Juneau-Douglas High School junior Heather Bennett fell to her knees after she edged freshman teammate Evelyn Fisher in the girls 400-meter final Saturday at the Juneau Invitational track and field meet at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Bennett and Fisher had just posted the state's second- and third-best times in the event, and Bennett, who won three individual races in the meet, was spent - too tired to move.
About the same time, Juneau junior Mary Rehfeld had to check out a list of the season's top performances for the state to see where her performance ranked in the triple jump. When she saw she'd just made the state's best jump, Rehfeld danced a little jig.
Barring better times, jumps or throws elsewhere in the state this week, there were 19 performances at the Juneau Invitational that should rank in the state's top six for each event. Three of those results - by Rehfeld in the triple jump, Sitka sophomore Dianne Chong in the long jump and Juneau junior Tristan Knutson-Lombardo in the 1,600 meters - may move into the top spot in the state rankings.
"That's definitely a first. I can't think of the last time that's happened," Juneau coach Scott May said of the state-ranked times. "It's just so exciting. It seems like the Southeast numbers are growing and I'm excited by the balance. We had a lot of kids hit PRs (personal records). You have to credit the new facility for some of it."
The Juneau boys won the team title in their half of the meet, scoring 132 1/2 points to 99 1/4 for runner-up Sitka, 48 1/4 for Petersburg, 32 for Haines, 22 for Metlakatla and 14 for Ketchikan.
In the girls portion of the meet, Sitka edged Juneau by nine points, 116 1/2 to 107 1/2. Petersburg was third with 48, followed by Haines (28), Ketchikan (20) and Metlakatla (nine). Yakutat and Gustavus tied for seventh place with five points each.
Knutson-Lombardo already held the state's top time in the 1,600, but he improved his season's time by 3.37 seconds with a time of 4 minutes, 28.79 seconds - narrowly missing the school record. Knutson-Lombardo, who missed the state's top time in the 800 by just 0.04 seconds, was gunning for the 2001 mark of 4:27.61 set by Jesse Stringer, who returned from college to watch the race.
While he didn't break the school record in the 1,600, Knutson-Lombardo's fast pace helped teammates Tyler Dinnan into second place and Wesley Dinnan into fifth place in the state's rankings. Wesley Dinnan won the 3,200 to give Juneau a sweep of the distance races.
"We had a real hard week of training so when I heard the time I was a little surprised," Knutson-Lombardo said. "I felt really tired in the second lap, but the finish we had, that was good."
"My splits weren't as even as I wanted. I've got to get used to running 75s every lap," said Wesley Dinnan about the 3,200. "I'm happy for the win, though. Before this race and Sitka (the Sitka Invitational two weeks ago) I'd never won a high school race."
Besides Knutson-Lombardo's two individual victories and Dinnan's 3,200 title, the Crimson Bear boys also had senior Toni Talamai win the 110-meter high hurdles, the shot put and discus; and senior Jason Lunasin won the 100 and 200. The Crimson Bear boys also swept all four relay titles.
"I'm really happy," said Talamai, who nearly missed his hurdle race Saturday morning because he was checking in for the discus which had the same start time. "My warmup was to run from the discus to the hurdles (the length of the football field). That was about it. It was kind of nerve-wracking."
"That last one was fun, though," Lunasin said of the 200, where he posted the state's sixth-best time in his first career race at that distance. "I held back until the last 100 meters, then I let it go."
In the girls meet, Bennett made her season debut a memorable one by winning the 100, 200 and 400 individual races as well as anchoring Juneau's winning 400-meter relay team. Bennett was sick and missed the Sitka Invitational two weeks ago, when Sitka beat Juneau 103 1/2 to 57 1/2.
Normally the region's top 100 and 200 runner, Bennett made her career debut in the 400 and she and Fisher made it a meet highlight. Bennett started the final in Lane 3, while Fisher was two lanes over in Lane 5, which starts further up the track to compensate for the curve. Bennett eliminated Fisher's initial advantage by the third turn, then pulled ahead on the final stretch.
"It wasn't effortless, that's for sure," Bennett said. "She was kind of my guide. I follow her and she keeps me steady, and I push her. When we hit the stretch it's anybody's race."
"She caught me on the turn again," Fisher said. "I hate the outside lane. People always catch you on the turn."
In the triple jump and long jump, Rehfeld and Chong posted the state's top performances. But a lot of credit for their success goes to Haines' Kim Ferrin, who pushed them with her own strong showings. Ferrin's triple jump ranks second in the state and her long jump ranks third.
