Quinn Weber takes the lead in the 1600 and Amanda Jensen (left) takes her third place position on the medal podium. Photos by Becky Jensen
Wilson caps career with two state track titles; Q. Weber, Jensen SE champs
Several SHS team members earn state medals in Fairbanks
By JEFF BRADY
Skagway High School can chalk up 2010 as its best year ever in track and field. Not since Richard Hunz broke the state record in the mile back in the 1970s has there ever been a year like this one.
Mickey Wilson ran to state championships in two events, the 400 and 800-meter runs. In the 400-meter dash, he was a runaway winner by more than a second with a season’s best time of 52.42.
But it was in the 800 run, an event Wilson came in ranked just seventh, that he really shined. Going up against the meet favorite, undefeated Jacob Kirk of Grace Christian (3200 and 1600 meter winner), Wilson was able to catch him in the stretch.
“Going into that final turn, Mickey was in third, and he got Kirk in the final 50 meters,” said SHS coach Kent Fielding. “Mickey heard him say ‘holy ——‘ as he passed him.”
Wilson’s time of 1:59.29 beat the state record for 1A-2A-3A by .4 of a second, said Fielding. Kirk was a half second behind. Fielding said he knew Wilson had the potential to be a state champ, and great things happened for him in his last meet.
Wilson also medaled in the long jump with a third place jump of 18 feet, 10 inches, just an inch off the second place jumper and seven inches off the winning jump by Pete Hanks of Heritage Christian.
Skagway’s distance runners also had outstanding state meets.
The first day of competition began with Southeast champ Quinn Weber finishing third in the 3200 meter run with a time of 10:03.84, about 43 seconds off Kirk’s winning pace.
In the girls 3200, Amanda Jensen finished fourth in the 3200 meters in 12:13.50 to Kenny Lake star Kailey Wilson, and Skagway’s Kaitlyn Surdyk was just off the medal stand in seventh with a time of 12:34.91.
The Skagway distance runners medaled again on the second day of competition. In the 1600 meters, SE champ Jensen took third with a time of 5:37.63. She just missed second place by about .3 of a second, and was about 10 seconds behind winner Wilson of Kenny Lake. Surdyk got on the medal stand in sixth with a time of 5:43.24.
“Those were a couple of really good kicks by Amanda,” Fielding said. It was something she had developed at regionals. In the 3200, she beat her personal best by 20 seconds.
Surdyk and Jensen also finished seventh and eighth respectively in the 800 meters.
In the boys 1600, Weber was strong and tried to get out ahead of Kirk in the second lap, but Fielding said the Skagway runner just could not keep up. Kirk had a strong kick and won by more 16 seconds. Weber, the SE champ in this event, finished fourth in 4:38.31, just behind the second and third place finisher.
The final event for Skagway was the 4x400 girl’s relay. The team had barely qualified for state the previous week with a third place finish, and ended up with a fifth place finish at state. Every runner on the team – Rori Leaverton, Avi Vogel, Jensen, and Surdyk – ran personal bests, and the team beat its own record by 8 seconds.
“It was an outstanding job all around,” Fielding said. “We have to be proud of this bunch.”
The Skagway boys finished sixth out of 20 teams at the event, while the girls were 12th.
In Juneau at SE Regionals the previous weekend in Juneau, the boys finished third behind Sitka and Haines, while the girls were fifth.
Wilson was named Male Athlete of the Meet with wins in the 800, 400 and long jump.
Weber had double victories in the 3200 and 1600. The latter race was a Skagway sweep with Wilson taking second and Logan Weber third.
Quinn Weber was second in the 800 and Ian Klupar was sixth in the 400. John Doland was fourth in the long jump, fifth in the triple jump, and sixth in the 110-meter hurdles.
Jensen won the 1600 with a phenomenal kick, and Surdyk took second. In the 3200 and 800, Jensen and Surdyk placed second and third. Vogel took sixth in the 200-meter dash.
In the 1600 boys relay, the team of Klupar, Doland and the two Webers finished second.
Two Skagway runners even were better than the big school winners in Southeast.
“Quinn beat the 4A runners in the 3200, and both Quinn and Mickey beat the 4A runners in the 1600,” Fielding said.
Mickey Wilson takes the Alaska flag on a victory lap.
Skagway Rec. opens new skate park
Gavin Murphy skates through the ribbon of caution tape to commemorate the grand opening of Skagways new skate park.
Photos by Katie Emmets
Whitehorse skaters demonstrate tricks on gauge steel events
By KATIE EMMETS
Last summer, Skagway Rec. Center director Katherine Nelson gave the borough assembly an ultimatum — either it would fund the rebuilding of the center’s skate park to meet safety standards, or the park would be scrapped all together.
And they listened.
Sunday, more than 75 Skagway locals celebrated the grand opening of the new park with hot dogs, sodas and skate-themed raffle prizes.
Nelson said the planning for the new skate park began two years ago after parts of the park’s original construction became a liability.
“It wasn’t built from quality material and it became a safety issue,” Nelson said.
Construction for the original park began more than 10 years ago and was funded by donations from companies including The Red Onion Saloon and Royal Caribbean International. The center built each component, called an event, gradually as money became available.
Two years ago, however, it was finally time to create something that was safe and user friendly, Nelson said.
“At first, we had a lack of funding that was holding us back,” she said.
But last summer, the assembly finally agreed to fund the project. On July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, the center was awarded a $200,000 budget to construct its park.
The project took a lot longer than expected to get off the ground because of bidding difficulties with skate park construction companies, Nelson said.
In the end, the center went with American Ramp Company from Joplin, Mo.
“They were a pleasure to work with,” she said. “We told them we wanted a pyramid, and a halfpipe, and that we wanted it to flow nicely, and they presented us with options.”
The company also gave back to the community by hiring locals to build the park.
Gregg Kollach, one of the two workers from Skagway, said the skate park was constructed in only six days with a team of three people.
Although the official opening wasn’t until Sunday, May 23, the park has been used every day since its completion in early April.
“They were even on it while we were building it,” he said. “As I was underneath dead-bolting the ramp, the kids were on top of it right above me.”
Kollach added that the park is very safe and well designed.
Nine-year-old Marcus Klupar said he can go to the park anytime he wants and tries to get out there every day.
Marcus has been skateboarding for about a year and can already do a few tricks.
“My favorite thing to do is an ollie,” he said. To perform an ollie, the skater pops the front of the board into the air so it appears that the skateboard is stuck to his or her feet.
Kalsey McKinney, 22, and Max Melvin-McNutt, 16, came from Whitehorse, Yukon to do skateboarding tricks and demonstrations.
Mckinney, 22, has been skating for 10 years and has traveled across Canada looking for parks to skate on.
“This is actually a really great skate park,” he said. “Most of the parks I’ve seen have been wood-based, but this one is made of fixed gauged steel. It’s really well made and has a lot of skate flow; no awkward parts.”
SHADOW SKATER – Marcus Klupar gets a little air during the new skate park’s grand opening on May 23.