Chugiak's Hannah Bolin, left, and Kierra Forbush leap over the first hurdle during the girls' 100 meter hurdle race at the Chugiak-Eagle River dual track meet at Eagle River on April 23. Forbush won the race.
Want to make a good rivalry? Start with plenty of familiarity; add a dash of animosity and a pinch of history, then turn up the heat with the addition of a traveling trophy. Time will do the rest.
The budding rivalry between the Eagle River and Chugiak track and field teams took a huge leap forward on April 23, when the Wolves hosted their first home track meet, a dual against the Mustangs that Wolves coach Matt Turner said will become an annual showdown.
"We're just trying to get something going between the two schools," Turner said.
Turner bought a traveling trophy that will go to the combined boys/girls winners each year. Though the teams are generally quite friendly both on and off the track, the addition of the trophy gave Chugiak coach Scott Roleff a chance to fuel the rivalry a bit himself.
"I told [Turner] when he brings it to the trophy shop, just put Chugiak on there and we'll let you come over every now and then and look at it," Roleff said. "So we got the rivalry started."
Roleff said Turner's response was unfit for publication.
"He sent me a pretty good e-mail," Roleff said.
Turner said the trophy doesn't yet have a name, although there has been plenty of brainstorming.
"We figure one of them will stick," he said.
Roleff's tongue-in-cheek boast ended up being prophesy, as the Mustangs used a dominant win on the girls' side to capture the combined win, 126-111. The Eagle River boys won 72-46, but the Chugiak girls made up the difference with an 80-39 win. The narrow margin of victory could have been even closer, but the Wolves were missing their top girls' distance runner, Kaitlyn Mondl, due to illness.
The meet was a chance for local runners to earn bragging rights over their hometown rivals, and nobody came away with more to talk about than Chugiak freshman Tim Sorensen. Sorensen won the 3,200-, 1,600- and 800-meter races, then added a leg on Chugiak's second-place 4x400 meter relay team for good measure.
"It definitely makes it harder for each race," he said.
Sorensen's most impressive win came in the 1,600, when he ran down Eagle River distance star Brandon King on the home stretch to win by less than a second.
"I just followed him through the race, and I was feeling good at the end," Sorensen said.
King, who was fighting a cold, said Sorensen deserved the victory.
"Props to him," King said. "He was killing it."
The Eagle River sophomore said the close race was just one chapter in a lengthy story.
"When it counts is regions and state," King said. "I'll see him then."
The two young track stars both wore sunglasses all meet despite persistent clouds and chilly weather, and Sorensen said they're friendly rivals.
"We've known each other for a couple years, we always talk before and after the races," he said. "We're just enemies on the track I guess."
Eagle River's Clarence Summers, who edged Chugiak's Ben Morse in the boys' 100 meters, said the meet was fun because it brought together athletes who've been competing alongside each other for years.
"I've been running with Ben since we were in seventh grade," he said.
The meet was the first dual of the season, and athletes had to adjust to being outdoors and the fast pace of the meet. Some athletes had to compete in back-to-back events, leaving little time for rest.
Eagle River's Scout Warners won the girls' high jump despite having to jump just minutes after winning the 200. Warners was still out of breath when she arrived at the high jump bar, and said the short rest made for difficult conditions.
Chugiak's Tim Sorensen nears the finish line in the boys' 800 meter run during the meet. Sorensen, a freshman, won three events in the meet.
"I wish I'd had a longer break," she said.
Warners did say it was nice to be jumping outdoors after weeks of competing inside The Dome in Anchorage.
"I'd rather be out of there," she said. "You don't get the recycled air outside, and it's easier to breathe."
Warners was the only two-event winner for the Eagle River girls, while Chugiak's Kristy Howard claimed shot and discus victories for the Mustangs.
John Owolabi (200, 400) and Austin Thompson (shot, discus) each won two events for the Eagle River boys.
Older athletes get the coming weekend off, with the freshman/sophomore championships scheduled for April 29-30 at South High.