"Last year I did 31-something," Rehfeld said after her triple jump of 33 feet, 5 3/4 inches. "I went to camp this summer. The same girl (Ferrin) who beat me for second at regions last year was my motivation, and she jumped 33-3 1/2 just before my jump."
"This makes my day," Chong said Friday after her long jump of 16-9. "My friend told me the Haines girl (Ferrin, who was in another flight) jumped 16-3 so when it was my turn I just pushed myself. Last year, the best I did was 15-10 3/4."
In other events, Sitka's Megan Lehmann swept the three distance races - the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 - while Juneau's Lyssa Mikesell won the discus and shot put. Chong also won the 100-meter intermediate hurdles in the state's fifth-best time of 17.48. Juneau and Sitka split the four relays.
"I've got a lot of work to do," Mikesell said of her performance, which included a PR of 94-5 in the discus. "I want to reach 100 (feet in the discus), I think that's a worthy goal."
"It was fun, but tiring," Lehmann said of her events, where she was well in front of the field. "I wasn't going to do track, but I joined because I wanted us to help with housing for the Sitka Invitational and my mom told me we couldn't house unless I ran."
In other events of note:
Sitka's George Wathen has a decision to make. Wathen posted the state's third-best long jump with a winning leap of 20-4, and no he has to decide if he sticks with track or goes back to the baseball team, which plays games in Juneau the weekend of the state track meet.
"I just came here for the fun of it," Wathen said. "I don't know about our baseball coach, but I know my track coach is talking to me. I thought I'd be around 18, because the first time I'd jumped 17 feet in Sitka and I was scratching every time."
Metlakatla's Layte Hudson won the triple jump in the state's sixth-best leap of 38-9 1/2. The re-born Chiefs program is in its second season.
"Pretty much it's one of the first times anyone has got first, I never thought of that," Hudson said. "I was aiming for 40 and I didn't quite get it. But I'm happy for my first meet of the year."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Results from the Juneau Invitational high school track meet held Friday and Saturday at the Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park track. The top six finishers are the only ones who scored team points and only they are listed for each event.
Girls - 1. Sitka, 116.5 points; 2. Juneau-Douglas, 107.5; 3. Petersburg, 48; 4. Haines, 28; 5. Ketchikan, 20; 6. Metlakatla, 9; 7. tie, Yakutat, 5; 7. tie, Gustavus, 5.
Boys - 1. Juneau-Douglas, 132.5; 2. Sitka, 99.25; 3. Petersburg, 48.25; 4. Haines, 32; 5. Metlakatla, 22; 6. Ketchikan, 14.
Girls - 1. Lyssa Mikesell, JDHS, 29 feet, 2 inches; 2. Halley Post, Gustavus, 28-10 1/2; 3. Hannah Henderson, Metlakatla, 26-7 1/4; 4. Kristina Bidwell, Sitka, 26-7; 5. Holly Bennett, JDHS, 25-7 3/4; 6. Annaliese Fields, Metlakatla, 25-7 1/4.
Boys - 1. Toni Talamai, JDHS, 45-1 3/4; 2. Josh Lehauli, JDHS, 42-10 1/4; 3. Mychal Hutcherson, JDHS, 38-4 3/4; 4. Mike McMahon, Petersburg, 36-4 1/4; 5. Mica Trani, Sitka, 36-0; 6. David Berry, Haines, 35-10.
Girls - 1. Lyssa Mikesell, JDHS, 94-5; 2. Kristina Bidwell, Sitka, 83-11; 3. Carrie Wilkins, Haines, 72-8; 4. Lindsey Richards, Petersburg, 72-6; 5. Breanna Bagley, Haines, 71-6; 6. Annikki Kandoll, Petersburg, 69-6.
Boys - 1. Toni Talamai, JDHS, 124-5; 2. Tyler Ferrin, Haines, 114-8; 3. Bryan Cormack, JDHS, 108-6; 4. Kalen Williams, Petersburg, 106-7; 5. Josh Lehauli, JDHS, 106-4; 6. Geoff Hall, Petersburg, 100-9.
Girls - 1. tie, Abby Jackson, Petersburg, 4-6; 1. tie, Jose Ware, Petersburg, 4-6; 3. tie, Nicola Trainor, Sitka, 4-4; 3. tie, Ashley Bahrt, Sitka, 4-4; 3. tie, Sonja Ewing, Petersburg, 4-4; 3. tie, Emma Sarandria, JDHS, 4-4.
