A bittersweet day for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé track and field team was also a good learning experience at the ASAA Track & Field State Championships, Friday and Saturday, in Palmer.
The JDHS girls 4×800 relay won the state championship running easily under 10 minutes, celebrated with fans and then were crushed to learn they were disqualified.
“It was definitely a strange weekend,” JDHS junior Etta Eller said. “Definitely a track meet that I will remember for a long time. Our girls 4×8 won and then found out that we were disqualified and that became, like, the main thing that happened this weekend. That was on everyone’s mind. It was a great weekend but there were a lot of highs and a lot of lows.”
Eller, classmate Maisy Morley, sophomore Ida Meyer and freshman Kate Schwarting had been given permission by an official that their AirPods were OK in the area the team was at, but another official disqualified them after the race for “Technology on the track.” An appeal failed.
Eller and Meyer had already earned podium finishes, placing second and third, respectively, behind Chugiak senior Campbell Peterson in the DI 3200 meters on Friday.
Peterson ran a PR 11:16.54 and Eller and Meyer stayed within striking distance throughout the eight laps with Eller going 11:30.85 and Meyer a PR 11:32.66.
Eller also placed third in the 1600 in a PR 5:23.90 and Meyer fifth in a PR 5:25.47, again with Peterson winning in 5:10.95.
“Overall I felt good,” Eller said. “I really like racing against people that are faster than me. I like trying to stick right behind them and tailgate them I guess. I feel like races for me are a lot more exciting when I do that. In the 1600 I was processing a lot from the 4×8, my legs were heavy and stuff but in both of my races I was satisfied because I couldn’t have put in any more effort.”
Schwarting gave notice to state competitors with a third place in the 800 meters in a PR 2:24.06. Chugiak senior Addison Capozzi won in 2:21.29.
Thunder Mountain senior Mallory Welling tied for second place in the DI girls high jump on Friday with South Anchorage freshman Rachael White, both cleared 4-10.00, behind Soldotna senior Katelyn Morrison at 5-00.
Welling also placed second in the 100 hurdles with 15.95, just being out leaned by East Anchorage senior Olivia Mamae in 15.25. Welling was nipped in the 300 hurdles as well, placing second in 47.92 behind Soldotna sophomore Anaulie Sedivy in 47.91.
Mamae won the 100 in 12.58 and 200 in 26.04 with no southeast runner in the top eight.
Ketchikan sophomore Jason Lorig changed that scenario by winning the boys 100 in 11.26 with TMHS sophomore Jayden Johnson sixth in 11.70.
East Anchorage senior Brian Morris won the 200 in 22.48 with JDHS senior Tobin Montalbo sixth in 23.33.
Chugiak senior Anders Larsen won the 400 in 49.81 with JDHS junior Wilder Dillingham fifth in 51.54.
Colony senior Matthew Rongitsch won the DI boys 3200 in 9:42.45 with JDHS sophomore Joshua Reed sixth in 10:10.69 and junior Edgar Vera Alvarado eighth at 10:15.57. Rongitsch also won the 800 in 1:58.33 and 1600 in 4:23.65.
West Valley junior Alex Emers won the DI boys high jump with 6-02.
TMHS sophomore Kerra Baxter earned third in the DI girls triple jump with 34-05.75 and her twin sister Cailynn Baxter sixth with 33-01.00. Eagle River sophomore Gabrielle Okorodudu won with 35-03.50. Bartlett junior A’lante Owens-Player won the DI boys triple jump with 44-02.50.
Wasilla senior Eric Kolomeychuk won the boys DI shot in 52-08.75 and Wasilla sophomore Layla Hays the girls in 37-02. West Anchorage senior Norah Brown won the girls DI discus with 129-11 and Colony junior Ethan McNulty the boys with 151-10.
West Anchorage won the boys 4×100 in 43.61 with East second in 43.62 and TMHS sophomore Jayden Johnson, and seniors Lucas White, Jamal Johnson and Jarrell Williams third in 44.31. East won the boys 4×200 in 1:30.97. South won the boys 4×400 in 3:29.97 and Dimond the boys 4×800 in 8:12.56.
“We crushed our PR’s,” JDHS sophomore distance runner Finn Lamb said. “The 4×800 was exciting. We have a young team and we’re looking forward to next year.”
West Anchorage won the girls 4×100 in 51.56, Chugiak won the girls 4×200 in 1:48.12 and the 4×400 in 4:07.53.
“It was fun,” JDHS freshman 4×400 freshman runner Sienna Farr said. “I’m pretty happy with it and my awesome team.”
Added 1600 sophomore runner Pacific Ricke, who placed 13th in 5:42.35, “I tried to go into the 16 thinking about it effort based instead of time based. It was far off of my PR, but the race felt good. It was really good to be out there with Ida and Etta and have that camaraderie.”
Chugiak won the girls team title with 113 points and Colony the girls with 73.
JDHS coach Jesse Stringer added that, “We gave it our all.”
• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at email@example.com.