In a cup of coffee, the cream will always rise to the top. Such is the case with the mixture of track and field athletes from Regions II and III, as the Kenai Peninsula's cream of the crop begin to compete for state titles today at Bartlett High in Anchorage.
The Alaska Schools Activities Association State Track and Field Championships will feature the best the peninsula has to offer, and in some cases, Alaska's best to date. A bevy of peninsula competitors are favored to win in a number of events.
"It's always good to see the best athletes go to state," said Skyview track and field head coach Rob Sparks. "I think we are sending our best."
Kenai senior Dallas Baldwin has the state's best girls high jump of 5 feet, 4 inches, and has posted the mark twice this year. Freshman teammate Amber McGlasson has a promising shot for a big finish in the high jump, as well, but she will focus on the girls 300-meter hurdles, where she is among the top three in the state.
Soldotna's Tracy Pitts is a front-runner in the 100 hurdles and among the top in the 300 hurdles. Soldotna junior Brittany Gardner will compete for the title in the girls triple jump, where she is one of the top contenders.
Including Pitts and Gardner, the Soldotna girls team returns to the state in 12 events. Soldotna coach Mark Devenney said he won't rule out the possibility of a Stars steal of one of the top team rankings.
"I think we can do it," he said. "We have a remote chance. But I may limit the events that kids run."
This goes for sophomore Ari Goldstein, who is qualified in both the 800 and the 1,600 and the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. Devenney said she may not run both relays, although she is part of a 3,200 relay team with her sister Rachel Goldstein, Katie Franzmann and Katie Pankoski that is tied for the third best time in the state.
Seward sophomore Whitney Anderson is one of the favorites for the 3,200 run and senior Michelle Dieckgraeff can be expected to fare well in the discus and shot put.
Skyview senior Trevor Tompkins has the state's best time 41.09 seconds in the boys 300 hurdles and he has favorable marks in the 100 hurdles and triple jump as well. Seniors Adam Kosydar and Levi McKay posted the top tosses in the discus.
Homer senior Cody Smith has the fastest time in the 400 and said he is looking to improve on his state finish last year.
"I want to finish better than 15th," Smith said.
Nikiski's Jani Lemmityinen is tied for second with a 6-1 leap in the boys high jump and is looking to complete his senior year with a win.
Kenai's quartet of Morgan Saltenberger, Clifford Cochran, Mick Boyle and Trevor Baldwin are the only peninsula boys 3,200 relay team. Although they are in the middle of the pack of teams entered, timewise, Kenai track coach Liz Burck said the chances for success are good.
"It's unpredictable," she said. "When you get to the state meet, anything can happen."
2003 ASAA State Track and Field Championships
Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High School, Anchorage
Cook Inlet Academy Alyse Bell (100, 200)
Kenai Central Amber McGlasson (300 hurdles, high jump), Dallas Baldwin (high jump)
Nikiski Katie Floyd (100 hurdles), Angie Doty (100, 200), Debbie Duggin (discus), Svenja Lau (Nikiski),
Ninilchik Emily Wood (400 relay), Amanda Matson (400 relay, long jump), Jen Bartolowits (400 relay), Amanda Peterson (400 relay), Kelsey Deiman (400 relay, discus)
Seward Whitney Anderson (3,200, 3,200 relay, 1,600, 800), Lara Loomis (3,200 relay), Anna Clock (3,200 relay), Tara DeRuwe (3,200 relay), Sierra Anderson (3,200 relay), Sara Hermann (3,200 relay), Monica Banic (long jump, triple jump), Michelle Dieckgraeff (shot put, discus), Lisa Steinbrecher (shot put, discus)
Soldotna Katie Franzmann (3,200, 3,200 relay, 1,600, 1,600 relay), Rachel Goldstein (3,200 relay), Katie Pankoski (3,200 relay), Ari Goldstein (3,200 relay, 1,600, 800, 1,600 relay), Sierra Williams (3,200 relay), Brittany Osland (3,200 relay), Tracy Pitts (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Brandi Denna (400, 1,600 relay), Karina Petersen (1,600 relay), Rachel McCarten (1,600 relay), Heidi Keller (1,600 relay), Brittany Gardner (triple jump), Liz Denna (shot put, discus)
Skyview Marci Mohler (3,200, 1,600), Ella Fehrer (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Kalenna Schouwieler (800), Laurel Creel (high jump), Christina Shadura (shot put)
Homer Cody Smith (400, 200)
Kenai Central Trevor Baldwin (3,200, 3,200 relay), Morgen Saltenberger (3,200 relay), Clifford Cochran (3,200 relay), Mick Boyle (3,200 relay, 1,600, 800), Mackenzie Boyle (3,200 relay), John McGlasson (200), Papapa Nicholas (shot put, discus), Danny Autrey (discus).
Nikiski Jani Lemmityinen (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, high jump), Billy Anderson (300 hurdles)
Ninilchik Jason Schollenberg (800 relay, 400 relay), Connor Cooper (800 relay, 400 relay), Cody Hatfield (800 relay, 400 relay), Tony Nakjua (800 relay, 400 relay), Vincent Kruzick (800 relay, 400 relay)
Skyview Kevin McGrady (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 1,600 relay, high jump, long jump), Trevor Tompkins (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 1,600 relay, triple jump), Ty Pepper (400, 1,600 relay), Mike Waer (1,600 relay), Jake Bellinger (1,600 relay), Jack Reed (1,600 relay), Mikael Barnes (shot put), Adam Kosydar (shot put, discus), Levi McKay (discus)
Soldotna Josh Tonione (400), Brian Chase (300 hurdles), Matt Hicks (shot put), Keith Herring (discus)
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