Boys - 1. Greg Hunter, Sitka, 5-8; 2. tie, Trevor McCay, Petersburg, 5-6; 2. tie, Joshua Joseph, Sitka, 5-6; 2. tie, Derek Clark, Ketchikan, 5-6; 5. Jacob Braun, Petersburg, 5-4; 6. tie, Owen Kelley, JDHS, 5-0; 6. tie, Michael Bickmore, JDHS, 5-0; 6. tie, Stewart Meeks, Petersburg, 5-0; 6. tie, Noel Nicolas, Sitka, 5-0.
Girls - 1. Dianne Chong, Sitka, 16-9; 2. Kim Ferrin, Haines, 16-3 1/2; 3. Mary Rehfeld, JDHS, 15-7; 4. Rachelle Albay, JDHS, 14-10 1/2; 5. Kaitlin Podsiki, Haines, 14-4 3/4; 6. Joyanne Cameros, Ketchikan, 13-11.
Boys - 1. George Wathen (aka, George Howard), Sitka, 20-4; 2. Layte Hudson, Metlakatla, 19-4 1/2; 3. Greg Hunter, Sitka, 19-1 3/4; 4. Jason Lunasin, JDHS, 19-0 3/4; 5. Michael Bickmore, JDHS, 18-7 3/4; 6. Glen Chong, Sitka, 18-1 3/4.
Girls - 1. Mary Rehfeld, JDHS, 33-5 3/4; 2. Kim Ferrin, Haines, 33-3 1/2; 3. Michaela Dunlap, Sitka, 30-3; 4. Ashley Bahrt, Sitka, 29-2 3/4; 5. Kaitlin Podsiki, Haines, 29-0 3/4; 6. Rachelle Albay, JDHS, 29-0 1/4.
Boys - 1. Layte Hudson, Metlakatla, 38-9 1/2; 2. Glen Chong, Sitka, 38-8 1/4; 3. Brenden Goodwin, Petersburg, 36-2 1/4; 4. Kyle Russell, JDHS, 33-8 3/4; 5. Chris Bushman, Petersburg, 33-3; 6. Trevor McCay, Petersburg, 33-2.
Girls - 1. Heather Bennett, JDHS, 13.18 seconds; 2. Dianne Chong, Sitka, 13.63; 3. Joy Ribao, Sitka, 13.95; 4. Rachelle Albay, JDHS, 14.01; 5. Mary Rehfeld, JDHS, 14.15; 6. Laura West, Ketchikan, 14.18.
Boys - 1. Jason Lunasin, JDHS, 11.63; 2. Greg Hunter, Sitka, 12.00; 3. Andy Marsh, Petersburg, 12.02; 4. Dylan Bergman, Sitka, 12.13; 5. David berry, Haines, 12.32; 6. Jacob Braun, Petersburg, 12.33.
Girls - 1. Heather Bennett, JDHS, 27.82; 2. Evelyn Fisher, JDHS, 28.61; 3. Laura West, Ketchikan, 29.12; 4. Joy Ribao, Sitka, 29.24; 5. Juliet Agne, Sitka, 29.49; 6. Brenna McMahon, Petersburg, 30.39.
Boys - 1. Jason Lunasin, JDHS, 23.59; 2. George Wathen (aka, George Howard), Sitka, 24.26; 3. Andy Marsh, Petersburg, 24.82; 4. Ben Olson, JDHS, 24.91; 5. Layte Hudson, Metlakatla, 24.94; 6. Jacob Braun, Petersburg, 25.14.
Girls - 1. Heather Bennett, JDHS, 1:02.88; 2. Evelyn Fisher, JDHS, 1:03.10; 3. J.J. Carlson, Sitka, 1:11.64; 4. Emma Sarandria, JDHS, 1:12.79; 5. Sara Poindexter, Sitka, 1:13.09; 6. Chandler O'Connell, Sitka, 1:14.08.
Boys - 1. Kyle Ainslie, Sitka, 54.92; 2. Chad Stigen, Haines, 55.44; 3. Jaysin Asnin, Sitka, 56.47; 4. Ben Schlechter, JDHS, 56.72; 5. Tim Davin, JDHS, 57.52; 6. Darrick Gaube, Metlakatla, 1:01.84.
Girls - 1. Megan Lehmann, Sitka, 2:38.22; 2. Lexi Garvey, JDHS, 2:40.44; 3. J.J. Carlson, Sitka, 2:42.86; 4. Angela Henderson, Petersburg, 2:45.48; 5. Abby Jackson, Petersburg, 2:45.85; 6. Chandler O'Connell, Sitka, 2:48.65.
