Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain high school track and field teams hosted the Capital City Invitational over the weekend, the first in-person meet they have competed in this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A limited numbers of athletes from Haines, Petersburg and Sitka attended with Ketchikan athletes having to cancel due to their city’s spike in COVID-19 cases.
With fresh opponents to aid the athletes’ competitive spirit, the Capital City participants put the state on notice of Southeast talent.
Thunder Mountain senior Iayanah Brewer ran the fastest time in the state for the 100 hurdles with a personal best 15.69.
“I am honestly very humbled and proud of myself for reaching this point in my life where I can really say I am number one for something I earned,” Brewer said. “I couldn’t imagine myself working this hard ever since my freshman year and it really hits me that I am here and I have this chance for something big."
Brewer’s mark approaches the Falcons' school record of 15.24 set by 2016 graduate Naomi Welling, a multi-event state champion.
“She actually came in at the beginning of the season,” Brewer said. “She was here for about two weeks. She would give me some extra tips and she really helped me with my hurdle form. I was really excited to meet her. It was really great that I had the chance to get advice and everything from her.”
Brewer said hard work, determination, watching YouTube videos of hurdlers, resistance training and weight lifting were key for her.
“I told myself ever since my sophomore year that if I wanted this spot for state, and I would look at the track and field records at my school, that I had to beat Naomi to make the top of the top 10 in state and I did it,” she said. “And I have so much time and help to reach what I am going for next.”
That work ethic is what her teammates on the girls 4x100 relay have dedicated themselves to.
The TMHS 4x100 relay team of Brewer, seniors Hannah Deer and Sophia Harvey and junior substitute Hailey Dompeling ran a 53.74 and now have the state’s No. 2 time. Sophomore Mallory Welling is the fourth member of that team but rested this weekend.
“The team is made up of girls who are already top 10 in other events,” Thunder Mountain coach Dwayne Duskin said. “With Hailey Dompeling as a great stand in for Mallory this past weekend, she was the perfect alternate. Everyone did really well and a lot of personal records were broken this weekend.”
Harvey won the triple jump in 33’0.75”, the second best state mark, and won the long jump in 15’3” (ninth best in the state).
Deer won the 200 in 28.34 (10th state) and the 400 in 1:02.43 (sixth state).
Welling is ranked eighth in the state for the long jump and 10th in the state for the 300 hurdles.
Crimson Bears junior James Connally continued to scorch the 100 meter stretch of the oval, winning in 11.63 with Falcons senior Ali Beya in third at 11.96, Petersburg senior Aiden Luhr was second in 11.81. Beya had a faster prelim time of 11.49, good enough for sixth fastest in the state, and Connally had a 11.53 (seventh state) and Luhr 11.62 (10th state).
Beya also won the 200 meters in 24.02.
Juneau-Douglas junior captain Colton Johns, Beya’s cousin, ran a personal best of 25.29 in the 200 meters, finishing fifth. He credited Beya for his inspiration.
“It is challenging to race against my cousin,” Johns said. “It is always nice having a family rivalry and I have always just thought, ‘If I can’t beat Ali then I just hope Ali wins.’ That was the outcome today. Ali is a phenomenal runner. Every time I am practicing I just think of Ali in front of me. He has definitely pulled me a long ways, every race, even if he is not competing in it with me. He is definitely a great motivator, and an even better family member.”
Beya credited Johns for the same inspiration.
“We have been racing for a while now, since middle school,” Beya said. “It’s a warm feeling to see him get better every year, and it is a great feeling to hear him say I am an inspiration. I always love family. It is a great feeling to see little cousin getting better and better every day.”
The JDHS 4x200 relay team of Connally, sophomore Tobin Montalbo, freshman Wilder Dillingham and Johns won in 1:39.34 (eighth state).
Montalbo won the 400 meters in 55.85, and senior Finn Morley took the 800 in 2:10.14 (eighth state) and 1600 in 4:44.90.
“We wanted consistency,” Juneau-Douglas coach Janette Gagnon said. “We wanted to see some confidence coming out of the blocks. We wanted to see smooth handoffs. We have been focusing on handoffs this week. And we just wanted them to feel the excitement of competing against teams in addition to Thunder Mountain.”
Sitka head coach Jeremy Strong was thankful for more track time.
“At this part of the season, we just want them to start to feel good about the races,” Strong said. “Come in, feel like you get a good start and focus on the stuff we have been working on through the season even though it has been a shorter season, too, and we missed the one last year. Kind of just fine-tuning some things and taking some positives away from the meet.”
Some of those positives included first place finishes by senior Lindsey Bartolaba (100 meters), junior Tawny Smith (800), the girls 4x800 relay, senior Jocelyn Brady (shot put and discus) and senior Noah Blackmon (300 hurdles) and sophomore Silas Demmert (3200).
