Kenai Central senior Allie Ostrander leads the field around at the conclusion of the first lap in Friday's 4A girls 3,200 meter race at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage.

Kenai Central senior Allie Ostrander leads the field around at the conclusion of the first lap in Friday's 4A girls 3,200 meter race at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage.

Ostrander, Thomet highlight day 1 of state track meet

Heat took its toll on competitors on Friday’s opening day of the Alaska state track and field championships, but it still wasn’t enough to slow down the fastest runners in the nation. Not enough to save a record, at least.

Seniors Allie Ostrander of Kenai Central and Levi Thomet of Kodiak posted new Alaska state high school track records in the girls and boys 3,200 meter runs on a sweltering Friday afternoon at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage. Ostrander lowered her own state record by four seconds with a time of 10 minutes, 9.73 seconds, while Thomet broke former Palmer runner Jake Parisien’s 2008 record by almost two seconds with a new time of 9:09.41.

While both distance phenoms have posted faster times this year — 9:58.74 for Ostrander and 8:54.24 for Thomet — Friday’s results still helped stamp the pairs legacy in Alaska high school distance running.

“It’s just a really special moment for me because it’s my last track meet of high school,” Ostrander said. “It’s kind of a stepping stone before I go off to college.”

Ostrander said if it was a cooler day, she believes she could have repeated the feat of breaking 10 minutes for the third time this year. But, alas, Friday dawned with clear skies and an intense sun shining down.

“It drained my energy pretty quickly, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too hot,” she said. “It was a little bit of a scorcher.”

But with the slogan, “I run like a girl. Run a little faster and you can too”, plastered on her warmup shirt — courtesy of senior teammate Alex Bergholtz — Ostrander proved once again that she’s one of the top talents at the meet, as she also beat out all but 1-2-3A boys winner Kaleb Korta of Galena in the small-schools boys race.

She also proved to be one of the classiest. Instead of taking part in the tradition of jogging down the track solo with the Alaska state flag in her hand, as all state champions are prodded to do, Ostrander invited the rest of the girls field of runners to join her in celebrating their own personal accomplishments. 

“We were all talking about it before the race, let’s just jog and all get first place, and we’ll all win,” Ostrander said.

As one of the legendary Kardinals leaving the Kenai Peninsula, perhaps it was the best way to leave her mark on the track race that she’s become known for. Let everyone join in on the celebration and inspire them to greater heights. 

Ostrander said she hopes that her time at Kenai Central High has provided motivation for future Kardinals to create a lasting impact on the running scene in Alaska.

“I really hope I have, and I really think Kenai has a really bright future,” Ostrander answered when asked if she believes she has left a legacy, adding that the current crop of Kenai freshman have come to be known as the freshman force. 

“I’m hoping Alex (Bergholtz) and I have had enough time to inspire them and make an impact on them, and create a bit of a running legacy at Kenai,” Ostrander said. “I’m so ready to go to college and try something new and have new competitors, but I’m also sad to say goodbye to my team because I know how talented they are, and they’re going to shake things up in the next few years. 

“I wish I could be a part of it.”

In the boys race, Thomet never looked back en route to the record-breaking victory, but if he did, he would have seen Kenai brothers Jonah and Jordan Theisen hot on his heels, which he added were quite hot themselves.

“I guess I should’ve have worn other socks,” Thomet said, pointing to his short, black Ralph Lauren socks that lay under his bright pink track spikes.

In the heat of the day, the hot, hard, burgundy surface of the track gave Thomet blisters, or at least he thought so. Just moments after finishing third with a PR of 9:31.67, Jordan Theisen also complained of aching feet, and twin brother Jonah, who claimed second with a time of 9:26.44, said the thin soles of every racer’s track spikes did them no favors.

“It just radiates off the track,” Jonah said. 

Both Theisens took their usual spots of second and third behind Thomet for much of the race, but were challenged by Dimond’s Chandler Lokanin for the duration of the race. Still, Jonah said he has come to grips with having to contend with one of the country’s fastest prep runners.

