Weller breaks school record again in state competition


Brad Taylor / Submitted Photo

Grace Weller placed third overall in the 3,200 meter run at the state championship in Fairbanks over the weekend.

The Petersburg High School Viking runners traveled to Fairbanks to compete in the State meet over the weekend and each of the participants placed in their events with Grace Weller breaking the school record again and placing third overall in the 3,200 meter run.

“Grace started with the 3,200 and it was like 25 degrees outside,” Track Coach Brad Taylor said. “She was really unsure before the race but she ran an incredible 3,200 and broke her previous school record from the previous week by two seconds.”

Weller ran the 3,200 in 12:07.

Robyn Schwartz placed seventh in the 800 meter run and sixth in the 1,600 meter run; Weller came in eighth in the 100 meter hurdles and sixth in the 300 meter hurdles; Evan Marsh placed seventh in the shot put and Alan Jensen brought home sixth place in the discus throw.

“As Alan Jensen was throwing the discus, the conditions on the discus ring were atrocious,” Taylor said. “Kids were slipping and falling and all the kids had to alter their techniques in order to get their throws off.”

Taylor explained that Jensen did very well considering the circumstances and conditions and placed better than he was seeded.

The relay team of Weller, Abby Taylor, Kylie Wallace and Schwartz finished the 4 x 400 relay in seventh place and the team of Wallace, Hannah Pfundt, Summer Morton and Schwartz finished the 4 x 800 relay in seventh place as well.

“We had some really good performances,” Taylor stated. “Our times were pretty close to what the kids were running at regionals and the girls 4 x 400 relay team improved their time over Southeast which was pretty incredible considering the conditions. They dropped a couple of seconds off of their regional time.”

Taylor also explained that Marsh had his event, shot put, the first thing in the morning and it was so cold that the kids that were trying to compete were stiff and all throwing off of their marks.

“Evan threw comparable to his regional distance,” Taylor said. “He was only about a foot and a half off of his regional distance. I am so proud of him and that was great considering the weather.”

Taylor said that most years when they travel to the state meet the temperature is in the 70s.

“I really enjoyed the kids,” Taylor stated. “I feel that the state meet was a good meet even with the conditions as they were. We usually enjoy it much more with better weather. It was a struggle this year to compete at that level and it being so cold and considering we only had three meets in the bank before we got there.”

Taylor stated that he is proud of the effort put forth by his athletes and looks forward to working with these students again in the future.

Brad Taylor / Submitted Photo

Weather at the track and field state championship meet was very bad. Seen above, Alan Jensen throws the discus through heavy snow flurries


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