Juneau-Douglas will compete in this weekend’s inaugural Prosser/Whitmore Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Alaska Dome in Anchorage.
The event features 16 teams, including Anchorage Christian, Grace Christian, JDHS, Kodiak, Lathrop, Seward, Wasilla, West Valley, Bartlett, Chugiak, Dimond, Eagle River, East, Service, South and West high schools.
The inaugural event was named after two influential individuals in Alaska track & field, Laird Prosser and Larry Whitmore.
Prosser was a mid-distance runner and a graduate of Dimond who died in 2009, and Whitmore was the longtime coach at Bartlett before retiring in 1991.
Laird won five individual state championships in the 3,200-meter run (1995), 1,600 (1993 and ’95), 800 (1993 and ’95). He also holds the current Region VI record in the 800 (1 minute, 55.3 seconds), set in 1993.
Whitmore coached at Bartlett from 1973-1991, and he still resides in Anchorage. During his coaching career, Whitmore coached 11 state championship teams, including eight in a row from 1979-1986, and had 122 individual state champion athletes. He compiled an overall record of 228-30 during his tenure.
The event was established to finish off the indoor track season with a major meet, involving the state’s top programs.
Teams will be presented with trophies for the winners of the top boys’ and girls’ programs. The Prosser/Whitmore “Grand Champion” will be the school with the biggest combined team scores over the two days of competition, and the winning school will take home a traveling trophy, “The Pan,” to display for one year.