High School Sports

West Valley’s Emers makes leaps and bounds at Alaska State Track Meet

West Valley sophomore Alex Emers was quite literally making leaps and bounds on Friday.

Emers kicked off the morning at the Alaska State Track Meet by winning the Division I high jump, clearing 6 feet, 3 inches at Dimond High. But the real leap was the jump he made from last season, which was his first competing at the high jump.

Emers said he couldn’t clear 5-foot-8, but that was where he started this season after some offseason training. He stacked seven inches onto that height with his last successful jump at state. He’s already eyeing the school record of 6-6.

“I could never really get my form down,” he said. “I just kind of jumped and did it but I practiced on my trampoline this year. I practiced my arc-backs. My parents are going to set up a high bar for me in the future.”

Emers was the last of the jumpers to compete, allowing him to be fully aware of the mark to beat. Service senior Tristan Perkins finished second at 6-1.

“Being last pushed me,” he said. “I was nervous, but I felt like the nervousness helped me jump higher.”

Right after he finished the high jump, Emers bounded over to Eagle River to support the West Valley boys soccer team — a squad he was a part of until this weekend when he decided to concentrate on track. The Wolfpack beat Service 2-1 Friday, but were upset in the opening round Thursday.

“I wanted it for the seniors this year,” he said. “We worked hard and were undefeated until this weekend.”

There wasn’t much action on the track Friday, but the race of the day was a 3,200 meter duel between West Valley’s Daniel Abramowicz and Dimond’s Jared Gardiner.

Gardiner set the pace for much of the race, with Abramowicz following close behind with both runners far ahead of the rest of the field.

“It really seemed like we were going to be at the top,” Abramowicz said. “The whole plan was to stay with (Gardiner). He’s really good pacing. He’s been able to put together really good times by himself, which is really impressive.”

Abramowicz, who is competing at University of San Francisco in track and cross country starting next fall, turned on the jets in the final 200 and won the race with a time of 9:12.68. Gardiner’s runner-up mark of 9:18.73 was still over 35 seconds faster than the next finisher.

“I was hoping that if I had him on the last lap, I’d be able to sprint,” Abramowicz said.

Abramowicz ran a time that was more than 25 seconds faster than last season, when he also won the DI 3,200 race. The conditions were hot Friday, pushing above 70 degrees.

“It’s night and day difference from last year,” he said. “My main goal was just to stay in the shade. That’s where I was doing my warm-up. It was a good bit hotter at regionals last week and it helped to get used to it.”

In the other DI 3,200 race, Chugiak’s Campbell Peterson used a strong kick to break away from a group of competitors and take the title.

“I’ve had seasons where you put in all the work and you have a bad last race,” she said. “I’m finally kind of seeing my work is paying off.”

Like Gardiner, Peterson took the lead early and ran the entire race from in front.

“I was a little nervous,” she said. “Sometimes when you break the wind you end up dying out. I knew what I wanted coming into this race and I knew what I needed to do and just forced myself to stay on the grind.”

Her time of 11:19.29 was bolstered by a fast last 100 meters, where she pulled away from the pack and runner-up Katey Houser of Palmer.

“I’ve been doing a lot of speed work to hopefully improve that,” she said. “I’ve noticed a big difference just in my performance. It’s all thanks to my coaches. They helped me figure out what I need to do to get there.”

