April 19, 2012 | Vol. 110, No. 16

Vikings top the field in hurdles and jumps

The Vikings track and field team returned to Ketchikan last weekend for the second meet of the season, with great performances in hurdles, jumps, springs and relays.

Craig Evans
(Left to right) Bessie Johnson, Maria Lopez, and Abigail Taylor finished first, second and third in the Girls 100 Meter Hurdles in Ketchikan.

“Overall, the kids’ times and distances are getting better,” said Head Coach Brad Taylor.

“We had some really nice performances in the jumps,” said Taylor.

Bessie Johnson took first place in the Girls High Jump.

“Bessie did a really nice job. She increased her height by a couple inches,” said Taylor.

Elijah Wagner took third in the Boys High Jump.

In the Girls Triple Jump, Emma Engell came in 3rd and Abigail Taylor came in 4th.

Kayin McCay and Michael Brock took 5th and 6th in the Boys Triple Jump.

Emma Engell placed 3rd in the Girls Long Jump, and Joe Zarlengo placed 3rd in the Boys Long Jump.

The Petersburg team continues to impress when it comes to hurdles.

“Our three hundred hurdle girls dropped a tremendous amount of time from last week to this week,” said Taylor.

Bessie Johnson ran the Girls 300 Meter Hurdles for the first time and took second place. Right behind her was Abigail Taylor, who shaved three seconds off her race from last week, and a fraction of a second behind her – in 4th place was Robyn Schwartz.

In the Girls 100 Meter Hurdles the Petersburg ladies swept the top three spots, with Bessie Johnson in first, followed by Maria Lopez and Abigail Taylor in 2nd and 3rd.

In the boys hurdle events Joe Zarlengo is at the top of the pack.

He took first in the Boys 110 Meter Hurdles and 2nd in the Boys 300 Meter Hurdles.

“…and that was with Juneau, Thunder Mountain, and Sitka, so to see those other big schools, those 4A schools, and those kids to do so well was really nice,” said Taylor.

“Our sprinters as well, with Emma Engell and Maria Lopez, those girls in the 100 and 200 did a really nice job. They’re running against some really tough kids, those 4A kids. They would have been 1st in 1A, 2A, 3A,” said Taylor.

The girls took 3rd and 4th in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes.

“Elijah Wagner did a nice job in the hundred meter dash,” said Taylor.

“We had a really good gang of distance runners… most are first time track runners. We were very pleased with those distance kids,” said coach Taylor. “We only had one girls distance runner. Stephanie Pfundt stepped up and did a really nice job…her very first meet in her life.”

The boys relay team, comprised of Elijah Wagner, Joe Zarlengo, Michael Brock and Kayin McCay, finished 2nd in the 4x100 Meter Relay, beating Ketchikan and Juneau Douglas.

“Overall, I was just super happy with how the kids performed. The girls ended up in third place, the boys were 5th, just out of 4th by one point. Most of those schools had almost 40+ kids that went to the meet, and we took our 24 that were allowed. With the group that we took, I was very pleased,” Coach Taylor said.

“The kids are excited. They’re working hard. Everybody is seeing where they’re at and where they need to be. We have a lot of kids that are in the top ten across the State, in the state results, so they’re trying to improve their times to move up in the state rankings,” said Taylor. “Joe Zarlengo is ranked second at state in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.”

The coaches are using the state rankings to keep the kids motivated and looking toward the state meet, according to Taylor.

The track and field program has a great coaching staff this year.

James Toomey is working with the distance kids, Vicki McIntosh is working with the throwers, and Marissa Collison is helping to coach the sprinters.

“It’s a good group of coaches. It’s nice to have some volunteers… it really helps the program come along,” said Taylor.

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