Chugiak's Dane Prince does his best to track down Bartlett's Taj Showalter during the boys 400 meter relay.
For Clarence Summers, competing in the challenging five-event pentathlon at the Big C Relays in Anchorage over the weekend was just another day.
"I'm busy all the time, every day of the week," said the Wolves senior.
He's not kidding.
Following preliminary round action Friday, April 8, Summers had to bolt from The Dome as soon as his last event was done in order to return to Eagle River for a concert in which he was supposed to play violin. That's not the half of it.
Summers, who also played football and basketball, is an Eagle Scout who volunteers in his free time, speaks Spanish and for two summers earlier in his high school career traveled to China with his mother to teach English.
"He does everything," said Eagle River coach Matt Turner.
That's why Summers was selected for the third straight year by the meet's organizers to take part in the pentathlon, an invitation-only event for which just six athletes are chosen to competed based both on- and off-track excellence.
"It's not just based on track, there's a whole packet you have to fill out," Turner explained.
Summers ended up finishing third in this year's pentathlon, which awards points based on performances in the 100 meters, high jump, shot put, 800 meters and the 300 hurdles. He was in third place headlining into the final event the 800 meters but couldn't finish in front of winner Colton Schneider or second-place Brody Deloria of East.
He said the event is difficult because it pits athletes against each other in a variety of sometimes-unfamiliar disciplines. Also tricky is gauging which competitors will be strongest at which events.
"Some of the guys are just good all-around athletes, so you can't always tell," he said.
The pentathlon is not normally contested during the high school season, but it's a staple of the Big C meet, which features a number of odd and/or exhibition events designed to keep people interested over the course of a long two days of competition. In addition to boys and girls pentathlon, the event staged a couple sprint medley relays (in which team members ran legs of varying distances), a pole-vaulting exhibition, a relay that included Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay and 3-time NCAA decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.
Though those events kept things fun and loose, the featured event came in the Laird Prosser Memorial Mile, during which former Kodiak star Trevor Dunbar took a shot at becoming the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. Though he didn't quite reach the goal Dunbar's time of 4:02.88 was the fastest ever run in the state the shot at history had the large crowd buzzing.
"I think he's going to get it sometime," said Chugiak athlete Ben Perrell.
Athletes from 32 schools competed in this year's event, which Perrell said did make for some long waiting times between events.
"You just have to sleep. Or do homework," he said.
But despite the long days, Perrell said the high-powered guests helped to keep the high-schoolers interested.
"I think when they bring the Olympians in, it gives the people who are here something to look forward to," he said.
Perrell was part of Chugiak's most successful event of the weekend when he ran a leg of the Mustangs' second-place 800-meter sprint medley relay team that also included Ben Morse, Dan Prince and Chris Kveseth.
The only local win of the weekend was turned in by the upstart Eagle River boys team of Ed Hall, Devon Fox, Edward Massey and John Owolabi, who won the 1,600 meter sprint medley relay.
"That was a nice little surprise," said Turner of the team, which had never run together before.
The four winning relay team members set their time in the third heat, then had to wait and watch as 12 more teams over the final two heats tried to beat their time.
"We didn't want to leave up there," Massey said.
Although the medley relay isn't contested at state, Turner said the result showed that his team is developing the kind of depth needed to be competitive.
"We're starting to come together with a complete team that we're going to have," he said.
Owolabi was again Eagle River's steadiest performer, placing third in the 400 meters and also helping the team's 800-medley relay team finish fourth.
Chugiak's top individual boys performance was turned in by Dane Prince, who clocked his fastest 100 meter time ever in finishing third in the "Fastest Alaskan" race.
Chugiak coach Scott Roleff said Prince's speedy finish came as no surprise to him.
"He's a fast kid and he works hard. He's all heart when it comes to workouts," Roleff said.
Matthew Keith also finished fourth for Chugiak in the long jump, and Chris Kveseth notched a fifth place in the 400 meters.
There were three third-place individual finishes among local girls: Chugiak's Alex Collins (long jump) and Kristy Howard (discus) and Eagle River's Scout Warners (high jump). Chugiak's 1,600 sprint medley team of Mackenzie Matthis, Rachel Fore, Andrea Foster and Sam Hartke was fifth, as was Eagle River's team of Rayven McQueen, Anel Miranda-Smith, Warners and Samantha Brown in the 800 medley.
Eagle River's John Owolabi begins his portion of the 1,600 meter medley relay after taking the baton from teammate Devon Fox during the Big C Relays. Fox and Owolabi teamed with Ed Hall and Edward Massey to win the event.