“It kind of sucks because you’re always finishing second, but it’s cool because you’re among an elite runner like that,” Jonah said about Thomet.

Thomet started his race with an opening lap of 64 seconds, then fell into a rhythm of lap times ranging from 68 to 70 seconds, coming across the mile mark in approximately 4:27, well on pace to break not only Parisien’s 2008 record but also former East runner Don Clary’s 1975 record in the two-mile of 9:04.4, which equates roughly to 9:01 in a 3,200. 

Ultimately, the heat took hold and Thomet slipped in the final 800 meters.

“I was hoping it was going to be a great day, I was gonna go out and feel great,” Thomet said. “But right at the end, it hit me.

“I was talking to Allie too and she said, yeah it’s killer.”

In the boys 1-2-3A race, Seward sophomore Hunter Kratz finished second, well behind winner Kaleb Korta of Galena, but he had to outsprint Korta’s teammate, Jacob Moos, for the spot. 

“Having not qualified last year after coming so close, it’s really satisfying,” Kratz said. “It’s exciting because I’ve put in a lot of work.”

Kratz managed to PR with a time of 10:09.82. Hailing from the small harbor town of Seward only added to his excitement.

“The experience is awesome, I’m kind of starstruck,” Kratz said. “We rarely race against some of these kids, being from Seward, so it’s good to see where we stack up.” 

 

Class 1-2-3A meet

BOYS

3,200 — 1. Kaleb Korta, Gal, 9:47.10; 2. Hunter Kratz, Sew, 10:09.82; 3. Jacob Moos, Gal, 10:09.94; 4. Colin Baciocco, Sit, 10:15.17; 5. Jordan Beachy, Hom, 10:20.37; 6. Blake Bennett, ACS, 10:21.44.

3,200 relay — 1. ACS, 8:26.46; 2. Seward, 8:33.76; 3. Valdez, 8:56.90; 4. Sitka, 8:58.32; 5. Monroe, 8:59.27; 6. Homer, 9:10.00.

Discus — 1. Ben Zarlengo, Pet, 134—5; 2. Luke Johnson, Nik, 126—2; 3. Howie Hubbard, Sew, 119—2; 4. Matthew Green, Hai, 117—10; 5. Evan Marsh, Pet, 115—4; 6. Casey Bradford, Hai, 112—5.

High jump — 1. Brody Neufeld, WLC, 6—0; 2. Lucas Button, Mon, 5—10; 3. Patrick Stanton, Val, 5—8; 4 (tie). Braden Nieder, Gra, Lane Kaltenbach, ACS, 5—4.

Long jump — 1. Antonio Griffith, Eie, 20—1 3-4; 2. Brandon Tulcey, Sit, 19—7 1-4; 3. Jake Palmberg, WLC, 19—3 1-2; 4. Connor Seay, Hom, 18—9; 5. Brogan Nieder, Gra, 18—7 1-2; 6. Lane Kaltenbach, ACS, 17—1 3-4.

GIRLS

3,200 — 1. Briahna Gerlach, Gle, 11:10.58; 2. Sara Hamberger, Cor, 11:26.89; 3. Elizabeth Balsan, ACS, 11:35.43; 4. Ruby Lindquist, Sew, 11:38.75; 5. Taylee Nyquest, TB, 11:44.78; 6. Victoria Joslin, Del, 12:24.53.

3,200 relay — 1. Gra, 10:22.85; 2. Homer, 10:36.96; 3. Seward, 10:45.01; 4. ACS, 11:17.10; 5. Delta Junction, 11:19.79; 6. Tri Valley, 11:56.22.

Shot put — 1. Ashley Logan, Gra, 37—8 1-2; 2. Hannah Edmonds, ACS, 36—2 1-2; 3. Mariyah Harrell, Sit, 29—9 1-2; 4. Autumn Gross, Hai, 28—6; 5. Amir Williams, ACS, 28—3; 6. Kimberly Quincy, Hou, 27—6.