Contact Matt Tunseth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 694-2727
Chugiak/Eagle River Dual
April 23, Eagle River High
Boys team scores 1. Eagle River 72, Chugiak 46
100 1. Clarence Summers, ER, 11.82; 2. Ben Morse, Chu, 12.09; 3. Malcolm Bell, ER, 12.14; 4. Sean Casey, Chu, 12.34; 5. Ben Perrell, Chu, 12.61; 6. Travis Craig, Chu, 12.85; 7. Ed Hall, ER, 12.87; 8. Sam Banks, ER, 12.93; 9. (tie) Tyler Carnahan and Kevin Greco, Chu, 13.05; 11. Josh Williams, Chu, 13.06; 12. Zachary John, Chu, 13.97; 13. Dayquan McKinnon, Chu, 17.35
200 1. John Owolabi, ER, 23.43; 2. Tyler Rohde, Chu, 24.30; 3. Ben Morse, Chu, 24.43; 4. Sean Casey, Chu, 24.80; 5. Ben Perrell, Chu, 25.03; 6. Malcolm Bell, ER, 25.51; 7. Tyler Carnahan, Chu, 26.11; 8. Sam Banks, ER, 26.67; 9. Zachary John, Chu, 27.83
400 1. John Owolabi, ER, 52.08; 2. Devon Fox, ER, 56.59; 3. Garrison Theroux, 57.44; 4. Nathan Dennis, Chu, 59.45; 5. Kevin Greco, Chu, 1:06.33
800 1. Tim Sorensen, Chu, 2:17.10; 2. Forest Fisher, ER, 2:25.83; 3. Edward Massey, ER, 2:25.85; 4. Brandon King, ER, 2:27.84; 5. Evan Fisher, ER, 2:28.63; 6. Kevin Greco, Chu, 2:29.30; 7. Nathan Dennis, Chu, 2:36.16; 8. Garrett Fisher, ER, 2:36.59; 9. Karel Marek, Chu, 2:53.57; 10. Garrison Theroux, ER, 3:04.53
1,600 1. Tim Sorensen, Chu, 4:48.93; 2. Brandon King, ER, 4:49.74; 3. Evan Fisher, ER, 5:18.08; 4. Karel Marek, Chu, 5:30.46; 5. Forest Fisher, ER, 5:37.35; 6. Garrison Theroux, ER, 5:42.45; 7. Garrett Fisher, ER, 6:39.44
3,200 1. Tim Sorensen, Chu, 11:17.882; 2. Evan Fisher, ER, 11:41.04; 3. Karel Marek, Chu, 12:26.53; 4. Forest Fisher, ER, 13:00.45
110 hurdles 1. Sam Brownlee, Chu, 18.33; 2. Clarence Summers, ER, 19.38; 3. Josh Williams, Chu, 21.01; 4. Edward Massey, ER, 26.30
300 hurdles 1. Matthew Keith, Chu, 45.64; 2. Brandon King, ER, 46.64; 3. Sam Brownlee, Chu, 46.81; 4. Josh Williams, Chu, 49.71; 5. Edward Massey, ER, 52.87
4x100 1. Chugiak (Morse, Rohde, Casey, perrell), 47.10; 2. Eagle River (Hall, Summers, Fox, Bell), 47.80
4x200 1. Eagle River (Hall, Summers, Fox, Owolabi), 1:39.66
4x800 relay 1. Eagle River (G. Fisher, F. Fisher, Theroux, E. Fisher), 11:27.44
Shot put 1. Austin Thompson, ER, 38-1.25; 2. Sam Banks, ER, 31-9.5; 3. Oscar Hall, ER, 31-4.5; 4. Rydell Reinbold, ER, 30-10.5; 5. Theodore Carlson, Chu, 30-9.75; 6. Jacob Brownlee, Chu, 30-8.25; 7. John Post, Chu, 26-10.5; 8. (tie) Clayton Inabinet and Charlie Pappas, Chu, 26-9.5; 10. Alexander Elkins, Chu, 14-4.75
Discus 1. Austin Thompson, ER, 115-07; 2. Jacob Brownlee, Chu, 102-00; 3. Ed Hall, ER, 93-9; 4. Theodore Carlson, Chu, 83-2; 5. Oscar Hall, ER, 83-1; 6. Charlie Pappas, Chu, 81-1; 7. Rydell Reinbold, ER, 76-4; 8. John Post, Chu, 74-2; 9. Philip Lambert, Chu, 74-2; 10. Sam Banks, ER, 73-00; 11. Alexander Elkins, Chu, 39-11
High Jump 1. Colten Palmer, ER, 5-8; 2. Payton Fullmer, Chu, 5-2
Girls team scores 1. Chugiak, 80; 2. Eagle River 39
100 1. Mackenzie Matthis, Chu, 13.8; 2. Alex Collins, Chu, 14.62; 3. Rachel Fore, Chu, 14.74; 4. Alyssa Randall, ER, 14.77; 5. (tie) Heather Holmquist, ER, and Allison Thomas, Chu, 14.79; 7. (tie) Kierra Forbush and Hannah Bolin, Chu, 14.80; 9. Anel Miranda-Smith, ER, 14.89
200 1. Scout Warners, ER, 28.77; 2. Kierra Forbush, Chu, 29.49; 3. Victoria Bensel, Chu, 30.26; 4. Anel Miranda-Smith, ER, 32.41
400 1. Samantha Brown, ER, 1:00.34; 2. Scout Warners, ER, 1:06.63; 3. Victoria Bensel, Chu, 1:08.83
800 1. Kelly Ireland, ER, 2:50.65; 2. Jocelyn Murchie, ER, 3:01.61; 3. Josselynn Schneider-Curry, Chu, 3:06.10; 4. Cheyanne Richardson, ER, 3:10.57
1,600 1. Sam Hartke, Chu, 5:44.05; 2. Maegan Lange, Chu, 6:21.13; 3. Jocelyn Murchie, ER, 6:22.36; 4. Veronica Morthorpe, ER, 7:33.33