Thunder Mountain High School's Naomi Welling celebrates during the state track and field championships in Anchorage. Welling won the 300­-meter hurdles with a blistering state ­record time of 43.49 seconds.

Thunder Mountain High School's Naomi Welling celebrates during the state track and field championships in Anchorage. Welling won the 300­-meter hurdles with a blistering state ­record time of 43.49 seconds.

Welling wins three events at state meet

The Thunder Mountain High School track and field team took home four golds, two silvers and a bronze medal at the ASAA state track and field meet at Dimond High School in Anchorage on Friday and Saturday.

Falcons senior Naomi Welling won the 300­-meter hurdles with a blistering state ­record time of 43.49 seconds, a full half a second faster than her 44.01 Region V record set only a week earlier. Welling was spurred on by the second place finisher Jordyn Bruce of Eagle River, who closed on Welling down the stretch and supplied the needed motivation to push Welling to her record time. Bruce also surpassed the previous state record with her 43.80 time.

Not being able to turn around and see Bruce, Welling depended on the crowd to help her to the record and the gold.

“It was a little bit easier to tell by the cheers what was happening,” Welling said. “I could hear my mom screaming at the end of the race and I knew I had to push a little harder.”

Welling said the race “definitely felt like the fastest I’ve ever run.”

A mere 40 minutes later, she turned around and won the 800­-meter, completing a brutal double most athletes wouldn’t venture to attempt, let alone win. The 70 degree Anchorage heat challenged athletes to stay hydrated and avoid fatigue, but Welling dug deep to come away with the incredible double.

She depended on pure adrenaline in the second race.

“Honestly, about 10 minutes before the 800 I was getting nervous because my breathing was too high, but when I was about to start I felt I should just go for it,” Welling said.

She also took the top spot in the triple jump with 38 feet and five and three­-quarter inches, seven inches further than the second place finisher.

TMHS’ sprinters placed in three events at the meet, with the 4X100-­meter relay team taking the top spot. A relay team of Adam Ramsey, John Somerlot, Kyle Schramm and Aiden Hildebrand won the top spot after Ramsey, Somerlot, Hildebrand and Luke Paden took second in the 4X200-­meter relay.

Coming into the state championship meet, the boys were ranked first in the 4X200, and though they were proud to finish second, ­the group was a bit disappointed in their handoffs.

“A medal is a medal, but there were some things that we didn’t practice enough,” Hildebrand said. “I took off a bit early on the handoff. … I’m still happy we’re on the podium.”

The boys took advantage of their second shot at gold with the 4X100-meter relay. Did it feel a bit like redemption?

“A tad bit,” Hildebrand said.

 The 4X100 was a close race, with Thunder Mountain pulling out a time of 43.73 seconds over Service High School’s 44.37.

“I couldn’t see how close they were but I heard everyone behind me. I was freaking out, it was crazy,” Somerlot said.

TMHS distance runner Erin Wallace also had a great showing at state, earning a third place finish in the girls 3200-­meter run and a second place finish in the 1600.

“First few laps I felt pretty comfortable and I felt that I could go faster,” Wallace said. “In the fourth lap, I thought, you know, I haven’t found my kick yet but maybe I will today and I just pushed my hardest to the finish line.”

Wallace beat her previous personal record in the 3200 by three seconds (11:47.53). She got edged out of second in the final meters of the race by Kodiak High School’s Zoe Bigly, who beat Wallace by only eight-hundredths of a second.

“That was also a pretty interesting race. We were all going back and forth a lot,” Wallace said. “On my sixth lap I remember thinking I had a lot of energy left, … I was so dead at the end of that.”

Boys results:

100 Meters: Brett Morman 10.95 South Anchorage; 2. Dillon Pratt 11.06 Chugiak; 3. Aidan Hildebrand 11.34 Thunder Mountain

200 Meters: 1. Brett Morman 22.00 South Anchorage; 1. Dillon Pratt 22.00 Chugiak; 3. Jack Martensen 22.38 Service

400 Meters: 1. Bentiu Panoam 49.35 Bartlett; 2. Jack Martensen 49.49 Service; 3. Brandon Joyner 50.12 West Valley

800 Meters: 1. Atticus Everett 1:57.30 West Anchorage; 2. Aaron Swedberg 1:58.70 Soldotna; 3. Derek Steele 1:59.26 South Anchorage