High jump — 1. Lina Heinrichs, Hut, 5—0; 2. Isabella Sae, Tri, 4—6; 3. Gabriella Cagle, Sit, 4—4.

Long jump — 1. Izabelle Ith, Pet, 17—1-2; 2. Sarah Lucas, HRA, 15—8 3-4; 3. Madison Orth, CIA, 15—6 1-4; 4. Arianne Parrish, Nik, 15—4; 5. Veronica Yanish, Hut, 15—3-4; 6. Chanel May-Thomas, Hou, 14—8 1/4.

 

Class 4A

BOYS

3,200 — 1. Levi Thomet, Kod, 9:09.41; 2. Jonah Theisen, Ken, 9:26.44; 3. Jordan Theisen, Ken, 9:31.67; 4. Chandler Lokanin, Dim, 9:38.29; 5. Keith Osowski, Kod, 9:38.71; 6. Michael Parnell, Kod, 9:55.88.

Discus — 1. Kordell Pillans, Kod, 156—5; 2. Johnathon Stephens, Ser, 148—6; 3. Joaquin Martines, WV, 140—2; 4. Dalton Best, Sol, 134—7; 5. Rick Johnson, TM, 129—10; 6. Tarini Tosi, Eas, 129—2.

High jump — 1. Bryce Hellman, Bar, 6—4; 2. Jared Welch, Lat, 6—4; 3. Brandon Nicholson, Col, 6—3; 4. Tyler Blanch, Sou, 6—0; 5. Shane Hursh, NP, 5—10; 6. Chase Hawk, Eas, 5—8.

Long jump — 1. Josh Jackman, Ken, 21—9; 2. Tim Duke, Sol, 20—11 3-4; 3. Jared Welch, Lat, 20—10 3-4; 4. Brandon Nicholson, Col, 20—6 3-4; 5. Parker Martin, Eas, 20—2 1-2; 6. Billy Alcaide, Kod, 19—9 3-4.

GIRLS

1. Allie Ostrander, Ken, 10:09.72; 2. Olivia Hutchings, Sol, 11:32.76; 3. Jenna Difolco, WV, 11:36.78; 4. Jill Bowker, Col, 11:37.46; 5. Fiona Pedrick, Bar, 11:42.70; 6. Cathelyne Powers, Col, 11:51.95.

Shot put — 1. Sylvia Tuisaula, Was, 36—1 1-2; 2. Richelle Walker, Kod, 33—8 3-4; 3. Rose Lega, Bar, 32—6 1-4; 4. Ileana Casiano, WV, 31—11 3-4; 5. Envyi Pendergrass, Lat, 31—11; 6. Alica Washington, Bar, 31—6 1-4.

High jump — 1. Ceil Dunleavy, Was, 5—4; 2. Ann Gebauer, Ser, 5—3; 3. Zoey Keene, Sou, 5—2; 4. Chase Stephens, Col, 5—2; 5. Taylir Kueter, Bar, 5—0; 6. Madeline Ko, WV, 4—10.

Long jump — 1. Chrisalyn Johnson, Dim, 17—1-4; 2. Naomi Welling, TM, 16—6 3-4; 3. Chase Stephens, Col, 16—3-4; 4. Ann Condio, Col, 15—2 3-4; 5. Julieanne Wilson, Ken, 15—1 3-4; 6. Emma Nelson, Chu, 15—1 1-2.

Kodiak senior Levi Thomet (foreground) prepares to take off in the 4A boys 3,200-meter race at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage.

Kodiak senior Levi Thomet (foreground) prepares to take off in the 4A boys 3,200-meter race at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage.

Kodiak senior Levi Thomet gaps the 4A boys 3,200 meter field at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage. Kenai Central senior Jonah Theisen runs second.

Kodiak senior Levi Thomet gaps the 4A boys 3,200 meter field at the Alaska state track and field meet at Dimond Alumni Field in Anchorage. Kenai Central senior Jonah Theisen runs second.

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