Brewer Whips Up State Track with Hurdle Championship

    Thunder Mountain senior Iayanah Brewer carries the Alaska flag after winning the state championship in the 100 hurdles at Anchorage's Dimond High School on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / KINY)

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - Thunder Mountain senior Iayanah Brewer proved she is weather proof.

      In a state track and field championship meet that featured Southeast-like conditions, Brewer flew over the 100 meter hurdles distance in 16.02 seconds to win the ASAA Division I State Championship.

      “I feel really great,” Brewer said with deep breaths between words. “I can’t believe I actually did it.”

      Standing on the infield near the finish, Brewer was showered with rain and fans’ applause.

      She was announced the state champ and jogged back down the course carrying the Alaska state flag. She teared up after the jog.

      “It is a really good feeling,” she said. “And I feel like I came all this way for a purpose. I will train over the summer for hurdles for sure and train for track and field in college next.”

      Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain competed well at the state tournament in a rainy environment that produced just two new state records. Division II runner Tristian Merchant from Anchorage Christian School flew past the 3200 meter mark set in 2015 by Kodiak’s Levi Thomet (9:09.41) with a 8:52.53, and Chugiak’s Logan Mathieu broke the 110 meter hurdle record set by 2012 Chugiak sprinter Tyler Rhode (14.61) with a 14.47.

      Chugiak won the boy’s team title with 100 points, largely due to Mathieu’s hurdle and runner-up finish in the 100.

      It was largely anticipated that Crimson Bears junior James Connally would challenge in the 100 and 200 but after a strong 11.43 second place finish in the 100 preliminary to Mathieu’s prelim of 11.26, Connally strained a muscle and had to withdraw from his state races.

      “This builds character,” Connally said later.

      Juneau-Douglas placed l3th with 15 team points and Thunder Mountain 18th with seven points.

      TM senior Ali Beya placed fourth in the 100 with 11.43 and seventh in the 200 with a personal best 23.24. The winning times were Lathrop sophomore Peyton George in 11.19 and East Anchorage sophomore Brian Morris in 22.86, respectively.

      “It is super fun,” Beya said. “For everyone that made it here is a super accomplishment. It is crazy fun to race against all these fast people. You can do anything, just work hard and stick to your dreams. One big thing I want to give a shout out to is our coaching staff, especially coach Dwayne Duskin and coach Brandi Adams and coach John Nagel. They worked so hard all year, especially with all this COVID stuff they are busting their butts. Oh my gosh, coach Duskin was coaching three events at one time. Just big kudos to them for sticking in there for us and giving the season we have been waiting to have for a long time.”

      Beya recently accepted a track scholarship to Green River Community College in Washington, running the 100, 200 and relays.

      “They are getting a smiling face and some good vibes,” Beya said.

      Juneau-Douglas Kalé unified athlete Gabe Canon said he wanted to thank his coaches and his partner athletes, senior Ethan Sellers and junior Jake Sleppy.

      Canon told senior teammate Aidan Hollingsworth he would get a PR in the shot put for Hollingsworth’s birthday.

      After his throw distance was announced, Canon turned around and said, “I told him I’d get a PR and I’m a man of my word.”

      Canon doubled up on state titles, winning the unified shot put and long jump, and placing fourth in the unified 100 meters. Sitka unified athlete sophomore Jack Mickelson and his partner athletes, sophomores Caleb Hutton and David Davis, also competed well.

      “Gabe is a rockstar who deserves the attention befitting of a double state champ,” Juneau-Douglas coach Janette Gagnon said. “The team is full of amazing and varied personalities, but they pull together to make things happen. COVID rules were not fun, but they made the most of them and had a fantastic season. This is displayed in our relays that worked together to earn fourth place finishes. All of our captains qualified for and competed at state. That rarely happens.”

      Crimson Bears senior Finn Morley placed fourth in the 800 in 2:00.00. West Valley junior Daniel Abramowicz won in 1:57.80. Abramowicz also won 3200 in 9:39.65 and the meet’s top DI athlete award.

      “That was really hard,” Morley said. “That was the hardest 800 I have ever done. These guys are really fast. It is really intense. I went out with a bang.”

      The Falcons placed sixth in the 4x100 relay in 46.36 (1st Soldotna 44.66).

      Crimson Bears relay finishes included a fifth in the boys 4x200 (1:38.48, Chugiak 1st 1:34.07); fourth in the boys 4x400 in 3:35.28 (1st CHG 3:32.75) and fourth in the 4x800 in 8:47.79 (1st Kodiak 8:30.17).

      Ketchikan senior Riley Deal placed eighth in the 110 hurdles win 18.32 (1st Mathieu 14.47) and seventh in the 300 hurdles in 45.63 (1st, sr. Adrian Velasco, Dimond 40.21).

      West Valley won the girl’s team title with 99 points.

      Thunder Mountain placed eighth with 31 points and Juneau-Douglas 13th with 10 points.

      West Valley senior Naomi Bailey won the DI top girl athlete award for her wins in the 800 (2:17.12), 1600 (5:00.28) and 3200 (10:46.54).

      Ketchikan senior Rachel Knight won the 400 in 1:00.33.

      Crimson Bears junior Cosley Bruno placed fifth in the 200 with a personal best 27.14 (1st West Valley jr. Olivia Manley 26.26) and a preliminary eighth place 100 of 13.63 (1st Manley 12.76).