1600 Meters: 1. Ty Jordan 4:15.78 Chugiak; 2. Derek Steele 4:23.48 South Anchorage; 3. Michael Parnell 4:30.58 Kodiak

3200 Meters: 1. Keith Osowski 9:36.99 Kodiak; 2. Derek Steele 9:42.90 South Anchorage; 3. Michael Parnell 9:45.28 Kodiak

110m Hurdles: 1. Mark Fisher 15.20 West Anchorage; 2. William Troxel 15.76 West Anchorage; 3. Brady Southwick 16.10 Palmer

300m Hurdles: 1. Mark Fisher 41.03 West Anchorage; 2. Will Balcao 41.21 South Anchorage; 3. Mason Wadsworth 41.87 Eagle River

4×100 Relay 1. Relay Team 43.73 Thunder Mountain; 2. Relay Team 44.37 Service; 3. Relay Team 44.41 West Valley

4×200 Relay: 1. Relay Team 1:30.91 West Valley; 2. Relay Team 1:31.14 Thunder Mountain; 3. Relay Team 1:32.86 Dimond

4×400 Relay 1. Relay Team 3:27.14 Bartlett; 2. Relay Team 3:29.76 West Valley; 3. Relay Team 3:30.43 Kodiak

4×800 Relay: 1. Relay Team 8:07.89 Kodiak; 2. Relay Team 8:09.58 Bartlett; 3. Relay Team 8:11.31 West Valley

Discus ­1.6kg: 1. Kordell Pillans 162’00.00 Kodiak; 2. Johnathon Stephens 155’10.00 Service; 3. Ben Frick 138’03.00 Wasilla

High Jump: 1. Bryce Hellman 6’6.00 Bartlett; 2. Brandon Joyner 6’4.00 West Valley; 3. Nathaniel Fromm 6’0.00 Service

Long Jump: 1. Josh Jackman 22’02.75 Kenai Central; 2. Micah Banks 21’03.50 West Valley; 3. Nathaniel Fromm 21’03.25 Service

Triple Jump: 1. Brandon Nicholson 46’2.00 Colony; 2. Josh Jackman 42’01.50 Kenai Central; 3. Lucas Davis 41’09.50 Eagle River

Womens Results:

100 Meters: 1. Katherine Hines 12.28 South Anchorage; 2. Ariana Davis 12.49 Chugiak; 3. Cerina Bush 12.59 Chugiak

200 Meters: 1. Katherine Hines 25.45 South Anchorage; 2. Gretta Pickett 25.77 West Anchorage; 3. Jordyn Bruce 25.80 Eagle River

400 Meters Varsity ­ Finals:  1. Daisy Nelson 59.11 Soldotna; 2. Bailey Roe 1:00.01 West Valley; 3. Brittany Taylor 1:00.67 Soldotna

800 Meters Varsity ­ Finals: 1. Naomi Welling 2:21.51 Thunder Mountain; 2. Morgan Lash 2:23.47 South Anchorage; 3. Ruby Woodings 2:24.37 Palmer

1600 Meters: 1. Morgan Lash 5:09.15 South Anchorage; 2. Erin Wallace 5:20.86 Thunder Mountain; 3. Kylie Judd 5:25.60 Dimond

3200 Meters: 1. Peyton Young 11:42.48 Eagle River; 2. Zoe Bigley 11:47.45 Kodiak; 3. Erin Wallace 11:47.53 Thunder Mountain

100m Hurdles: 1. Jordyn Bruce 15.10 Eagle River; 2. Naomi Welling 15.18 Thunder Mountain; 3. Gretta Pickett 15.48 West Anchorage

300m Hurdles: 1. Naomi Welling 43.49 Thunder Mountain; 2. Jordyn Bruce 43.80 Eagle River; 3. Gretta Pickett 45.01 West Anchorage

4×100 Relay: 1. Relay Team 50.23 Chugiak; 2. Relay Team 50.34 South Anchorage; 3. Relay Team 51.07 Dimond

4×200 Relay: 1. Relay Team 1:46.89 Chugiak; 2. Relay Team 1:48.65 Dimond; 3. Relay Team 1:49.61 Lathrop

4×400 Relay: 1. Relay Team 4:08.86 Soldotna; 2. Relay Team 4:12.63 West Valley; 3. Relay Team 4:14.34 Eagle River

