On a day of standout multiple-event winners, four athletes stood the tallest.
Haines freshman Sarah Lende, Petersburg junior Amber Beardslee, Juneau-Douglas junior Adriana Rodriguez and Ketchikan senior Geoff Nordlund each won at least two events at the Juneau Invitational Track and Field Meet at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park on Friday and Saturday.
Beardslee cleared 5-feet-2 1/2 inches to win the high jump, which as of May 3 is the best mark in the state and is a half-inch better than the Southeast record set in 1985 (Southeast records only count if performed at the regional meet).
Beardslee, the defending region champion in the high jump and a multi-sport athlete who also excels in basketball and swimming, also won the triple jump with a jump of 30-feet-9, and the discus with a throw of 90-6.
The Juneau girls totaled 191 points to win the meet. Sitka placed second (131), followed by Haines (72), Ketchikan (67), Petersburg (47), and Gustavus (0).
The Juneau boys also won, amassing 159 points to beat out Haines (103). Petersburg claimed third (89), followed by Ketchikan (79), Sitka (28), and Gustavus (17).
High hurdle: Juneau's Alan Floresca clears a hurdle en route to a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles at the Juneau Invitational Saturday. At right is Ketchikan's Ian Roskam.
BRIAN WALLACE / THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Lende scorched the competition in winning the 400 and 800 and nearly caught Rodriguez at the finish of the 400-meter relay. Pending the outcome of other meets this weekend, Lende's time of 1:00.6 is second best in the state, and her 800 time of 2:26 is fifth best.
``If she can stay healthy, by the time she's a junior or senior she should be the best in the state,'' said Haines coach Rich Kaloostian.
Lende competed in the discus and shot put in junior high, partly because she couldn't run. Lende suffered from Osgood-Schlatter's disease, a painful condition in the knees resulting from competitive sports and rapid growth. This year the condition abated, and Lende found she could run again.
``The coach saw me running,'' Lende said, ``and said I should give up the discus and shot.''
Rodriguez is a newcomer to track, but it didn't show as she claimed the 100- and 200-meter dash titles and anchored Juneau's winning 400- and 800-meter relay teams.
Rodriguez sped past defending region champion Jennifer Loesch and teammate Brittany Troutt to win a close 200 race in 27.97 seconds, and defeated Haines' experienced sprinter Alison Figdor to win the 100 in 13.46.
Juneau's 800 relay team of Rodriguez, Troutt, Sarah Ballard and Emily Krehlik clocked 1:51.56, one of the top-five fastest times in the state this year.
Rodriguez and Troutt said the relay teams are still getting used to making handoffs, and should be improved by the state meet.
``We're just getting used to fullspeed handoffs,'' Rodriguez said. ``And we haven't been able to judge how everyone runs yet.''
``If we get the handoffs down, we'll have a shot at state,'' Troutt said.
Juneau senior Breea DeSloover ran 12:02.23 to win the 3,200-meter run, which was a second faster than her second-place finish in the regional meet last year. In the 1600, DeSloover passed teammate Brandi Weston near the finish and almost caught winner Ella Allred of Haines.
DeSloover trailed Allred and Weston almost from the start and made up 40 to 50 meters down the final stretch.
``I knew if I didn't pick it up in the middle I would at the end,'' said DeSloover, who won the 800 title at regions last year. ``I like the sprint part because you know it's almost over.''
The 1,600 (four laps around the track) and 3,200 (eight laps) are both long, grueling races, but have distinctive differences, and many runners say they prefer one over the other.
``In the 2-mile (3,200) you have time to break into your pace,'' DeSloover said. ``In the 1-mile (1,600) if you don't start out fast you'll get behind real quick.''
``I ran the 2-mile in Sitka (two weeks ago) and it seemed so long,'' Weston said. ``That killed me.''
Juneau's Brian Fairchild and Ketchikan's Geoff Nordlund won multiple events in the boys' meet.
Fairchild threw 41-7 to claim the shot put and 118-0 to win the discus.
Nordlund showed some decathlon-type ability, winning the 110meter high hurdles, the 100-meter dash, the triple jump and the long jump. Nordlund, the defending region champ in the 110 hurdles, won by two seconds over the nearest competitor. His time of 16.023 is in among the state's best as of last week.
Nordlund leaped 18-9 to win the long jump, and 37-8 to win the triple jump. He claimed the 100 with a 11.85 clocking.
Juneau's Zach Gaber won the high jump with a 5-8 mark. Gaber is currently among the state's leaders after clearing 5-10 in Sitka.
Other boys winners were: 3,200meter run - Wesley Brooks, Juneau, 10:33.82; 3,200-meter relay - Juneau, 9:01.42; 800-meter relay - Juneau, 1:39.96; 1,600-meter run - Jesse Stringer, Juneau, 4:44.78; 400-meter relay - Juneau, 48.46; 400 run - Matt Mangini, Sitka, 54.55; 300-meter hurdles - Thor Hartwig, Sitka, 44.54; 800 run - Jeremy Carpenter, Juneau, 2:13.25; 200 dash - Patrick Katzeek, 24.48; 1,600-meter relay - Sitka, 3:54.75.
Other girls winner were: Long jump - Danette Kahle, Ketchikan, 14-4; Shot put - Adrienne Koch, Ketchikan, 24-0; 100 hurdles - Erin Schwartz, Petersburg, 18.099; 3,200 relay - Juneau, 11:45.95; 1,600 run - Ella Allred, Haines, 5:34.43; 300 hurdles - Clair Martin, Juneau, 52.52; 1,600 relay - Juneau, 4:47.62.
Complete results will appear later in the week.