Up next for the local tracksters is the Prosser/Whitmore meet at The Dome. That 16-team meet will begin April 15 and is the final indoor meet of the season.
Contact Matt Tunseth at email@example.com or 694-2727.
Big C Relays
Girls finals (top 3 plus Chugiak/Eagle River)
100 1. Dajanae Harris, Was, 12.97; 2. Kimmy Jackson, Dim, 13.13; 3. Destiny Little, Bar
400 1. Morgan Dampier, Was, 57.92; 2. Jessica Todd, Dim, 59.36; 3. Bailey Beeson, KCHS, 1:00.02; 12. Scout Warners, ER, 1:06.84
800 1. Morgan Dampier, Was, 2:23.91; 2. Jaymim Bethea, Kod, 2:25.81; 3. Jenette Northey, Ser, 2:25.94; 16. Kaitlyn Mondl, ER, 2:38.20; 25. Jocelyn Murchie, ER, 2:47.90; 37. Josselynn Schneider-Curry, Chu, 2:59.03
3,200 1. Grace Graham, East, 11:56.45; 2. Mariah Burrough, Was, 11:57.27; 3. Sarah Friestone, Dim, 11:57.54; 9. Kaitlyn Mondl, ER, 12:29.35; 21. Evy Hail, ER, 13:11.62; 33. Cheyanne Richardson, ER, 15:29.00
400 1. J.J. Jack-Nixon, Dim, 49.72; 2. Silas Talbot, Ser, 50.36; 3. John Owolabi, ER, 50.81; 5. Chris Kveseth, Chu, 52.84
800 1. Jordan Fogle, Kod, 2:00.79; 2. Joe Dillon, Grace, 2:00.96; 3. Scott Wheeler, West, 2:07.48; 8. Chris Kveseth, Chu, 2:08.58; 30. Edward Massey, ER, 2:18.17; 42. Garrison Theroux, ER, 2:32.94; 56. Garrett Fisher, ER, 2:57.55
1,600 relay 1. Dimond (Gray, Tufaga, Afoa, Jack-Nixon), 3:31.33; 2. Kodiak, 3:32.75; 3. Skyview, 3:36.77; 6. Chugiak (Parker Collins, Kevin Greco, Ben Perrell, Chris Kveseth), 3:43.75; 10. Eagle River (Evan Fisher, Edward Massey, Devon Fox, John Owolabi), 3:48.87
3,200 relay 1. Kodiak (Christiansen, Deer, Osowski, Fogle), 8:33.29; 2. Palmer, 8:34.24; 3. Bartlett, 8:39.93; 14. Eagle River (Forest Fisher, Jacob Fairbanks, Evan Fisher, Edward Massey), 9:44.25
800 sprint medley 1. Dimond (Watson, Tufaga, Gray, Jack-Nixon), 1:36.07; 2. Chugiak (Ben Morse, Dane Prince, Ben Perrell, Chris Kveseth), 1:39.50; 3. East, 1:39.74; 4. Eagle River (Clarence Summers, Malcolm Bell, John Owolabi, Brandon King), 1:40.52
1,600 sprint medley 1. Eagle River (Ed Hall, Devon Fox, Edward Massey, John Owolabi), 3:51.34; 2. East, 3:51.95; 3. Kodiak, 3:52.01; 18. Chugiak (Zachary John, Sean Casey, Nathan Dennis, Josef Rutz), 4:18.11
Shot put 1. Tim Dommek, Bar, 50-6; 2. Chavous Levao, Bar, 46-5.5; 3. Ross Kalke, Hom, 42-11; 23. Austin Thompson, ER, 37-1.5; 42. Oscar Hall, ER, 31-8.5; 50. Jacob Floyd, ER, 31-5; 57. Rydell Reinbold, ER, 29-8; 67. Clayton Inabinet, Chu, 24-8
Discus 1. Tyler Spalding, KCHS, 139-7; 2. Tim Dommek, Bar, 133-3; 3. Chase Markel, Grace, 130-4; 16. Rydell Reinbold, ER, 101-6; 17. Jacob Brownlee, Chu, 100-9; 23. Austin Thompson, ER, 95-7; 30. Ed Hall, ER, 90-5; 35. Oscar Hall, ER, 84-5
High jump 1. Tyler Spalding, KCHS, 6-4; 2. Scott Delauder, Eie, 6-0; 3. David Dumpson, East, 5-10; 14. Colten Palmer, ER, 5-6; 17. Payton Fullmer, Chu, 5-4
Long jump 1. Jim McCall, Pal, 20-8.5; 2. (tie) Cale Foster, Col, and Richie Predmore, Bar, 20-2; 4. Matthew Keith, Chu, 19-11.5
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.