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Perseverance pays for Panther runners

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2002

A talented class of Skyview boys track and field athletes stuck with it for two years, and Saturday the group continued to earn the success that Skyview coach Rob Sparks had promised them.

The Panthers beat runner-up Soldotna by 12 points Saturday at Skyview High School in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Track and Field Meet. It was the second borough title in the history of Skyview's program. The first came in 1997.

Two years ago, Skyview's boys won a freshman-sophomore meet consisting of most of the borough's teams.

"We always do well in the freshman-sophomore meet, but then we'll have kids who end up dropping out," Sparks said after that meet. "I'm going to make a point of letting this group know that if they stick with it for three years, they'll be competing for the region title."

Well, it's two years later and Skyview isn't winning any region titles, yet. But Saturday, the Panthers took a major step in that direction with the borough title. Skyview also remained undefeated on the season heading into the Region III meet.

Skyview won the borough title behind its rock-solid sprint teams. Jack Reed won the 100, Mike Waer took second in the 200 and Josh Tonione won the 400.

"The first year, I was the slowest guy out here," Waer said. "I wasn't sure if I wanted to come out sophomore year, but I did it for football. I just kept listening to what coach Sparks said, and I've gotten faster."

The Panthers also took the 400 relay and 800 relay with the team of Ty Pepper, Waer, Tonione and Reed. Skyview also won the 1,600 relay with the team of Trevor Tompkins, Waer, Pepper and Tonione.

Tompkins also took the 300 hurdles and the triple jump.

"Since freshman year, we've all been working hard and we've known that we're getting better," Tompkins said. "We knew that if everything came together today, we'd be champions."

Sparks said Tompkins, along with junior Adam Kosydar, gave the team a crucial lift in the field events. Tompkins was fifth entering the finals in the triple jump, but cracked off a leap of 39 feet, 6 3/4 inches, to win the event. Kosydar, meanwhile, won the shot and the discus.

"He beat some kids he's never beaten before to do that," Sparks said. "I knew what our sprinters could do. Those extra points in the field events really helped us."

Skyview's strong performance in the field events, sprints and relays helped it withstand a powerful performance by Soldotna's distance crew. Senior Kyle McBride headed up that effort by winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. It was the first time McBride had ever won an event at the borough meet.

"It's a lot harder to win a meet with distance kids than it is with sprint kids," Soldotna coach Mark Devenney said. "I know. I've won championships both ways.

"Their coach did a good job. He spread his kids out in the events perfectly."

Kenai took third place with 99 points behind a first place in the long jump from Dakota Craig, while Josh Reilly won the 110 hurdles and the 200 to lead Nikiski to fourth place.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Track and Field Meet

Friday, Saturday

at Skyview High School

Team scores: 1. Skyview, 145; 2. Soldotna, 133; 3. Kenai, 99; 4. Nikiski, 80; 5. Homer, 38; 6. Ninilchik, 12; 7. Seward, 5; 8. Seldovia, 4.

Shot put -- 1. Kosydar, Sky, 42-3 1/4; 2. Myers, Ken, 41-10; 3. Smith, Hom, 41-1 1/2; 4. Bower, Sol, 40-8; 5. McManus, Hom, 39-9 1/2; 6. Pfyfer, Sky, 39-9 1/2.

Discus -- 1. Kosydar, Sky, 132-1; 2. Myers, Ken, 129-6; 3. McKay, Sky, 120-1; 4. Bower, Sol, 118-10; 5. Carroll, Ken, 113-2; 6. Herring, Sol, 112-4.

High jump -- 1. Allen, Sol, 5-8; 2. McGrady, Sky, 5-6; 3. Hicks, Sol, 5-6; 4. Scalzo, Nin.

Long jump -- 1. Craig, Ken, 19-11; 2. Jackson, Sol, 18-7 1/2; 3. Simpson, Sol, 18-7 1/2; 4. McGrady, Sky, 18-2 3/4; 5. Foster, Sol, 17-1 1/4; 6. Coots, Sew, 16-7 1/4.

Triple jump -- 1. Tompkins, Sky, 39-6 3/4; 2. Craig, Ken, 38-10; 3. Simpson, Sol, 38-7 1/2; 4. Jackson, Sol, 38-3 1/4; 5. Hicks, Sol, 37-8 3/4; 6. Scheffert, Ken, 36-0.

110 hurdles -- 1. Reilly, Nik, 16.7; 2. Tompkins, Sky, 17.2; 3. Cochran, Ken, 19.3; 4. Volstad, Sel, 22.6.

300 hurdles -- 1. Tompkins, Sky, 43.5; 2. McGrady, Sky, 44.6; 3. Alexander, Nik, 45.1; 4. Anderson, Nik, 45.4; 5. Cochran, Ken, 46.1; 6. Reemtsma, Ken, 46.4.

100 -- 1. Reed, Sky, 11.8; 2. Craig, Ken, 12.1; 3. Kiser, Ken, 12.2; 4. McGlasson, Ken, 12.3; 5. Kruzick, Nin, 12.4; 6. Lybrand, Sol, 12.5.

200 -- 1. Reilly, Nik, 24.2; 2. Waer, Sky, 24.3; 3. Jorgensen, Nik, 24.4; 4. Schmidt, Ken, 24.5; 5. Reed, Sky, 24.6; 6. Smith, Hom, 24.8.

400 -- 1. Tonione, Sky, 52.1; 2. Reilly, Nik, 53.4; 3. Pepper, Sky, 54.3; 4. Smith, Hom, 54.7; 5. Haupt, Sol, 55.4; 6. Chase, Sol, 55.8.

800 -- 1. McBride, Sol, 2:07.4; 2. Knight, Sol, 2:07.5; 3. Sykes, Nik, 2:08.5; 4. Kauffman, Hom, 2:08.8; 5. Haupt, Sol, 2:08.9; 6. Boyle, Ken, 2:09.4.

1,600 -- 1. McBride, Sol, 4:42.8; 2. Knight, Sol, 4:43.5; 3. Kauffman, Hom, 4:47.0; 4. Peters, Hom, 4:49.2; 5. Baldwin, Ken, 4:50.6; 6. Walton, Sol, 4:51.0.

3,200 -- 1. McBride, Sol, 10:05; 2. Kauffman, Hom, 10:21; 3. Baldwin, Ken, 10:23; 4. Keller, Sol, 10:46; 5. Adams, Sew, 10:55.2; 6. Litzenberger, Sol, 11:02.

400 relay -- 1. Skyview, 45.9; 2. Kenai, 47.5; 3. Nikiski, 47.5; 4. Soldotna, 48.1; 5. Ninilchik, 49.9.

800 relay -- 1. Skyview, 1:36.1; 2. Nikiski, 1:36.4; 3. Kenai, 1:39.1; 4. Ninilchik, 1:45.5; 5. Soldotna, 1:46.2; 6. Homer, 1:52.0.

1,600 relay -- 1. Skyview, 3:42.8; 2. Soldotna, 3:44.3; 3. Nikiski, 3:45.9; 4. Kenai, 3:53.6; 5. Homer, 3:54.6.

3,200 relay -- 1. Nikiski, 8:38.2; 2. Soldotna, 8:44.2; 3. Kenai, 8:46.7; 4. Skyview, 11:04.8.



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