      “Definitely competitive up here,” Bruno said. “I had to pull all of my tricks out of the book for this one. I am just glad to be up here. It doesn’t even matter what place I get. This is my first year so I am just glad that I made it here. I am sad the season is ending but I am also ready to heal and get on with the summer.”

      Crimson Bears freshman Maisy Morley placed 14th in the 1600 in 5:51.17 (1st Bailey); and junior Annika Schwartz 11th in the 3200 with 12:00.06 and freshman Etta Eller 14th with 12:11.41 (1st Bailey).

      Ketchikan junior Ada Odden placed fifth in the 100 hurdles with 16.40 (1st Brewer) and second in the 300 hurdles in 47.30 (1st sr. Maria Cvancara, DMD, 46.73).

      The Falcons placed second in the 4x100 in 53.53 (1st DMD 51.96) and the Crimson Bears seventh in 54.7.

      Ketchikan placed third in the 4x200 in 1:53.25 (1st, South 1:49.36).

      The Crimson Bears placed fourth in the 4x400 in 4:17.56 (1st South 4:10.12) and sixth in the 4x800 in 10:27.80 (1st South 9:57.42).

      The Crimson Bears 4x800 relay team of Schwartz, sophomore Skylar Tuckwood, Morley, and senior Linnea Lentfer commented that it was good to see so many new teams, to reach the state tournament and compete outside Southeast.

      They said the races were hard but enjoyable and that they could feel the excitement building as they ran and handed off that excitement to their next teammate.

      Falcons junior Sophia Harvey placed second in the triple jump in 34’11.00 (1st sr. Drysta Crosby-Schneider SOHI 36’03.00).

      Falcons sophomore Mallory Welling placed fifth in the long jump with 15’03.25 (1st sr. Harlie Lewallen DMD 16’02.75); Welling and Crimson Bears sophomore Mahala Powell placed 10th and 12th, respectively, in the high jump with 4’6.00 (1st, East sr. Khadijah Morgan 5’2.00).

      Sitka claimed the DII women’s team title with 108.5 points and Haines was fifth with 48.

      “Our kids are just resilient,” Sitka coach Jeremy Strong said. “That is a word that gets tossed around a lot up here but overall they kind of pushed through a lot of adversity, through weather and a cancelled season last year and just injuries and everything. They came up here and put together a good meet.”

      Grace Christian sophomore Megan Nelson won the DII top girl athlete award for wins in the 800 (2:26.98), 1600 (5:27.17) and 3200 (11.48.00).

      Sitka senior Santanna Sumauang won the triple jump with 32’03.25 (5th, sr. Tayler Clifton SIT 29’03.75)

      Haines junior Grace Long placed second in the long jump with 15’03.75 (1st Inama 16’00.25, 6th Sumauang 13’08.75).

      Sitka senior Lindsey Bartolaba placed second in the 100 in 13.23 (1st jr. Carissa Houck ACS 12.98), third in the 200 in 27.36 (1st so. Brennyn Edwards GC 26.68) and fifth in the 400 in 1:03.66 (1st Edwards 59.76).

      Sitka junior Tawny Smith placed second in the 1600 in 5:37.68 (4th SIT so. Anna Prussian 5:40.18, 7th SIT so. Emma Gassman 5:49.22) and third in the 800 in 2:29.15 (7th Prussian 2:35.37). Prussian placed third in the 3200 in 12:09.02 (5th Gassman 12:23.41).

    Haines junior Avery Williamson placed second in the 300 hurdles in 51.26 (1st sr. Laura Inama HMR 48.73), Sitka junior Adelaide Poulson fourth in 52.46 and Sitka senior Jordan Gagner seventh in 53.46.

      Sitka won the 4x100 in 54.50, placed second in the 4x200 in 1:59.63 (1st Nikiski 1:51.93), second in the 4x400 in 4:31.01 (1st Homer 4:19.27) and first in the 4x800 in 10:19.87.

      Haines senior Haley Boron won the shot with 30’11.50 and placed second in the discus with 92’06.00 (1st jr. Emily Bitler, Houston 104’01.00).

      Anchorage Christian won the boys team title with 102 points, Petersburg was seventh with 29, Haines eighth with 27 and Sitka 10th with 24.

      Merchant took the DII boys top athlete award for wins in the 800 (1:59.04), 1600 (4:15.28) and 3200 (8:52.53).

      Haines sophomore Eric Gillham won the discus in 124’00.00.

      Petersburg senior Aiden Luhr won the 100 in 11.69, placed second in the 200 in 23.88 (1st 23.33 jr. Polesky Brandon, Eielson) and won the high jump with a 5’8.00.

      Petersburg jumping coach Alice Cumps said they have worked hard all season on different approaches and distances for Luhr’s leap.

      “We wanted to get his curve just right and a little more speed so he could get up as high as he can,” Cumps said.

      Luhr said speed was the most important.

      “I scratched my first two runs but on my last attempt I did a quick run through and thought my speed was a lot better,” Luhr said. “In my final attempt I had more speed and was able to pop up and go over the bar. It feels pretty awesome. I can’t believe it actually happened. I have wanted to see my name up on the board in Petersburg for a while now and I finally was able to get it done. I can’t wait to get back to Petersburg and see everybody and experience the theme of winning state.”


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