Boys - 1. Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, JDHS, 2:01.81; 2. Tyler Dinnan, JDHS, 2:05.45; 3. Scott Totten, Sitka, 2:11.70; 4. Tim Davin, JDHS, 2:13.49; 5. Darrick Gaube, Metlakatla, 2:19.31; 6. Justin Albee, Sitka, 2:19.98.
Girls - 1. Megan Lehmann, Sitka, 5:59.05; 2. Jacquoi James, Yakutat, 6:24.33; 3. Kelsey Davidson, Sitka, 6:28.15; 4. Kerriann Powers, JDHS, 6:30.08; 5. Orianne Watrelot, Sitka, 6:30.47; 6. Margaret Hunter, Petersburg, 6:39.91.
Boys - 1. Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, JDHS, 4:28.79; 2. Tyler Dinnan, JDHS, 4:34.55; 3. Wesley Dinnan, JDHS, 4:36.22; 4. Darrick Gaube, Metlakatla, 4:58.11; 5. Tyler Eggen, Sitka, 5:07.87; 6. Nathan Narum, Haines, 5:08.22.
Girls - 1. Megan Lehmann, Sitka, 12:36.00; 2. Angela Henderson, Petersburg, 13:47.00; 3. Kerriann Powers, JDHS, 13:59.00; 4. Orianne Watrelot, Sitka, 14:09.00; 5. Kelsey Davidson, Sitka, 14:10.00; 6. Misty Leccese, Sitka, 14:53.00 (did not score team points, only three individuals per team score); 7. Heather Gatti, Ketchikan, 15:11.00 (earned sixth-place team point).
Boys - 1. Wesley Dinnan, JDHS, 10:11.00; 2. Scott Totten, Sitka, 10:36.00; 3. Greg Frank, JDHS, 10:59.00; 4. Tyler Eggen, Sitka, 11:33.00; 5. Jesse Agner, Petersburg, 11:38.00; 6. Rafael Ramirez, Ketchikan, 11:41.00.
100-METER INTERMEDIATE HURDLES
Girls - 1. Dianne Chong, Sitka, 17.48; 2. Brenna McMahon, Petersburg, 17.98; 3. Heather Dillon, JDHS, 18.41; 4. Kim Ferrin, Haines, 18.84; 5. Cory Welsh, Sitka, 18.99; 6. Hannah Meucci, Petersburg, 19.03.
110-METER HIGH HURDLES
Boys - 1. Toni Talamai, JDHS, 17.33; 2. Glen Chong, Sitka, 18.20; 3. Zac Forst, Sitka, 18.24; 4. Josh Lehauli, JDHS, 18.84; 5. Raymond Frentz, Petersburg, 19.27; 6. Stewart Meeks, Petersburg, 19.47.
300-METER LOW HURDLES
Girls - 1. tie, Cory Welsh, Sitka, 52.24; 1. tie, Brenna McMahon, 52.24; 3. LeAnna West, Ketchikan, 54.52; 4. Cordova Lewis, JDHS, 57.42; 5. Hannah Meucci, Petersburg, 58.17; 6. None.
300-METER INTERMEDIATE HURDLES
Boys - 1. James Blilie, Haines, 44.37; 2. Glen Chong, Sitka, 44.68; 3. Levi Benning, JDHS, 45.22; 4. Mike McMahon, Petersburg, 46.42; 5. Fred Yip, Petersburg, 47.56; 6. Josh Lehauli, JDHS, 49.27.
Girls - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Rachelle Albay, Heather Dillon, Mary Rehfeld, Heather Bennett), 53.65; 2. Sitka A (Juliet Agne, Kristen Case, Joy Ribao, Dianne Chong), 53.85; 3. Haines A (Kelly Hanson, Kaitlin Podsiki, Kim Ferrin, Holly Wing), 57.27; 4. Ketchikan A (LeAnna West, Jomarie Alba, Tiffany Alba, Laura West), 57.82; 5. Sitka B (Fawn Abt, Michaela Dunlap, Emma Edson, Erin Weakley), 59.52 (did not score team points, only on relay team per school scores); 6. Petersburg A (Amber Manley, Jose Ware, Olivia Bangs, Lauren Susort), 1:00.56 (earned fifth-place team points).