Juneau-Douglas’ 4x800 team described their winning run of 9:18.67 (ninth state).
“My job as the first runner is to try and get a good start for the team so they can carry through the rest of the way,” Crimson Bears junior Aubrey Hekkers said.
Hekkers would pass the baton to senior Isaac Schlosser.
“Obviously Aubrey set a nice pace,” Slosser said. “Around the 250 mark, I figured out I could probably tire him out and on the second lap I took off and felt really good.”
Slosser passed the baton to senior Aidan Hollingsworth.
“Second place leg Isaac Slosser put up a good lead so I had to make sure to keep that lead in the third leg of the race,” Hollingsworth said.
Senior Finn Morley had the final leg.
“My job was to just finish the race off and these guys did a good job of setting me up for it,” Morley said.
Crimson Bears junior Cosley Bruno ran so fast her shoelaces were untied at the finish of her 13.52 third place 100-meter run. Her goal is to get her time under 13 seconds.
“I came into the race pretty unprepared,” Bruno said. “Warming up good in this weather is key. Just trying to visualize one thing and keep that mentality of running fast.”
Even the state’s fastest hurdler said just the opportunity to focus on something other than a pandemic season has been a positive.
“I am definitely very happy, even though it is a shorter season,” the Falcons’ Brewer said. “Even though there are not as many meets, I am really happy I have this chance to be out on the track and have this opportunity, even with everything going on around it. I have so much better time management and focus when it comes to track and field season.”
The next meet for Southeast schools will be the Region V championships held at Falcons Field on May 21-22. The state championships are in Anchorage on May 27-29.
CAPITAL CITY INVITATIONAL
Finals Results Boys/Girls (Top Three Finishers / Top State Mark)
Boys - 1. jr James Connally 11.63 JD; 2. sr Aiden Luhr 11.81 PSG; 3. sr Ali Beya 11.96 TM. / TS - sr Logan Mathieu 11.25 Chugiak.
Girls - 1. sr Lindsey Bartolaba 13.39 SIT; 2. sr Haley Boron 3. jr Cosley Bruno 13.52 JD. / TS - jr Olivia Manley 12.99 West Valley.
Boys - 1. Beya 24.02 TM; 2. Luhr 24.51 PSG; 3.sr Carson Grant 25.33 SIT. / TS - Mathieu 22.67 CHG.
Girls - 1. sr Hannah Deer 28.34 TM; 2. jr McKenna McNutt 28.84 JD; 3. fr Hayden Leggy-Smith 29.57 TM. TS - so Brennyn Edwards 26.68 Grace Christian.
Boys - 1. so Tobin Montalbo 55.37 JD; 2. jr Matthew Johns 56.45 TM; 3. sr Aiden Hollingsworth 56.63 JD. / TS - sr Tucker Christiansen 52.80 Palmer.
Girls - 1. Deer 1:02.43 TM; 2. so Skylar Tuckwood 1:04.29 JD; 3. Bartolaba 1:06.87 SIT. / TS - Edwards 59.51 GC.
Boys - 1. sr Finn Morley 2:10.14 JD; 2. sr Kaleb Jones 2:14.70 HNS; 3. jr Luke Davis 2:17.48 HNS. / TS - sr Brady Burrough 2:00.44 South Anchorage.
Girls - 1. jr Tawny Smith 2:24.89 SIT; 2. S.Tuckwood 2:38.25 JD; 3. sr Linnea Lentfer 2:42.37 JD. / TS - sr Sophie Wright 2:21.82 PAL.
Boys - 1. Morley 4:44.90 JD; 2. so Silas Demmert 4:50.98 SIT; 3. L Davis 4:51.24 HNS. / TS - jr Daniel Abromowicz 4:27.81 WV.
Girls - 1. Smith 5:32.77 SIT; 2. so Ana Prussian 5:37.54 SIT; 3. fr Maisey Morley 5:38.41 JD. / TS - sr Naomi Bailey 5:10.20 WV.
Boys - 1. Demmert 10:36.26 SIT; 2. sr Kaleb Jones 10:51.92 HNS; 3. sr Isaac Schlosser 11:17.50 JD. / TS - sr Tristian Merchant 9:02.71 Anchorage Christian.
Girls - 1. jr Annika Schwartz 12:11.51 JD; 2. Prussian 12:19.25 SIT; 3. fr Rayna Tuckwood 12:24.43 JD. / TS - jr Payton Smith 11:33.95 West Anchorage.
Boys - 1. sr Carson Crager 17.56 HNS; 2. so David Davis 20.55 SIT. / TS - Mathieu 14.50 CHG.
Girls - 1. sr Iayanah Brewer 15.69 TM; 2. so Mahala Powell 18.91 JD; 3. jr Adelaide Poulson 19.27 SIT. / TS - Brewer 15.69 JD.
