Brittany Slick & Keri Thomas
Kayhi Track and Field will be attending the Region V track meet this weekend at Thunder Mountain High School. They will be competing against both Juneau Douglas and Thunder Mountain teams for a region title. Kayhi will be bringing 30 of their best athletes to the meet in hopes to win first for Region V and qualify for state.
Kayhi Track and Field coach Alex Pennino believes his small team packs a big punch.
“We will be the smaller group at regions,” said Pennino. “But I’m hoping the kids bring the noise when the maroon and gold are on the track.”
Not one current Kayhi track member has been apart of a Region V team title. Individuals can still place first and qualify for state, but to win the Region V Championship, the team has to earn an overall winning score. Pennino has recognized the meet’s host, Thunder Mountain, as Kayhi’s biggest threat for many years now.
“Thunder Mountain has been the cream of the crop in southeast track for as long as I can remember,” said Pennino. “But we always come pretty close, so I’m crossing my fingers this year.”
The boys of Kayhi have proven to hold their ground this season, placing first and second at every meet they have attended. Knowing what these boys are capable of, Pennino has high expectations,
“Looking on paper, the boys have got a shot,” said Pennino. “If they all run, jump, and throw their guts out, they will come home with a region championship.”
As for the girls side, Pennino knows the Lady Kings are underestimated, but feels they are able to pull out some wins this weekend.
“The girls are a bit outgunned compared to the competition,” said Pennino. “But they could provide a couple of surprises in the distance and relay events.”
Pennino has four athletes attending the meet that have been with him every season since they were in 7th grade. Seeing his long-time track seniors compete in their last state qualifier makes the meet even more emotional and sentimental for him.
“Nolan Meyer, Luke Reynolds, Adrian Ronquillo, and Joey Rhoads are all vets of the Knights Track club at Schoenbar and 4 year Kayhi track team members,” said Pennino. “Seeing those senior boys competing in their last region meet is gonna be hard.”
Pennino hopes to bring home a regional championship from Juneau, but recognizes that personal improvement throughout the entire season is something the team can be proud of.
“In track the biggest competition is always yourself,” said Pennino. “So even if you’re not at the top of the podium, you can find a way to improve from your last meet. That’s what really matters and that’s what’s worth celebrating.”
Sprints and Relays
+Middle Distance and Relays