Track and Field is off and running!

Dimond High’s track team is off to a great start, finishing in the top three in four out of five races, with the girls finishing first in three races. The girls are projected to win state again with all of the excellent talent on the team stated by Dimond’s distance coach Nate Normandin. Losing many seniors from the previous third place team, the guys will have to step up their game to do well at State. This year, the team has “110-120 kids total,” said Normandin. “The season has gone good so far.” Dimond provides some top athletes in state. On the boys’ side there are: Freshmen Stanson Afoa, Armani Tufaga; Sophomore Darrion Gray; Junior J.J. Jack Nixon(all three are top sprinters for Dimond); Seniors Ahmad Nasir, Mitchell Swensen, Isaac Ula and Tyler Bennet On the girls’ side are Freshmen Crystal McNab, Amelia Hennessy, Madison Imig; Sophmores Sarah Freistone and Mary Vaitohi; Juniors Nikki Wray, Keiahnna Engel and Jessica Todd; Seniors Symphony Bagsby, Cara Wilcox and Ashley Grant. For the field atheletes, Dimond has a top thrower for both the boys and girls. Senior Mitchell Swensen and Senior Ashley Grant are in the top 10 for throwers in the state of Alaska. Swensen has placed in the top five in discus for two straight years, winning the discus at state last year. Jack-Nixon is also in the long jump for Dimond. He has an 18-foot, 10-inch long jump, to place him in the sixth-longest jump in the state. Bennett is fourth in state for the high jump in state. Another field athlete for Dimond would be Afoa. He already has the eighth-longest jump in state being only a freshman. The athletes are training very hard for all of the track meets. Practice consists of doing multiple 400-yard sprints with rest in between. Also there are distance runs that last 40 minutes long, or even longer. “The training is hardcore, but really fun,” said Freshman Armani Tufaga, who is a sprinter for Dimond. Tufaga also said, “The coaches make it really fun.” Dimond’s next meet is on Apr. 16 and 17. There are 14 other schools that are going to be competing there, eight schools from the Anchorage School District. The first day will consist of sprints and the second day will consist of distance running.