Blake Bennett and Ethan Goebel (right) cross the finish line in the 800-meter race. PHOTO BY JEFF BRADY

Goebel takes second in 800-meter race at state competition

Ethan Goebel finished second in the 800-meter race at the Alaska School Activities Association State Track Championships; a run that boiled down to a neck-and-neck competition between him and Blake Bennett of Anchorage Christian.

Skagway had several students go to the state meet. Goebel and Danny Brady represented the boys track team, with both running in the 800 and the 3200-meter race. Brady also ran in the 1600-meter finals, taking eighth in the state.

Jennifer Hansen competed in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump. The girls 4×400 relay team, made up of Madison Cox, Sahara Kilic, Kara Whitehead and Eliza Myers, took seventh place in the competition’s finals.

Goebel was the only senior on the team, track coach Kent Fielding said, which potentially provides a lot of veteran talent for Skagway’s track team next year.

“In many ways, we’re looking for the future, and it seems like we have a lot of outstanding prospects,” Fielding said.

Fielding pointed to Hansen, Cox and Myers in the hurdles, Whitehead in throwing and Brady in distance running as examples of these good prospects for the 2018 season. Hurdles coach Kate Bauer said she sees a lot of potential in Hansen, that she will continue to perform well in the 100-meter dash and “with enough practice,” could excel in the 200-meter dash as well. Bauer said next year, she hopes to work on Hansen’s form to make up more time while clearing the hurdles.

Madison Cox in the 4×400 relay. PHOTO BY JEFF BRADY

“She has good form and next year we will have ten hurdles or more she can practice on,” Bauer said in an email. “The goal is to also purchase a high jump mat. Hopefully we can practice with her and new track athletes.”

In all the hurdlers, Bauer said she saw a lot of improvement. Throughout the season, she used an app called Coach’s Eye, which let her save videos of progress made by the students.

“They still have work to do, but by the end of next season they will be doing great I bet,” Bauer said. “Next year and the year after are going to be some really interesting years.”

As they look ahead to the 2018 season, the coaches have been giving some direction in terms of training in the interim.

For the sprinters, doing more strength-based workouts will be beneficial, according to Fielding.

Bauer said staying in sprinting shape is important for the students, as the 100-meter hurdles are a fast sprint, and the 300-meter hurdles are a long sprint. To brush up on their form for hurdling, Bauer said she’d like the students to start back up at least one day a week around February.

In addition to some weightlifting, Fielding said he has encouraged the students to go to the gym and run throughout summer, and to go out for cross-country in the upcoming school year.

“Cross-country of course is pure endurance, but even the sprinters…it’s not going to hurt you to run cross-country,” Fielding said. Sprinters could be in four events with quick turnaround times, so endurance would help with recovery time, Fielding said.

This year, Bauer and Kaitlyn Surdyk joined Fielding as co-coaches for the team. Having additional co-coaches to work with the students and drill down into the specifics of various events would be beneficial in the coming season, according to Fielding.

“Definitely throwing coaches and some jumping coaches,” Fielding said.

Danny Brady rounds the 3rd corner in the 1600. PHOTO BY JEFF BRADY