If you’ve been paying attention to high school distance running in recent years, the name Daniel Abramowicz may ring a bell. The West Valley senior has made a gradual return to the track this season, however, his times suggest anything but rust. After opening his season only two weeks ago, Abramowicz has already registered a lifetime best of 4:20 in the 1,600, which along with his 1:59 in the 800, bolsters two state-leading times. With one more meet in the regular season, Abramowicz looks to add the 3,200 to his racing repertoire, paving the way to defend his state title. He has achieved four medals in the past year, adding a first in the 800, runner-up in the 1,600 and a victory at the cross country state championships. Coming home with three gold medals will be quite the task, but Abramowicz appears ready for the challenge.
Josh Bailey embodies the definition of resilience. He rarely raced during his freshman year and was disqualified in his main event, the 100, at last year’s region meet. Coming into this season, Bailey has run with nothing to lose. The Chugiak senior is the current state leader in the 100, ranks second in the 200 and contributed to the state-leading 4-by-100 relay. Over the course of three years, Bailey has taken off 1.5 seconds in his 100 and almost 2.5 seconds in his 200. With a school record of 10.87 to boot, Bailey becomes the fourth Mustang to eclipse the 11-second barrier.
After joining track and field her junior year, senior Rylee Ellis has made up a considerable amount of ground, registering the top mark in the long jump and second-best time in the 800 among small schools. The Nikiski Bulldog recorded personal bests at the SoHi and Homer Invitationals, where she solidified a pair of wins in her primary events. In one year, Ellis has bettered her 800 time by almost 11.5 seconds and improved her long jump by over 18 inches. She also ranks second in school history for the events, but with a few more meets left in the season, Ellis could rewrite the Nikiski record books and make a run at the state podium.
The Capital City Invite was instrumental for Trinity Jackson’s season as the Juneau-Douglas senior recorded three wins and one runner-up finish. In her triple jump debut, Jackson jumped to the state lead with a mark of 33 feet, 7.75 inches. The Crimson Bear began her career as a long jumper, but has since found success with just a hop, skip and a jump. Jackson also joined forces with three teammates this season to lead the state in the 4-by-100 relay and rank third in the 4-by-400 relay. Whether she qualifies in an individual event or a relay, Jackson is poised to make her third appearance at the upcoming state championships.