Rivals, friends split hurdles events at district track meet

LAKE STEVENS — Kaleb Dobson narrowly defeated Jared Alskog in a race, then a little while later, Alskog returned the favor.

And throughout the night when they weren’t busy being two of the top athletes at the 4A Bi-District track and field meet, the two seniors, Dobson from Cascade, Alskog from Arlington, were paling around the Lake Stevens High School football field looking more like best friends than fierce competitors.

Welcome to a regular night in the world of Wesco track.

As is so often the case when two of the state’s top hurdlers meet, Dobson came away with the victory in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.52 seconds, while Alskog was victorious in the 300 hurdles (38.27). And it wouldn’t be fair to classify this as a two-man battle. Jackson senior John-Robert Woolley was third to Dobson and Alskog in the 110, and squeezed between to two to finish second in the 300 hurdles.

“We’ve all been right there close to each other,” said Woolley, who ran a personal beset time in the 300, finishing in 38.86 seconds. “We keep pushing each other to go harder, and we keep going faster and faster.”

Alskog is strongest in the 300, but competing against Dobson has made him up his game in 110 as well, while Dobson’s specialty is the shorter of the two hurdle events, yet he pushes himself to keep up with his friend in the 300.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Alskog said. “We don’t go to the same school, but every time I race him, it’s a chance to PR in the 110, and I know he’s going to push me in the 300.

“It really pushes me, because I know if I’m not practicing right, I know he is. Knowing I’m going to race against him, it pushes me and I know it pushes him to the best of his abilities. It’s a great pleasure racing against him.”

Early in his high school track and field career, Alskog was alone on top, at least among local hurdlers his age, but Dobson burst on the scene as a junior, and even earned a surprising victory over Alskog in the 300 at this meet a year ago.

“Junior year he came out of nowhere and started destroying everyone,” said Alskog, who also qualified for state in the pole vault Wednesday. “Ever since then I’ve been striving to beat him.”

Alskog will be among the favorites in the 300 at next week’s state meet having finished third in the event at state as a junior, and Dobson is looking to improve upon his second-place finish at state in the 110.

However Alskog and Dobson do in their top events, they’ll be pulling for the other while at the same time trying to win.

“We’re really close,” Dobson said. “Besides when we’re about to race, we’re always checking on each other, seeing how the other is doing in their events and supporting each other in those events. After four years of being together, we kind of grew on each other.”

The day wasn’t entirely positive for Dobson, however, because the Bruins’ 400 relay team, which included Dobson, was disqualified for dropping the baton on the final exchange.

“It wasn’t the best day because our 4-by-100 team ended up dropping the stick, so that was a big disappointment for me,” he said. “It wasn’t really about me getting to state, because I had my way of getting to state, I wanted to get our younger guys to state.”

Cascade’s Michael Gbagonah qualified for state in both sprints, finishing second in the 200 with a time of 22.66, and third in the 100 (10.98). Other top area results included Jackson’s Aaron Roe, who was second in the 3,200-meter run (9:08.55), and Jackson’s Wesley Love, who was second in the 400-meter dash, finishing in 49.00.

Jackson finished second in the team competition behind first-place Eastlake, thanks in part to a pair of strong relay performances. Jackson’s 4×100 relay team won with a time of 43.14, while the Timberwolves 4×400 team finished second to Eastlake.

Arlington was the next highest-finishing local team, finishing fourth. Kamiak, which finished second and third in the 4×100 and 4×400, respectively, was fifth in the team competition.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

Team scores: 1. Eastlake 86.75 2. Jackson 72, 3. Garfield 70, 4. Arlington 60.33, 5. Kamiak 45, 6. Cascade 42.5, 7. Bothell 42.5, 8. Edmonds-Woodway 35.33, t-9. Issaquah 27, t-9. Newport 27, 11. Redmond 26.5, 12. Inglemoor 25, 13. Lake Stevens 22.33, t-14. Mariner 18, t-14. Skyline 18, 16. Snohomish 11.5, t-17. Lynnwood 8, t-17. Mount Vernon t-19. Monroe 6, 19, Roosevelt 6, 32. Ballard 5, Woodinville 2 .

State qualifiers: 110 hurdles—1. Kaleb Dobson (Cascade)14.52; 2. Jared Alskog (Arlington) 14.86; 3. John-Robert Woolley (Jackson) 15.03. 100—1. Troy Lewis (Eastlake) 10.86; 2. Rashad Swank-Jones (Garfield) 10.97; 3. Michael Gbagonah (Cascade) 10.98. 1,600—1. Cameron Stanish (Garfield) 4:10.19, 2. Aaron Schlossman (Garfield) 4:16.15; 3. Charlie Barringer (Bothell) 4:17.53.400 relay—1. Jackson 43.14; 2. Kamiak 43.36; 3. Arlington 43.82.400—1. Ryan Croson (Bothell) 48.77; 2. Wesley Love (Jackson) 49.00; 3. Matt Morrison (Eastlake) 49.04. 300 hurdles—1. Alskog (Arlington) 38.27; 2. Woolley (Jackson) 38.86; 3. Dobson (Cascade) 38.96.800—1. Nathan Pizler (Eastlake) 1:53.76; 2. Schlossman (Garfield) 1:54.03; 3. Noah Wallace (Lake Stevens) 1:54.46.200—1. Lewis (Eastlake) 22.34; 2. Gbagonah (Cascade) 22.66; 3. Swank-Jones (Garfield) 22.79.3,200—1. Stanish (Garfield) 8:56.88; 2. Aaron Roe (Jackson) 9:08.55; 3. Barringer (Bothell) 9:15.16. 1,600 relay—1. Eastlake 3:20.43; 2. Jackson 3:21.62; 3. Kamiak 3:24.90. High jump—Joey Massey (Inglemoor) 6-06; 2. Isaiah Lewis (Inglemoor) 6-04; 3. Caleb Hamlin (Redmond) 6-02. Long jump—1. Jacob Kraus (Kamiak) 21-06.25; 2. Travante Robinson (Jackson) 21-05.25; 3. Michael Forster (Arlington) 21-02.75. Triple jump—1. Javin Nash-Harris (Garfield) 46-01.50; 2. Joshua Colbert (Eastlake) 43-08; 3. Dane Pollett (Mount Vernon) 43-03.50.Shot put—1. Octavyien Sapp (Mariner) 50-07.75; 2. Randin Crecelius (Cascade) 50-00.50; 3. Jake Miles (Jackson) 49-05.25. Discus—1. Joseph Ellis (Eastlake) 168-11; 2. Bryan Lee (Skyline) 163-09; 3. Chris Halamek (Newport) 152-03. Javelin—1. Caleb Pearson (Issaquah) 169-09; 2. Tyler Webley (Kamiak) 169-08; 3. Cole Jones (Bothell) 164-05.Pole vault—1, Chase Reid (Lake Stevens) 14-03; 2. Derrick Kwon (Newport) 13-00; 3. Gabe Ohlsen (Snohomish) 13-00.

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