Nelson soars to school record to lead Mustang stampede in Oregon
Emma Nelson is flying high.
The Chugiak senior cleared a height of 5 feet, 8.75 inches to break Cathy Ballensky’s 1992 school record in the high jump to place second Saturday at the prestigious Oregon Relays at Hayward Field in Eugene.
“She just killed it,” said Chugiak coach Melissa Hall after the team returned to Alaska from the meet, which included some of the top athletes in the country.
Nelson — who will compete for Oregon State University this fall — already held the CHS long jump and triple jump records, and tied the high jump record by jumping 5-7 earlier this season. But getting the record all on her own, Hall said, was special for the star senior.
“She’d been chasing that one for years,” Hall said.
Nelson also increased her existing school record in the triple jump to 38 feet, 5.5 inches to place second, and was sixth in the long jump.
Hall said the Mustangs had an impressive meet overall, with distance runner Daniel Bausch placing seventh in the 1,500 meter invitational race and eighth in the 3,000 meter open race. Chugiak’s boys sprint medley relay team of Ezra Erickson, Charlie Latimer, Michael Earnhart and Hyrum Nelson placed fifth overall, and Nelson won his heat in the 1,500 meters.
“This ended up being probably our most successful (Oregon) meet,” Hall said.
With the Alaska track and field season still in its infancy (teams will have their first outdoor meets this week), Hall said it’s been a balancing act to get some athletes prepped for Oregon while also keeping an eye on the season-ending region and state meets.
“I’m really crossing my fingers they’re not peaking too soon,” she said.
Hall said Adrianna Proffitt also had a strong meet, setting a personal best in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.
Hall said she’s confident her athletes will be able to handle the dual peaking, and said she has a strong coaching staff to help get the most out of the team. Among those are distance coach Marko Cheseto, a former UAA standout who Hall said has been a big help to her team.
“He is the inspiration for this team because he helps them believe in themselves,” she said.
Teams complete final indoor meet
Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh won the 800 and 3,200 meter runs at the Anchorage School District 8X8 meet April 13-14 at The Dome in Anchorage.
Walsh set a personal best time of 11:34.7 in the 3,200, holding off second-place Breanna Day of Chugiak by less than a second. Day also set a PR in the race. Walsh also set a personal best in the 800, where she ran 2:32.83 to beat Dimond’s Mary Reinbold by more than three seconds.
Eagle River also picked up wins by Carter Gladwell in the boys 400 meters, Morgan Bolin in the 100 meter hurdles, Mason Wadsworth in the 110 meter hurdles — all in personal best times.
The indoor meet was the final one of the season before teams move outside this week for quad meets. On Thursday, Chugiak will travel to Dimond for a meet against the Lynx, South and Bartlett. On Friday, Eagle River will visit West High for a quad with the Eagles, Service and East.
For complete results, visit athletic.net.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Marko Chesto's first name.