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Sitka’s Clare Mullin runs into the history books; multiple Division II athletes win three or more region titles

by | May 20, 2024 | Cover Story, Prep Spotlight, Running, Track and Field

Sitka’s Marina Dill and Clare Mullin run side by side at the Cross Country Running State Championships. Photo by Jaycie Calvert.

Clare Mullin has been on a roll since her freshman year, but at the Region V Championships, the Sitka High standout put on a show-stopping performance winning four titles, adding her name to the history books and continuing her undefeated season against in-state competition.

The junior’s times aren’t just the fastest in Division II or in the Southeast — she’s one of the fastest in state history.

After opening the region meet clocking 11:14.04 in the 3,200, the Sitka Wolf sped to 2:14.60 in the 800 in the prelims. The time in the latter ranks Mullin as the seventh-quickest known performer in Alaska prep history.

But the junior was far from finished.

Mullin returned to the track in the 1,600, powering to her first sub-5 minute finish in the four-lap event, stopping the clock at 4 minutes, 56.11 seconds.

Only Kenai Central’s Allie Ostrander, West’s Kris Smith and East’s Betsy Haines have ever run quicker during their prep careers, according to lists initially compiled by track and field historian Marcus Dunbar.

Alaska Girls All-Time 1600m

  1. Allie Ostrander, Kenai, 4:46.19 (2015)
  2. Kris Smith, West, 4:50.50 (2002)
  3. Betsy Haines, East, 4:53.84 (1977)
  4. Clare Mullin, Sitka, 4:56.11 (2024)
  5. Kendall Kramer, West Valley, 4:56.15 (2019)
  6. Allison VanPelt, Wasilla, 4:56.83 (2019)
  7. Morgan Ekemo, Chugiak, 4:57.04 (2003)
  8. Samantha Davis, West Valley, 4:57.17 (2007)
  9. Ava Earl, South, 4:57.23 (2019)
  10. Briahna Gerlach, Glennallen, 4:58.64 (2015)

Mullin completed her quadruple crown by clocking 2:19.17 in the 800 finals and running a leg on the winning 4×400 relay.

As for state championships, Mullin is the two-time defending champion in both the 800 and 1,600, after winning the 3,200 and 4×400 her freshman year.

A strong Sitka team accompanied Mullin’s breakout performances. Teammates Adalyna Moore (100 & 200) and Jadelynn Kubik (400) swept the sprint titles, while Emma Heuer and Natalie Hall combined for the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, high jump and long jump titles.

Other winners included Gustavus’ Madeline Wagner (shot put), Haines’ Emma Dohrn (discus) and Ari’el Godinez-Long (triple jump).

All four relays were won by the Wolves, who amassed a staggering 249 points.

Sitka completed the team title sweep on the boys side with 250 points, collecting wins in 13 out of 17 events.

The Wolves were led by senior Annan Weiland and sophomore Calder Prussian, who combined for eight titles. Weiland won the 800 (2:06.12) and 1,600 (4:34.64) while also running legs on the 4×400 and 4×800 relays. Prussian swept the short sprints, capturing the 100 (11.81) and 200 (24.24) titles, in addition to the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

Teammate Connor Hitchcock ran away with the 3,200 (9:51.15), while Felix Myers nabbed the 110 hurdles (17.88), Francis Myers secured the triple jump (40-11.25) and Rowan Olney-Miller won the high jump.

Other winners included Haines’ JC Davis (300 hurdles), Petersburg’s Elijah Whitacre (shot put), Erik Thynes (discus) and Hendrik Cumps (long jump).

REGION III

The Homer girls (144) and Mountain City Christian Academy boys (151) and took top honors at the Region III Championships, with a handful of athletes collecting multiple wins.

On the girls side, Redington’s Mya Campbell and Seward’s Hailey Ingalls both captured three titles in their penultimate prep meets. Campbell swept the jumps, outdistancing her competition in the long jump (16-2), triple jump (33-03) and high jump (4-10). Ingalls eked out wins in the 1,600 (5:40.38) and 3,200 (12:19.07) and ran a leg on the 4×800.

Seward’s Hailey Ingalls leads Grace Christian’s Sydney Mondeel at the Region III Championships. Photo by Pete Pounds.

MCCA’s Jenna Houck secured the 100 (13.16) and 200 (27.37), while Grace Christian’s Tagan Rinner completed the middle-distance double, winning the 400 (1:03.30) and 800 (2:30.76).

Homer’s Gracie Miotke won the 300 hurdles (47.88), in addition to running legs on the winning 4×100 and 4×400 relays. The Mariners also won the 4×200 relay.

Kenai’s Emma Beck and MCCA’s Jieaya Siatini split the throws, with Beck winning the discus (125-3) and Siatini winning the shot put (38-6).

Gregory Fallon

On the boys side, the 800 proved to be one of the deepest events, producing four sub-2 minute clockings, led by Kenai Central’s Gregory Fallon (1:57.18). Grace Christian’s Colton Merriner (1:57.89) and Robbie Annett (1:57.91) and MCCA’s Lukas Underhile (1:58.01) rounded out the tightly-contested race.

Annett won the 1,600 (4:22.66) and 3,200 (9:44.86), while Underhile helped the Lions to victory in the 4×200 and 4×400 respectively.

Seward’s Ronan Bickling secured victories in the 100 (11.51) and 200 (23.34), while teammate Gideon Schrock took the 400 (53.62). The duo teamed up for the 4×100 win.

MCCA’s Nolan Warren swept the hurdles with strong performances in the 110 hurdles (16.44) and 300 hurdles (42.28), while teammate Jaidhen Oyao captured the long jump (18-10).

