Thunder Mountain High School’s Naomi Welling, Khalil English and Jenna Luhrs highlight a strong crop of Falcons, and Southeast, athletes that will compete at the Alaska Scholastic Activities Association track and field championships beginning Friday in Fairbanks.
Naomi Welling has the state’s fastest time in the 300-meter hurdles this year, running a 46.56 at the Region V Championships in Juneau last weekend. Welling will be the only Southeast 4A girls hurdler as the next fastest 15 times were from regions outside the district. Dimond High School’s Taylor Sims has posted a 46.76 and eagle River’s Scout Warners has a 47.92.
Khalil English is the lone 4A Southeast participant in the 800 meters and will be joined by Juneau-Douglas High School’s Riley Moser in the 1600 and 3200 fields. Athletes will number 16 in the individual events.
Nick Bursell is tied with six other high jumpers around the state with the second best leap of five-feet 10-inches and they all will be chasing Lathrop’s Tevin Gladden who has notched a six-foot attempt. The state record is 6-09 and the best this season is 6-03.
Joseph Ia will provide the Falcons with a 110 hurdles representative with Ketchikan’s Douglas Cook and Ricky Voelz representing Region V as well. Cook and Voelz will also run the 300-meter hurdles.
The Falcons have the eighth fastest 4x100 relay time of the eight teams entered. Neal Van Tamelen, Ia, Ben Jahn, Nick Bursell, Kenny Fox, and Chris Luna are all listed as eligible to be part of the four-man team. Falcons’ James Steeves and Brendan Pietz replace Van Tamelen and Fox for the 4x200 team roster.
Pietz and Fox will be in the first heat of long jumpers as well, and Pietz will also get a crack at the triple jump.
The Falcons Morgan Nichols will throw in the first heat of the shot put and Ketchikan’s Cody Ring in the second, both are roughly six feet below the state’s best mark this season of 48-03. The state record is 71-03, set by Bartlett’s Jordan Clarke.
Nichols and teammate Joe Paden and Ring will also throw in the first heat of the discus.
Ketchikan’s Kelton Thompson will run the boys 100-meter dash in a two-heat field that has all the participants running in 11 seconds and some tenths. Thompson will also run the 200 and 400 meters and is part of the 4x400 relay team of Jacob Guenther, Beau Albertson, Cook, and Christopher Llanos. Kayhi’s Voelz, Llanos, Albertson, Guenther and Ben Kacenas will run the 4x800 representing SE.
On the girls side, JDHS’ Kaitlin Fagerstrom (13.66) and TMHS’ Ava Thompson (13.76) will get a chance to topple Ketchikan’s Bernadette Franulovich (13.60) and Kayhi’s Alexis Crellin (13.72) while chasing top seeded Peggy Mathis (13.09) of Wasilla and Catherine McKoy (13.23) of Bartlett in a field of all 13-second 100 meter dashers.
Franulovich is the lone 4A Southeast representative in the 200 while Crellin and Fagerstrom give SE a chance in the 400.
Crellin will also run the 800 and will be joined by the Falcons Maddie Hall.
Hall is the lone Southeastern 4A runner in the 1600 and 3200 field.
TMHS’ Ashlynn Kay will run the 100-meter hurdles.
JDHS’ Tianna-Jae Garcia, Ashley Wittwer, Arianna Hintermeister, Kaitlin Fagerstrom and Catherine Walsh are Southeast’s team for the 4x100 relay while Thunder Mountain’s Ava Tompkins, Kay, Jenna Luhrs, Welling and Estie Dawson provide a solid team in the 4x200.
Ketchikan’s Shawna Nelson, Vona Enright, Crellin, Kaia Michalsen, and Franulovich are in the 4x400 and the Falcons’ Katie Jones, Hall, Emilyanne Lohrey, Dawson, Luhrs and Tompkins will run the 4x800.
Tompkins joins Ketchikan’s Emily Porter and Michalsen in the high jump.
Welling will compete in the long jump, as will Juneau-IDEA’s Abigail Van de Berg. Welling will also compete in the triple jump, joining Ketchikan’s Nelson.
The Crimson Bears’ Gabi Fenumiai and the Falcons’ Uinise Foo-Chong and Janelle Staveland and Kayhi’s Nelson will throw the shot put.
Luhrs has a strong chance of placing high in the discus and will be joined by Foo-Chong and Nelson.
Southeast small schools will be represented powerfully as well.
The boy’s events include:
100 meter dash – Sitka’s Mitchell Boord, Jaren Sumauang and Jon De LaCruz; 200 – De LaCruz; 400 – Haines’ Keegan Sunburg; 800 – Skagway’s Airk Cochran; 1600 – Cochran; 3200 – Cochran; 300 hurdles – Sitka’s Raleigh Marsh; 4x100 – Sitka’s Boord, Marsh, Sumauang, De LaCruz, Oscar Barragan, Jovani Villanueva; 4x200 – Sitka; 4x400 – Haines’ Chris Olsen, Patrick Henderson, Dalton Tuohy, Sunburg, Walker Blair, Kai Sato-Franks; 4x800 – Haines’ Tuohy, Zack Rossman, Terry Davis, Sato-Franks, Neil Little, Elliott Wilde; High Jump – Haines’ Henderson; Long Jump – Haines’ Chevy Fowler, Sitka’s Samson Stengl; Triple Jump – Stengl, Olsen; Shot Put – Petersburg’s Evan Marsh, Sitka’s Conner Chatham; Discus – Petersburg’s Alan Jensen, Sitka’s Conner.
Girl’s event representatives include:
100 – Haines’ Serena Badgley; 200 – Sitka’s Gabriella Cagle; 400 – Petersburg’s Robyn Schwartz; 800 – Schwartz; 1600 – Schwartz; 3200 – Petersburg’s Grace Weller; 100 hurdles – Weller, Yakutat’s Kasia Adams; 300 hurdles – Weller; 4x100 – Haines’ Jennie Humphreys, Celia Bower, Badgley, Bailey Stuart, Alisha Young, Jess Giddings; 4x400 – Petersburg’s Weller, Abigail Taylor, Kylie Wallace, Schwartz, Hannah Pfundt. 4x800 – Petersburg’s Wallace, Pfundt, Summer Morton, Diane Murph, Weller, Schwartz; High Jump – Sitka’s Hannah Davis; Long Jump – Sitka’s Cagle, Yakutat’s Kasia Adams; Triple Jump – Yakutat’s Adams, Haines’ Badgley; Shot Put – Haines’ Young, Sitka’s Mariyah Harrell; Discus – Haines’ Karly Spud and Young.