Airk Cochran runs a race at the state competition meet in Fairbanks. Photo courtesy Tim Cochran

Zack Wassman long jumps at a meet in Juneau earlier in the season. Klaus Stolpe, Juneau Empire

Skagway wins four events at regionals, sends five kids to state

By KATIE EMMETS

The Skagway track team finished up the season strong with first place victories, medals and personal records.
Panther athletes medaled in eight events at the May 11-12 regional track meet in Juneau.
At the regional meet, the top three participants of each event receive a medal and the top six score for their team.
“Regionals was outstanding,” Fielding said. “They went better than I ever expected.”
Panther boys team members placed first in four out of the seven events they competed in.
Junior Airk Cochran placed first in the one-mile run and the two-mile run.
Sophomore Zack Wassman placed first in the long jump with a new school record of 19 feet. Wassman also placed third in the triple jump and third in the 400-meter dash.
A boys team of Cochran, Wassman, senior Danny Moore and sophomore Donovan Henson placed first in the 4x800 relay. Junior Jake Grieser was the alternate.
Moore also placed third in the 800-meter dash.
For the Panther girls team, senior Jayce Ellis placed second in the shot put, throwing 30 feet, 10 inches. Ellis also placed sixth in the discus.
Senior Anna Korsmo came in right behind Ellis in the shot put with third place.
Senior Rori Leaverton placed fourth in both the long jump and the triple jump. Leaverton also placed third in the 800-meter dash.
Junior Polly Brown placed sixth in the 400-meter-race.
“Rori and Anna were the first alternates for their events,” Fielding said. “They did good, but I think they were both a little disappointed.”
Eighth grader Trevor Cox competed in the junior high meet.
Cox came in first in the one-mile run with a time of five minutes and thirty seconds. Fielding said he won by about 200 yards.
Cox also placed second in the 800-meter dash and in the 400-meter dash.
The state competition took place May 18-19 at Fairbanks’ Lathrop High School.
Though the Skagway track team has sent athletes to the state competition for the last four years, this was the first time at state for the five track team members who participated this year.
“It was a good learning experience for all of them,” Fielding said. “And the ones who aren’t seniors this year have a good shot at being back to state in the future.”
In each event at the state competition, the top four athletes medaled and the top six score.
Wassman came in fourth in the long jump and received a medal.
“Medaling as a sophomore is really exciting,” Fielding said.
Fielding said that the school would try to put in a real runway and pit for next year’s track season.
“The kids do some drills in the gym,” he said of the athletes who participate in jumping events. “But most of their practicing is done at the meets.”
Fielding said the runway and pit would cost more than $1,000 but added that it would be very beneficial for the kids to be able to practice with a real runway and pit at their school.
Fielding said that Wassman is planning on attending jumping camp in Oregon over the summer.
Wassman also placed fifth in the triple jump.
The 4x800 relay team of Cochran, Wassman, Moore and Henson placed fifth, with a new school record of 9 minutes, 13 seconds.
Cochran placed seventh in the one-mile run with a personal record time of 4 minutes, 50 seconds. He also placed eighth in the two-mile run.
“Airk and Zack will definitely be back next year,” Fielding said of the state competition. “They’ll be favorites at regions.”
Jayce Ellis placed seventh in the shot put.