Gianni Vinson, second from left, Axel Vides and Alan McCay center run for Petersburg in the 100-meter dash. McCay took first and Vides was second at the regional meet at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of Klas Stolpe)

Petersburg High School track teams took second place at the regional meet at Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau over the weekend. The Sitka Wolves took the team titles for both the boys and girls. Next up it’s the state championships this weekend.

Sitka took first for the boys with a score of 171.5 points to Peterburg’s 138.5. For the girls, Sitka scored 244 points and Petersburg was second with 195. Thunder Mountain, Juneau Douglas and Ketchikan came in behind the smaller schools. At state, those larger 4A schools compete against each other. Petersburg and Sitka compete against the other 1A, 2A and 3A teams.

Petersburg coach Brad Taylor said he was not surprised by Sitka’s strength.

“I think they had five more girls than us and maybe six more boys than us,” Taylor said, “something like that. They were heavily favored going into the meet.”

Petersburg did set some Region 5 meet and Petersburg High school records. PHS senior Izabelle Ith set two new records for the Region 5 meet.

“Izabelle Ith in the long jump with a jump of 18 feet one inch, which is a half an inch further than what she jumped last year,” Taylor said. “And that is also the second furthest jump in the history of the state.” Ith also set a new region record in the triple jump with a mark of 37 feet inch 2.5 inches.

Team members also set several school records. The boys 4 by 100 relay team of Casey Bell, Alan McCay, Axel Vides and Gianni Vinson took first and set a school record as well. McCay was first in the 100 meters and Vides was second. McCay also took first in the high jump and Vides was second. Vides took first in the long jump and McCay was second.

In the 200 Casey Bell took second. He was also third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles, setting a PHS record in that event.
The 4 by 200 team of Koren Sperl, Ethan Cummins, Noah Sullivan and Nathaniel Lenhard was first.

“The boys 4 by 2 was a nice surprise for us,” Taylor said. “We didn’t know if we were going to be able to do that and the kids were able to do that. Of course that 4×100 team, we didn’t know how fast we were going to be. It’s the first time all those guys have run together and actually those four boys are seeded second at state.”

For the boys, Ethan Cummins also took first in the triple jump.

For the girls, Izabelle Ith was first in all four of her events, also taking the top spot in both hurdle events. Ith was named outstanding athlete of the region meet, her third year in a row for that honor.

Kayleigh Eddy was second and third in the hurdle events. The 4 by 800 team of Eddy, Erin Pfundt, Mariah Taylor and Melanie Chase took first.

“For Mariah Taylor in the shotput and she passed Elisa (Larson) in her final throw to throw over 30 feet, the first time she’s ever done that,” Taylor said. “And then Kayleigh Eddy was first in the 1600 meter and she was also part of that 4×8 team. And then Erin Pfundt she won the 800 and also part of that 4×8 team. And then Elisa Larson had a really great throw in the discuss, just short of 100 feet, she threw 99, which seeds her very high at state. And then of course Melanie Chase she was part of that 4×800 meter winning relay team.”

The girls 4 by 100 relay team of Brooklyn Dormer, Alexandra Bless, Kianna Kivisto and Gillian Wittstock took second.

Also coming in second was the girls 4 by 200. Those were Bless, Dormer, Elisa Larson and Tatum Hagerman. The 4 by 400 team of Hagerman, Mariah and Erin Pfundt and Chase was also second.
Mariah Taylor and Elisa Larson were first and second in the shot put and Larson took first in the discus.

The state championships are this weekend in Palmer. Taylor said PHS should be sending 17 students, filling over 40 spots, the biggest showing for Petersburg track ever.

“Our girls team was third place last year, we’re hoping to do better,” said Taylor. “We’ve got some kids that are seeded better than we were last year so that could be the difference as moving up. But again there are some really quality athletes up there.”

Taylor is hoping for individual state titles for some on both the boys and girls team.