Boys - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Toni Talamai, Patrick Millard, Ben Olson, Jason Lunasin), 46.23; 2. Sitka A (Jaysin Asnin, Greg Hunter, George Wathen, Dylan Bergman), 47.02; 3. Petersburg A (Andy Marsh, Sean Larson, Fred Yip, Jacob Braun), 48.37; 4. Haines A (David Berry, Daniel Stickler, Tyler Ferrin, Bryan Combs), 48.71; 5. Sitka B (Nick Levine, Justin Albee, Joshua Joseph, Adam Fondell), 50.59 (did not score team points); 6. Sitka C (Hank Leclarc, Keith Reeder, J.W. Ramp, Mica Trani), 53.54 (did not score team points).
Girls - 1. Sitka A (Juliet Agne, Cory Welsh, Nicola Trainor, Joy Ribao), 1:55.73; 2. Juneau-Douglas A (Elizabeth Stickel, Emma Sarandria, Gwenn Miller, Evelyn Fisher), 1:56.98; 3. Ketchikan A (Tiffany Alba, Danielle Guenther, Laura West, LeAnna West), 2:04.27; 4-6. None. DQ: Petersburg A (Amber Manley, Bridey Short, Jennifer McKay, Lauren Susort).
Boys - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Tim Peterson, Michael Bickmore, Ben Schlechter, Ben Olson), 1:38.50; 2. Haines A (Chad Stigen, Daniel Stickler, David Berry, Tyler Ferrin), 1:38.89; 3. Sitka A (Jaysin Asnin, Adam Fondell, Kyle Ainslie, Dylan Bergman), 1:39.69; 4. Ketchikan A (Ryan Perez, Branson Maxwell, Will Klein, Derek Clark), 1:44.61; 5. Sitka B (Nick Levine, Noel Nicolas, Kameron Perensovich, George Wathen), 1:44.95 (did not score team points); DQ: Petersburg A (Andy Marsh, Sean Larson, Raymond Frentz, Mike McMahon).
Girls - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Kerriann Powers, Heather Dillon, Elizabeth Stickel, Emma Sarandria), 4:41.13; 2. Sitka A (Cory Welsh, Kelsey Davidson, Sara Poindexter, J.J. Carlson), 4:47.97; 3. Metlakatla A (Aja Bryant, Annaliese Fields, Brandi Hayward, Hannah Henderson), 5:07.88; 4. Petersburg A (Chelsea Berg, Bridey Short, Margaret Hunter, Kelly Aho), 5:10.18; 5. Ketchikan A (Tiffany Alba, Renaida Gabor, Heather Gatti, Danielle Guenther), 5:20.02; 6. Haines A (Brianna Phillips, Kelly Hanson, Carrie Wilkins, Ivanca Jones), 5:25.25.
Boys - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Tim Peterson, Tyler Dinnan, Tim Davin, Tristan Knutson-Lombardo), 3:44.42; 2. Sitka A (Joshua Joseph, Tyler Eggen, Scott Totten, Kyle Ainslie), 3:56.14; 3. Haines A (Nathan Narum, James Blilie, Chad Stigen, Bryan Combs), 4:02.43; 4. Juneau-Douglas B (Levi Benning, William Horton, Ben Schlechter, Casey Walsh), 4:02.46 (did not score team points); 5. Metlakatla A (Layte Hudson, Chris Nathan, Aaron Brendible, Donald Tompkins), 4:09.62 (scored fourth-place team points); 6. Ketchikan A (Branson Maxwell, Rafael Ramirez, James Gillian, David Graham), 4:10.58 (scored fifth-place team points); 7. Petersburg A (Jesse Agner, Dylan Durst, Sean Larson, Brenden Goodwin), 4:17.33 (scored sixth-place team points).
Girls - 1. Sitka A (Sara Poindexter, Chandler O'Connell, J.J. Carlson, Megan Lehmann), 11:22.67; 2. Juneau-Douglas A (Kerriann Powers, Cordova Lewis, Rebecca Legg, Sydney Akagi), 11:56.99; 3-6. None.
Boys - 1. Juneau-Douglas A (Tim Davin, William Horton, Greg Frank, Wesley Dinnan), 9:18.19; 2. Sitka A (Justin Albee, Daniel McArther, Tyler Eggen, Scott Totten), 9:36.20; 3. Ketchikan A (Rafael Ramirez, Chet Ginter, David Graham, James Gillian), 10:08.45; 4. Petersburg A (Jesse Agner, Andy Mazella, Brenden Goodwin, Chris Bushman), 10:29.72; 5-6. None.
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