie Doty, Nik, 28.79; 3. Ella Fehrer, Sky, 29.2.

1,600 RELAY --1. Soldotna, 4:33.6; 2. Nikiski, 4:59.4.

SHOT PUT -- 1. Matt Hicks, Sol, 46-9 1-2; 2. Nathan Brazington, Sol, 41-5 1-2; 3. Austin Roberts, Sol, 39-4.

DISCUS -- 1. Matt Hicks, Sol, 125-2; 2. Antonio Silva, Sky, 120-0; 3. Martin Glaves, Sol, 101-4.

LONG JUMP -- 1. Clark Buffington, Sky, 15-0; 2. Matt Bates, Sky, 13-8; 3. Robert Hash, Sky, 13-7.

TRIPLE JUMP -- 1. Pat Lybrand, Sol, 37-9; 2. Jeremy Goracke, Sol, 37-7 1-2; 3. Tyler Wehrli, Sky, 36-11 3/4.

HIGH JUMP -- 1. Kaleb Shields, Sky, 5-10; 2. Patrick Lybrand, Sol, 5-4; 3. Greg Bosick, Sky, 5-0.

3,200 RELAY -- 1. Skyview.

110 HURDLES -- 1. Kaleb Shields, Sky, 15.4; 2. Alex Pfaffe, Sol, 17.0; 3. Bryan Self, 19.0.

100 -- 1. Nathan Schmidt, Sky, 11.6; 2. Andrew Smith, Sky, 12.3; 3. Clark Buffington, Sky, 12.5.

800 RELAY -- 1. Skyview, 1:57.9; 2. Soldotna, 1:48.4.

1,600 -- 1. Caleb Chase, Sol, 5:04.0; 2. Brian Beeson, CIA, 5:12.4; 3. Habermann, Sol, 5:20.2.

400 RELAY -- 1. Skyview, 47.1; 2. Soldotna, 50.0; 3. Nikiski, 52.2.

400 -- 1. Billy Anderson, Nik, 55.2; 2. Levi Sutton, 55.8; 3. Tyler Wehrli, Sky, 57.0.

300 HURDLES -- 1. Brian Chase, Sol, 43.9; 2. Brian Self, 47.9.

800 -- 1. Ryan Walton, Sol, 2:12.4; 2. Brian Beeson, CIA, 2:14.4; 3. Caleb Chase, Sol, 2:21.5.

200 -- 1. Nathan Schmidt, Sky, 24.0; 2. Andrew Smith, Sky, 25.2; 3. Billy Anderson, Nik, 25.3.

1,600 RELAY -- 1. Soldotna, 3:52.0; 2. Skyview, 3:53.3; 3. Nikiski, 4:04.4.



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