Olyvia Mamae is off to a phenomenal start to her junior campaign. Representing the East Anchorage Thunderbirds, she is the current state leader in all four of her events: 100, 200, 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. After competing at the state meet last spring, Mamae is sure to improve upon her finishes after she placed third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 and 100 hurdles. Some people may contribute her success to luck or pure talent, but Mamae got to work in the preseason, logging times at every indoor meet held at The Dome. Already, her efforts have paid off, scoring lifetime personal bests in the quadruple events. Even more impressive, she has finished no lower than first so far this season, earning wins at Big C Relays and quad meets against Anchorage schools. How far will she go this season? Only time will tell for Mamae.
When Jared Gardiner first competed for Dimond High in 2019, his times were modest, going 5-flat for the 1,600 and 11:26 over 3,200. But with a pandemic wiping out his sophomore season, Gardiner’s improvement has led him to the top, slicing off 30 seconds in the 1600 and over two minutes in the 3,200. The senior returns with state experience, placing third and fifth, along with a runner-up finish in cross country. He is only half a second behind Santiago Gomez-Prosser’s school record in the eight-lap race, with healthy margins in all three of his races at the distance. With the BYU-commit continuing to make steady gains this season, the competition is sure to provide some good battles for Gardiner, who has the strength to make a run at the distance triple.
Leading the competition in Southeast Alaska is Clare Mullen of the Sitka Wolves. After only two meets, the freshman phenom has already proved she is a force to be reckoned with on the track. From 400 up to 3,200, Mullen has put up some respectable marks, going 1:02 for 400 and 2:30 for the 800, and is likely to continue improving as the season progresses. Currently, she is the leader among small schools in two events, rounding out the top three in her other disciplines. Until she competes at the state meet, Mullen will be racing the clock, giving her all and making every second count.
Jumping to new heights is what Ellie VanDeventer does best. The sophomore from Healy has posted an impressive season so far in the high jump, opening up at Big C Relays with a tenth-place finish, then jumping 11 inches higher to lead the state rankings three weeks later. At last weekend’s SoHi Invitational, VanDeventer took the win, setting a school record of 5 feet, 1 inch and topping her previous best by five inches. The sky is truly the limit for the Tri-Valley Viking.