4×800 Relay: 1. Relay Team 9:51.93 Colony; 2. Relay Team 9:59.02 South Anchorage; 3. Relay Team 9:59.15 Dimond

Shot Put ­ 4kg: 1. Alissa Pili 39’11.00 Dimond; 2. Envyi Pendergrass 39’06.50 Lathrop; 3. Tava Fereti 37’08.00 Dimond

Discus ­ 1kg: 1. Kristina Tennesen 116’09.00 Colony; 2. Emily Pieh 109’05.00 Soldotna; 3. Annie Quinn 109’01.00 Soldotna

High Jump: 1. Ceil Dunleavy 5’6.50 Wasilla; 2. Emma Nelson 5’2.00 Chugiak; 3. Ann Gebauer 5’2.00 Service

Long Jump: 1. Emma Nelson 18’00.25 Chugiak; 2. Chase Stephens 16’05.25 Colony; 3. Allison Gonzales 15’09.50 East Anchorage

Triple Jump: 1. Naomi Welling 38’05.75 Thunder Mountain; 2. Emma Nelson 37’10.00 Chugiak; 3. Chase Stephens 34’10.50 Colony

Thunder Mountain's Aiden Hildebrand competes in the 4x100-meter relay Saturday in Anchorage during the state track and field championships. The TMHS team finished first with a time of 43.73 seconds.

Thunder Mountain’s Aiden Hildebrand competes in the 4×100-meter relay Saturday in Anchorage during the state track and field championships. The TMHS team finished first with a time of 43.73 seconds.

More in Sports

As a teenager, shooting hoops was a major stress reliever for the author. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Lund)
I went to the woods: The reward of risk

One of the easiest things for athletes, coaches, former athletes, former coaches… Continue reading

Sapsucker wells on willows attract hummingbirds as well as insects. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Willows and the ecosystem

I recently found willow catkins just emerging from their bud covers, getting… Continue reading

Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter and Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé’s Alwen Carrillo embrace at their end of Saturday’s game at JDHS that may have been the final local game between the two schools due to a consolidation of them tentatively approved by the school board starting next year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
In Juneau’s potentially final crosstown basketball showdown, both schools win

TMHS girls and JDHS boys prevail on night filled with dual-school spirit as consolidation looms.

Thunder Mountain High School seniors for the boys’ basketball team, their families and other supporters fill the Thunderdome for a Senior Night recognition before Friday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé. It was possibly the final home game for the Falcons team due to a pending decision to put all high school students at JDHS starting with the next school year. The Falcons girls’ team will play their final home games of the season — and possibly ever — next Friday and Saturday against North Pole High School. (Screenshot from NFHS Network)
TMHS boys prevail in possibly their final home game ever against JDHS, with merger of schools pending

Girls play final home games next weekend; both local schools play each other again tonight at JDHS.

Iditarod winner Brent Sass poses for photos with lead dogs Morello, left, and Slater after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, March 15, 2022. A second musher has been disqualified from the world’s most famous sled dog race. The governing body of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said in a one-sentence statement late Thursday night, Feb. 22, 2024, that it has withdrawn 2022 champion Brent Sass just days before the start of this year’s race. (Anne Raup/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
Assault claims roil Iditarod sled dog race as 2 top mushers are disqualified, then 1 reinstated

Claims of violence against women are roiling the world’s most famous sled… Continue reading

Forest Wagner visits Kanuti Hot Springs, located in Interior Alaska not far from the Arctic Circle. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Alaska hot springs, far and wide

After a few hours of skiing through deep snow, Forest Wagner and… Continue reading

Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter (#33) takes a shot under the basket against Ketchikan High School’s Jonathan Scoblic during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Fit to be tied: TMHS and Ketchikan split weekend games, leaving all Southeast region teams at .500

Falcons and JDHS, after splitting games last week, face each other again on Friday and Saturday.

A female varied thrush pauses to look around during her foraging bout. (Photo by Helen Unruh)
On the Trails: Early signs of spring

The ground is heavily blanketed with snow. The snow berms in my… Continue reading

Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter (#22) tries to penetrate Colony High School’s defense during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
No. 4 TMHS girls, hit by injuries and illness, can’t keep up with No. 2 Colony

Falcons recover from 71-31 rout Friday, keep Saturday’s game even until fourth quarter in 57-48 loss.

Most Read