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

Glacier Bears track team places in top four at state championship


June 2, 2022

Matt Davis

The girls 4 by 200-meter relay team, Grace Godinez-Long, MacKenzy Dryden, Avari Getchell and Avery Williamson, won first place at the state competition in Anchorage.

The Haines track and field team ended their season with six podiums, or placing in the top four, at the state meet at Dimond High School in Anchorage on May 27-28. Despite only having ten athletes travel to state, the team received one first-place medal, three third-place medals, and two fourth-place medals. 

The girls 4 by 200-meter relay set the tone for the track meet when they crossed the finish line 0.44 seconds before the second place team. The four teammates, Avery Williamson, Avari Getchell, Grace Long-Godinez, and MacKenzy Dryden, then had the honor of running 100 meters with the Alaskan flag. 

While warming up for the race, the girls said they discussed their hopes for the race. They aimed to place in the top four so they could get on the podium. They performed above all of their expectations. 

Long-Godinez ran the first leg of the relay. "When the gun went off," said Long-Godinez, "I felt a bit shaky with my block start, but I steadied out after rounding the corner. I was pleased with me and MacKenzy's hand off, and then I lost view of the race. When Avery came around the corner in the lead, it was so exciting, especially when we were only aiming to get on the podium. Then Avery and Avari had a sweet hand off, and Avari ended the race strong. I ran to the finish line screaming the whole way. It was just so amazing to see our team finish first." 

Getchell said the team ran a great 4 by 200-meter relay together and that it was the perfect way to end the season. "Crossing the finish line in first place and seeing my team waiting for me was the best feeling ever," said Getchell. "It was an amazing way to wrap up the school year." 

The girls ran a time of 1:56.06 minutes. The relay team already had secured the school record at a previous meet this season, and they beat their own record at the state meet by over two seconds. 

Following the relay team's first-place medal, Williamson secured another medal for the team with her performance in the 300-meter hurdles. Williamson ran a time of 51.67 seconds and placed fourth overall. Phoenix Jacobson then placed third in the 300-meter hurdles with a personal record of 44.77 seconds. 

Matt Davis

Avari Getchell was the last runner in the 4 by 200-meter relay. She crossed the finish line and helped earn the team a run time of 1:56.06 minutes, beating their term record by more than two seconds.

Caleb Holm added another medal to the team collection when he placed third in the 200-meter-dash. Holm ran a personal record of 24.14 seconds. "It was almost surreal to think about how when I got on that podium the only other two guys that could beat me were up there with me," Holm said. "I'm glad I was able to live up to all the expectations that I feel were set on me. It's a great way to finish the season." 

Haines finished the track meet strong with their performances in the 4 by 400-meter relays. The girls placed third overall with a time of 4:35.22 minutes. The team secured third place in the first leg of the relay and held it throughout the race.

The boys then placed fourth in the 4 by 400-meter relay with a time of 3:43.97 minutes to secure the team's sixth medal.

The state meet concludes the 2022 track and field season. The team broke two school records and received medals in several events throughout the season.


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