Jenette Northey showed up hungry Thursday for the Cook Inlet Conference track and field championships.
Then she devoured the competition.
Northey, a Service High senior, ran away with the 3,200-meter title at Dimond High, pulling away from Dimond’s Kaitlyn Mondl in the third lap of the eight-lap race and cruising to a 30-second victory.
It was Northey’s second CIC title at that distance, but it felt bigger than the one she won as a sophomore.
“The last two years I haven’t been at my best,” she said. “I’m so hungry, not just to run, but for that taste of winning.”
An iron deficiency plagued her in recent years, causing pain in her legs and making it hard to breath, but she said she has gotten things under control.
But feeling better brought its own set of difficulties — pressure and nerves.
“Last night was no sleep, yesterday I couldn’t eat, and today I was shaking all day,” she said.
Northey was among eight champions crowned Thursday, including the first in unified competition, in which special-needs students are paired with students from the general student population.
Service swept the 3,200 meters, getting a win in a tightly contested boys race from Taylor Turney. Dimond produced champions in three events — Susumu Jones and Chrisalyn Johnson claimed long jump titles, and Anastasia Lavern-Tosi won the girls discus — and Ed Hall gave Eagle River a victory in the boys discus.
In the unified long jump, Service’s Logan Christiansen and Jaclyn Williams teamed up to take the boys title — if a unified pair consists of a boy and girl, it competes in the boys division — and Dimond’s Bree Jones and Sage DeMillie won the girls title.
The race for victory in the girls 3,200 meters lasted about 800 meters. Mondl ran off Northey’s shoulder for two laps but fell a couple of meters off the pace early in the third lap. By 1,600 meters, Northey led by 30 to 40 meters and was expanding her lead. She finished in 11 minutes, 20.31 seconds, about two seconds off her personal best. Mondl was 30 seconds back in 11:50.21, just a shade ahead of third-place Lydia Blanchet of West (11:52.69).
In sharp contrast to Northey’s runaway victory was teammate Turney’s narrow win in a boys race that featured a huge lead pack from beginning to end, with runners jockeying for position throughout, at times making contact. Less than seven seconds separated the top six finishers.
“We took it out a little slow,” Turney said. “No one was willing to take a lead, so the runners that could stick with (the early pace) stuck with it.
East’s John Farr led for much of the race, although not by choice.
“I was pretty reluctant,” he said, “but it had to be done.”
Turney found enough speed in the final lap to surge ahead of Farr, taking the win in 10:02.91 to Farr’s 10:04.59. Service’s Gilly Szweda-Mittelstadt was third in 10:04.94.
“John and I were going back and forth, and we knew no matter what the pace was, it was going to be close,” Turney said. “When we hit the bell lap, I knew I had to sprint to the finish. I used everything I had for the last 400 meters.”
The CIC championships continue through Saturday at Dimond, where berths in next week’s state championships in Fairbanks are at stake.
Reach Beth Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
Cook Inlet Conference track and field championships
At Dimond High
3,200 meters — 1) Northey, Jenette, Service, 11:20.31; 2) Mondl, Kaitlyn, Eagle River, 11:50.21; 3) Blanchet, Lydia, West, 11:52.69; 4) Stevens, Hannah, Eagle River, 12:04.42; 5) Hartke, Sara, Chugiak, 12:14.51; 6) Booher, Hannah, Chugiak, 12:24.22; 7) Bauer, Meagan, Service, 12:34.84; 8) Larson, Frances, West, 12:55.67.
Long jump — 1) Johnson, Chrisalyn, Dimond, 16-02.75; 2) Harris, Dajanae, Service, 15-11.75; 3) Owens, Dreanna, Eagle River, 15-06.50; 4) Nelson, Paige, Chugiak, 15-05.75; 5) Walker, Elexa, Eagle River, 15-03.75; 6) Treder, Kathryn, West, 15-03.50; 7) Williams, Jaclyn, Service, 15-03.25; 8) Gregg, Rachel, Chugiak, 15-02.50.
Discus — 1) Lavern-Tosi, Anastasia, Dimond, 124-02; 2) Tufi, Pauline, West, 111-05; 3) McVee, Malia, Chugiak, 102-04; 4) Burbank, Megan, South, 93-11; 5) Benfield, Kate, Service, J93-11; 6) Clark, Kayla, South, 93-10; 7) Mixson, Jenna, Dimond, 87-09; 8) Noga, Taylor, Bartlett, 87-01.
3,200 meters — 1) Turney, Taylor, Service, 10:02.91; 2) Farr, John, East, 10:04.59; 3) Szweda-Mittelstadt, Gilly, Service, 10:04.94; 4) Perry, Iain, Dimond, 10:07.66; 5) McPhetres, David, Chugiak, 10:08.78; 6) Lokanin, Chandler, Dimond, 10:09.13; 7) Steele, Derek, South, 10:14.64; 8) Mitton, Spencer, South, 10:25.93.
Long jump — 1) Jones, Susumu, Dimond, 21-02.50; 2) Schaffer, David, Dimond, 21-00.50; 3) Afoa, Stanson, Dimond, 21-00; 4) Parish, Brandon, Eagle River, 20-03.75; 5) Pearce, Alex, Service, 20-03.25; 6) Davis, Michael, East, 19-08.50; 7) Alsworth, Michael, South, 19-00.25; 8) Deal, Cole, Service, 18-06.50.
Discus — 1) Hall, Ed, Eagle River, 147-00; 2) Charoonsophonsak, Victor, Dimond, 145-06; 3) Reinbold, Rydell, Eagle River, 136-09; 4) Launiuvao, Prince, Dimond, 136-07; 5) Brownlee, Jake, Chugiak, 135-08; 6) Corpuz, Brandon, Dimond, 130-05; 7) Tosi, Tarini, East, 126-09; 8) Su’a-Te’o, Diego, East, 124-05.
Combines both jumpers’ distance
Boys long jump — 1) Jaclyn Williams-Logan Christiansen, Service, 26-4.25; 2) Austin DeVille-Kyle Kalt, Dimond, 22-1; 3) Josh Bauer-Jon Parker, Service, 20-2.5; 4) Abby Schneck-Sunshine Hootch, East, 14-2.
Girls long jump — 1) Bree Jones-Sage DeMillie, Dimond, 21-11.