Alaska State Track and Field Meet

At Dimond

Girls Division I


1. Campbell Peterson 11:19.29, Chugiak

2. Katey Houser 11:22.48, Palmer

3. Ella Hopkins 11:25.06, Colony

4. Robyn Miller 11:29.09, South Anchorage

5. Payton Smith 11:35.07, West Anchorage

6. Etta Eller 11:51.95, Juneau-Douglas

7. Elizabeth Page 11:52.83, South Anchorage

8. Ava Trembath 12:05.27, Eagle River

Shot put

1. Laila Tosi 38′09.50, East Anchorage

2. Sarah Uschmann 37′03.25, Palmer

3. Isabella Hays 37′03.00, Wasilla

4. Hadley Blasey 37′00.75, West Valley

5. Faith Mata 35′00.00, West Anchorage

6. Layla Hays 33′06.00, Wasilla

7. Liberty Lobe 30′11.25, South Anchorage

8. Dominique Bodle 30′10.00, Wasilla

High jump

1. Adara Hagelund 5′1.00, Soldotna

2. Delaney Fagerstrom 5′1.00, Dimond

3. Hadley Blasey 4′10.00, West Valley

4. Mallory Welling 4′10.00, Thunder Mountain

5. Kennedy Lewallen 4′10.00, South Anchorage

6. Katelyn Morrison 4′10.00, Soldotna

6. Hanna Henrie 4′10.00, South Anchorage

8. Emily Moore 4′8.00, Chugiak

Long jump

1. Essence Slate 16′11.50, Lathrop

2. Paige Nelson 16′06.00, Chugiak

3. Cailynn Baxter 16′04.50, Thunder Mountain

4. Miranda Doerr 16′03.00, South Anchorage

5. Kichelle Frizzelle 16′01.75, Wasilla

6. Veronika Reed 16′01.00, West Anchorage

7. Kerra Baxter 15′09.75, Thunder Mountain

8. Isabella Pederson 15′09.25, Eagle River

Boys Division I


1. Daniel Abramowicz 9:12.68, West Valley

2. Jared Gardiner 9:18.73, Dimond

3. Brennan Lackey 9:55.17, Wasilla

4. Matthew Rongitsch 9:58.86, Colony

5. Cirdan Vonnahme 10:02.83, West Valley

6. Bengt Anderson 10:09.80, Kodiak

7. Elias Soule 10:10.11, Service

8. Tobias Buchanan 10:10.66, Colony


1. Dylan Dahlgren 160′09.00, Soldotna

2. Keegan Laughlin 142′09.00, Lathrop

3. Parker Glastetter 137′09.00, Palmer

4. Liam Hays 136′05.00 PR Wasilla

5. Shaistin Naufahu Gaspar 135′01.00, Bartlett

6. Mathias VaiVai 133′10.00, East Anchorage

7. Matthew Theriault 132′10.00, East Anchorage

8. Adam Chandler 130′02.00, Palmer

High jump

1. Alex Emers 6′3.00, West Valley

2. Tristan Perkins 6′1.00, Service

3. Pike Peterson 6′0.00, South Anchorage

4. Dylan Jeffus 5′10.00, Wasilla

5. Ernest Kvidera 5′10.00, Dimond

6. Deshawn Rushmeyer 5′8.00, East Anchorage

7. Emanuel Bostwick 5′8.00, West Valley

8. Earl Parker 5′8.00, Lathrop

Long jump

1. Dylan Jeffus 20′10.75, Wasilla

2. Willie Zamora 20′08.75, West Anchorage

3. A’lante Owens-Player 20′05.25, Bartlett

4. Chase Darbonne 20′01.75 , Thunder Mountain

5. Chad Hakala 20′01.50, South Anchorage

6. Morgan Grant 19′09.25, Chugiak

7. Peyton George 19′08.25, Lathrop

8. Anders Larsen 19′07.25, Chugiak

Girls Division II


1. Clare Mullin 11:50.17, Sitka

2. Hailey Ingalls 12:03.60, Seward

3. Debbie Brower 12:08.27, Anchorage Christian

4. Anna Prussian 12:16.74, Sitka

5. Ariel Godinez Long 12:18.80, Haines

6. Emma Gassman 12:19.68, Sitka

7. Jayna Boonstra 12:26.67, Kenai Central

8. Elena Badajos 12:53.57, Homer

Shot put

1. Izzy Fisk 33′04.25, Homer

2. Denali Bernard 32′00.00, Kenai Central

3. Emma Beck 31′09.50, Kenai Central

4. Hailey Anderson 30′10.50, Seward

5. Sophia Lentfer 30′09.75, Grace Christian

6. Alyvia Askren 30′00.00, Valdez

7. Carlie VanBuskirk 28′10.25, Valdez

8. Sarah Sorrells 28′06.75, Anchorage Christian

High jump

1. Ellie VanDeventer 4′11.00, Tri-Valley

2. Izzy Kizer 4′6.00, Valdez

3. India Roderick 4′6.00, Su Valley

4. Jillian Proell 4′4.00, Hutchison

4. Ada Parker 4′4.00, Sitka

4. Brightly Thoning 4′4.00, Homer

4. Hannah Sampson 4′4.00, Hutchison

Long jump

1. Rylee Ellis 15′09.00, Nikiski

2. Mya Campbell 15′06.00, Redington

3. Malena Grieme 15′03.25, Kenai Central

4. Emilee Wilson 15′00.25, Kenai Central

5. Izzy Kizer 14′11.75, Valdez

6. Grace Long 14′07.75, Haines

6. Teslin Brannan 14′07.75, Ben Eielson

8. Robin Cronin 14′04.00, Seward

Boys Division II


1. David Sliwinski 9:38.85, Grace Christian

2. Seamus McDonough 9:39.34, Homer

3. Seth Lochmann 9:45.18, Grace Christian

4. Robbie Annett 9:54.76, Grace Christian

5. Preston Merchant 10:00.02, Anchorage Christian

6. Ben Thatcher 10:06.02, Grace Christian

7. Ty Elliott 10:08.67, Grace Christian

8. Silas Demmert 10:14.97, Sitka


1. Dennis Mott 143′08.00, Valdez

2. Cort Sandefur 143′03.00, Redington

3. Luke Lentfer 140′04.00, Grace Christian

4. John Wright 137′00.00, Kenai Central

5. Grizzly Beard 130′10.00, Cook Inlet Academy

6. Eric Gillham 127′05.00, Haines

7. Sloan Lentfer 114′10.00, Grace Christian

8. Hunter Francis 112′00.00, Valdez

High jump

1. Justin Trail 6′0.00, Nikolaevsk

2. Matt Sanders 5′10.00, Anchorage Christian

3. Ryan Carroll 5′8.00, Homer

4. Michael Durkin 5′8.00, Petersburg

5. Tommy Cronin 5′8.00, Seward

6. Asa Dow 5′6.00, Sitka

7. Keyshawn Johnson 5′6.00, Monroe Catholic

8. Tate Chadwick 5′4.00, Valdez

8. Payton Gage 5′4.00, Valdez

Long jump

1. Caleb Evans 19′11.00, Homer

2. Tommy Cronin 19′02.25, Seward

3. London Moren 19′01.50, Su Valley

4. Tyler Hippchen 19′00.25, Kenai Central

5. Justin Trail 18′09.00, Nikolaevsk

6. Logan Heim 18′06.75, Hutchison

7. Andrew Baczuk 18′03.75, Valdez

8. Annan Weiland 18′03.00, Sitka

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.