Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Track and field team surprises


Six of 15 Haines High School track and field team athletes qualified for the upcoming state championship in Palmer during last weekend’s windblown and rainswept regional qualifying meet at Juneau’s Thunder Mountain High School.

More than half of Glacier Bears team members set personal records.

Coach Keri Ewing admitted the team surprised him. “At the start of the season, they were such a young team, but by the end, they proved they can compete. To have that many (personal records) in that weather was amazing.”

Senior discus thrower Dylan Palmieri redeemed a struggling season, qualifying for state after launching a personal best throw of 121 feet, placing second among small schools. His previous best this season was 109 feet.

For Palmieri, the meet’s strong winds seemed providential, blowing an errant throw back into bounds. His disc was about 10 feet out of bounds before winds got to it, Palmieri said. “It hooked back in. It was pretty incredible. The wind blew it back.”

Palmieri, who also set a personal record in shot put (35-2.5) was done competing and dressed in street clothes when coach Ewing drafted him to run in the 4-by-400 relay after classmate Jacob Stigen went gimpy following the 200-meter run.

Palmieri ran a respectable 68 seconds to help teammates Mori Hays, Patrick Cunningham and Sayel George finish third among small schools.

Hays qualified in long jump by adding a remarkable two feet to his personal record, leaping 18-8.25. Hays also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles (44.80). Classmate Stigen qualified in the 110-meter hurdles with a personal best of 16.46, placing second. Stigen also qualified in the 300- meter hurdles (44.13).

Freshman Dante Light qualified for state in discus with at personal record of 110-01, though an injured foot will keep him from competing in Palmer this weekend.

With a personal best triple jump of 37-0.75, sophomore Cunningham qualified for state by placing second among small schools in the region. Cunningham also placed fourth in the 200 meters, setting a personal record of 25.94.

Freshman Sayel George, the team’s horse in long-distance events, qualified for state in the 3,200-meter run, setting a personal record of 10:50.10. George also set a personal record in the 1,600 meters (5:04.08) and clocked 2:19.35 in the 800-meter run.

Sophomore Kamakana Kanahele qualified as an alternate in discus, notching a personal record with a throw of 101-9.

Haines girls didn’t qualify to compete at state, although several set personal records, including freshman Kiana Donat (shot put, 24-0, long jump, 13-3.5), freshman Megan Whitermore (100 meters, 15.95, triple jump, 24-04), freshman Becca Wheeler (discus, 66-11) and senior Anna Fullerton (discus, 62-05).

Donat, Wheeler, and Fullerton qualified as alternates for the state meet.


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