Other winners included Nikiski’s Truit McCaughey (shot put), Kenai Central’s William Roberts (discus) Seward’s Olin Liljemark (high jump).

REGION II

The Su Valley Rams swept the team titles at the Region II Championships, but it was the Eddington sisters from Tri-Valley who combined for seven titles.

Taylor Eddington

McKinley Eddington, a senior, won the 100 hurdles (15.74), 300 hurdles (49.89), triple jump (31-02) and ran a leg on the 4×400. Sophomore Taylor Eddington captured the 100 (13.14), 200 (27.16), 400 (1:01.47) while joining her sister on the 4×400. Teammate Ellie VanDeventer won the high jump (4-10) while the Viking Warriors also collected the 4×800.

Ninilchik’s Adelyn McCorison and Su Valley’s Calla Fish pocketed two titles, apiece. McCorison won the 800 (2:34.37) and long jump (15-00.75), while Fish took the 1,600 (5:47.49) and 3,200 (12:47.27). Su Valley also won the 4×200 and 4×400.

The throws were won by Birchwood Christian’s Leia West (shot put) and Lumen Christi’s Amara Warren (discus).

On the boys side, Glennallen’s Andrew Severs completed the distance triple, winning the 800 (2:11.08), 1,600 (4:58.79) and 3,200 (11:17.91).

Su Valley’s Jacob Shockey captured the 100 (11.85), long jump (19-00.75) and ran a leg on the 4×400. Teammate Caymen Kingery took the 300 hurdles (43.24) and also ran a leg on the 4×400, while Austin Barnard excelled in the high jump (6-0). The Rams also won the 4×200.

Tri-Valley found success in the sprints and throws. Cordell Randall won the 200 (24.33), while Jack Wahlin won the 400 (57.56). The duo competed on the winning 4×100, with Kenny Larsen collecting titles in the shot put (37-7.50) and discus (113-0).

Other winners included Ninilchik’s Trey Witten (110 hurdles) and Holy Rosary Academy (4×800).

Kenai Central’s Gregory Fallon leads the 800-meter finals; all four runners clocked sub-2 minute marks at the Region III Championships. Photo by Pete Pounds.

REGION VI

At the Region VI Championships, the team titles went to the Monroe Catholic girls (134.5) and Valdez boys (112).

Delta Junction’s Iris Haas completed a rare quadruple title feat, winning the 400 (1:06.13), 800 (2:36.08), 1,600 (5:53.76) and 3,200 (12:27.10). Just a sophomore, Haas opened her season in all four events just two weeks prior at the Anchorage Invite and made the switch to the long-distance events after contesting the 100, 200, 400 and 4×400 at last year’s state championships.

Izzy Kizer

Valdez’s Izzy Kizer was a triple winner, collecting the 100 (12.86), triple jump (33-10) and running a leg on the 4×100, while the Buccaneers also netted the 4×800 and teammate Momoe Togagae won the shot put.

Monroe Catholic was led by freshman Kenleigh Newton in the 200 (28.28) and 300 hurdles (51.35) who also ran a leg on the 4×200. The Rams added titles with Emma Walsh in the high jump (5-0) and long jump (15-4.25), Nadia Chernich (discus) and the 4×200 and 4×400.

Ben Eielson’s Teslin Brannan, the pole vault state record holder, won the 100 hurdles (18.47).

On the boys side, Valdez’s Andrew Baczuk and Rafe Caruthers combined for eight titles. Baczuk captured the 100 (11.55), long jump (18-8.75) and ran a leg on the 4×100 and 4×200, while Caruthers won the 800 (2:07.36), 1,600 (4:45.84), 3,200 (10:12.83) and ran a leg on the 4×400. Teammate Barrett McCumby also netted a win in the triple jump (38-4) and joined the Buccaneers on all three winning relays.

Monroe Catholic was led by Billy Bast’s wins in the 200 (23.89) and 400 (52.74), while teammate Ashley McGlinchy won the 110 hurdles (17.72) and Tristin Nicholson collected the 300 hurdles (43.85).

Other winners included Ben Eielson’s Marcus Champ in the shot put (41-00.75) and discus (116-03), Hutchison’s Zane Robinson (high jump) and Delta Junction (4×800).

REGION I

While the Region I Championships only included Nome-Beltz, the top athlete or region winner from each event is invited to compete at the state championships in a maximum of four events.

Ourea Busk

Unalakleet’s Ourea Busk leads the region and the state in the 400, after clocking 58.51 seconds at the Palmer Invitational. The sophomore and defending Division II champion in the 400 also holds the top region marks in the 200 (26.33), 800 (2:20.04), 1,600 (5:46.65), 3,200 (12:24.51) and triple jump (31-5.5). Teammate Cedar Busk holds the region’s top mark in the shot put.

Nome-Beltz’s Cassidy Martinson won the 100 at the Region I Championships, while the Nanooks hold the region’s top times in the 4×100 and 4×400.

Bethel’s Roselyn Daniel and Madalyn Evans hold the region’s top marks in the discus and long jump respectively.

On the boys side, Nome-Beltz’s Son Erickson is the region’s leader in the shot put (34-1.5), discus (91-10), 100 (12.48) and 200 (25.85). Teammate Orson Hoogendorn remains the leader in the 400 (54.71) and 1,600 (4:49.02). The Nanooks also lead in the 4×100 and 4×400.

Bethel’s Mason Beans-Polk holds the top times in the 800 (2:14.33), 3,200 (10:13.13) and long jump (17-8), while teammate Sheldon Smith is the leader in the triple jump. The Warriors also lead in the 4×800.

The ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Track & Field State Championships are slated for May 24-25 at Dimond High School.

MCCA’s Jenna Houck leads in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the Region III Championships. Photo by Pete Pounds.

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