Boys - 1. sr Noah Blackmon 44.90 SIT; 2. Crager 45.49 HNS; 3. D Davis 48.99 SIT. / TS - Mathieu 39.45 CHG.
Girls - 1. jr Avery Williamson 51.16 HNS; 2. Poulson 52.67 SIT; 3. jr Ashlie Stringer 1:03.37 JD. / TS - sr Maria Cvancara 47.78 Dimond.
Boys - 1. Connally, Johns, Hickok, West 48.15 JD; 2. Grant, Hutton, Blackmon, Adres 49.32 SIT; 3. J. Cumps, Whtiacre, H. Cumps, Luhr 50.95 PSG. / TS - 44.48 CHG.
Girls - Brewer, Dompeling, Harvey, Deer 53.74 TM; 2. Durling, Bruno, McNutt, Jackson 55.97; 3. Sumauang, Bartolaba, Chong, Moore 56.06. TS - 52.78 CHG.
Boys - 1. Connally, Montalbo, Dillingham, C. Johns 1:39.34 JD; 2. Adres, Carlos, Dow, Voron 1:47.49 SIT. / TS - 1:34.32 East Anchorage.
Girls - 1. Boron, Getchell, Long, Williamson 2:00.71 HNS; 2. Dunn, Moore, Skultka, Chong 2:05.88 SIT; 3. Durling, Hollingsworth, Stitz, Pikul 2:06.97 JD. / TS - 1:53.48 EA.
Boys - 1. C. Johns, Hollingsworth, Connally, Morley 3:53.34 JD; 2. Jacobson, L.Davis, M.Davis, Allen 3:57.58 HNS; 3. Blackmon, Dement, Weiland, Crenna 4:00.41 SIT. / TS - 3:42.70 Grace Christian.
Girls - 1. McNutt, Jackson, S.Tuckwood, Lentfer 4:34.18; 2. Bartolaba, Young, Skultka, Smith 4:40.32 SIT; 3. Getchell, Rodgers, Long, Williamson 4:47.41 HNS. / TS - 4:17.45 Soldotna.
Boys - 1. Morley, Hollingsworth, Dekkers, Schlosser 9:18.67 JD; 2. Crenna, Helen, Maxwell, Dement 9:26.11 SIT; 3. Dow, Myers, Weiland, White 9:36.70 SIT. / TS - 8:34.45 GC.
Girls - 1. Prussian, Smith, Young, Gassman 10:24.42 SIT; 2. Lentfer, Schwartz, S.Tuckwood, Eller 10:38.38 JD. / TS - 10:06.81 SOL.
Boys - 1. sr Wesley Verhamme 45-06 HNS; 2. sr Daniel Isaak 40-8.25 JD; 3. jr Dalton Voron 31-10.50 SIT. / TS - jr Shaistin Naufahu Gaspar 50-5 Bartlett.
Girls - 1. sr Jocelyn Brady 26-5.75 SIT; 2. fr Ava Brady 24-11 SIT; 3. Miramontes 24-6 HNS. / TS - sr Hanna Tennesen 37-11.5 Colony.
Boys - 1. Isaak 127-07 JD; 2. Verhamme 116-11 HNS; 3. so Eric Gillham 113-11 HNS. / TS - jr Dylan Dahlgren 147-1 SOL.
Girls - 1. J.Brady 86-4 SIT; 2. Boron 77-8 HNS; 3. jr Mira Marthaler 75-11 JD. / TS - jr Hadley Blasey 122-3 WV.
Boys - 1. Luhr 5-8 PSG; 2. fr Valon Weathers 5-2 PSG; 3. Dow 5-2 SIT. / TS - jr Brynn Miller 6-2 PAL.
Girls - 1. so Mahala Powell 4-6 JD; 2. Harvey 4-6 TM; 3. Schwartz 4-4 JD. / TS - Blasey 5-4 WV.
Boys - 1. Hickok 18-07 JD; 2. fr Wilder Dillingham 17-6 JD; 3. H.Cumps 17-5.25 PSG. / TS - Mathieu 21-4.5 CHG.
Girls - 1. Harvey 15-3 TM; 2. Sumauang 14-6 SIT; 3. Jackson 13-10.75 JD. / sr Harlie Lewallen 16-11.5 DMD.
Boys - 1. Crager 38-6.25; 2. jr Jake Sleppy 35-9 JD; 3. Dillingham 35-3 JD. / TS - sr Owen Lewis 41-7 CHG.
Girls - 1 Harvey 33-0.75 TM; 2. Sumauang 31-5.75 SIT; 3. fr Anya Pawuk 27-6.50 PSG. / TS - sr Drysta Crosby-Schneider 33-10 SOL.Sorry, it doesn't look like there's any photos here just yet.