Sophomore Zack Wassman leads the pack in the 400-meter dash while senior Danny Moore follows closely behind. Wassman won the 400-meter dash, and Moore came in second. Below: Jayce Ellis throws the shot put and comes in second place after four rounds.

Photos by Klas Stolpe, Juneau Empire

Inspiring first meet of Panther track season

By KATIE EMMETS

JUNEAU – On April 7, nine Skagway High School track and field athletes competed against two Juneau schools for the team’s first meet of the season.
Skagway athletes placed in the top three in five events.
Zack Wassman placed first in the 400-meter dash with Danny Moore coming in right behind him for second place. Rori Leaverton finished second in the girl’s 400-meter and 800-meter races. Moore took third in the boy’s 800-meters.
Wassman and Leaverton both placed second in the long jump and third in the triple jump respectively.
Jayce Ellis placed second in the shot put.
Skagway track coach Kent Fielding said the first meet of the season went great.
“The students all went out and ran really well,” he said. “I see a lot of potential for the future.”
In their first meet of the season, the Panthers competed against Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau Douglas High School, both 4A schools.
“It’s one thing to go out and compete against other 2A and 3A schools.” Fielding said. “But to go out and win against 4A schools – it’s inspiring. This could be a very good season.”
Fielding said the team has the potential for at least five of its athletes to qualify for the state tournament in May.
Skagway is a 2A school, but will compete against 1A, 2A and 3A schools at the regional meet, and Fielding said Skagway’s biggest competition would come from Haines, Petersburg and Sitka.
The next track meet for the Panthers will be in Haines the weekend of May 4.
Other athletes who participated include Polly Brown (400, 800); Anna Korsmo (shot and disc); Donovan Henson (800, 1600 and 4x400); Jake Grieser (800, 1600 and 4x400); and Trevor Cox (400, 1600, and 4x400).

Jennings resigns as Skagway girls, boys basketball coach

After 10 years of coaching basketball at Skagway School, Mark Jennings has submitted his resignation.
Jennings said he had considered resigning in the past, but coaching two teams this year turned his maybes into a definite.
After co-coaching the varsity girls for several years, Jennings added head coach of the varsity boys team to his repertoire last season.
With planning and practice for both teams, and boys team study hall, Jennings said he devoted about six hours per day to the school’s basketball program.
Jennings said although he went through a few rough patches with the boys team, he really enjoyed coaching them and spent a lot of time on fundamentals. He also said it was always fun working with the girls team, which he helped coach to two state titles in the last three years.
Jennings said he will miss coaching and working with the kids, adding that he will need to find a new hobby to make the winters go by fast.
Jennings said the girls might not have a team next year because of the amount of girls interested in continuing to play, but hopes some of them will be on a co-ed team with the boys.
He also said he has been talking to a few people in town who have expressed interest in coaching the boys team.
“Mark put in countless hours with our students and did an awesome job,” said school board member Darren Belisle. – KE