Coach Marcus Dunbar knows it is not going to be an easy task to repeat as host-school Dimond is favored to steal the trophy away from the Bears.
Dunbar said Dimond, the Cook Inlet Conference champion, is loaded with sprinters, jumpers and good relay teams.
“Something is going to have to go wrong for them for us to repeat,” he said.
Kodiak does have enough talent to compete with the rest of the field.
“We should hopefully be on the podium — to bring home a trophy that would be a real nice end to the season,” Dunbar said.
Kodiak will have plenty of chances to win individual titles.
Levi Thomet has the state’s best time in the 800-, the 1,600- and the 3,200-meters. Last year, he won titles in the 1,600 and 3,200. He has the potential to capture the rare triple-distance crown this season. Only Chugiak’s Richard Lee (1989) and Dimond’s Laird Prosser (1995) have won all three events at the same state meet.
“That is not something that you see very often,” Dunbar said. “Levi would be in very good company if he is able to pull that off.”
The only person who could stop Thomet from sweeping the distance races also wears a blue, gold and white uniform — junior teammate Levi Fried.
Fried is the defending 800 state champion and has the state’s second best time this season of 1 minute, 58 seconds, just .10 seconds off of Thomet’s pace.
“The hardest one to win for him will be the 800 against his own teammate,” Dunbar said. “We are going to help Levi Fried out a little bit; if he qualifies for the 800 we are going to take him out of the mile and let him go fresh.”
Fried and Thomet are also part of the state’s top 3,200 relay team. Kodiak is searching for its fourth-straight title in that event.
The Bears should also score well in the three other relay events — the 400, the 800 and the 1,600 — and add points in the shot put with throwers Kordell Pillans and Leo Sega, who are seeded second and third.
Kodiak will be represented with five girls at the state meet — Richelle Walker, Zoe Bigley, Ranie Siscar, Yuri Ahn and Barbara Sega.
“We are looking for personal records from all of them,” Dunbar said. “We are not worried about the team score, we just want every girl to run their best time this season.”
Dunbar expects better times than what were recorded at last year’s state meet, which was conducted in winter-like conditions in Fairbanks.
The only hiccup could come with Dimond’s 36-inch wide lanes, which is six inches shorter than standard lanes.
He said the shorter lanes could have an impact on the hurdle races.
“The meets they have had there they have had disqualifications,” Dunbar said. “There is a lot of controversy right now among the coaches.”
Today’s events begin at 9 a.m. with finals in the high jump, girls discus, boys shot put, triple jump and 3,200.
Preliminary heats begin at 2 p.m. with finals beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.