Camron Herron has competed twice this track and field season in the 3,200-meter run.
The second time was Friday afternoon in the Region VI Championships at West Valley High School.
Herron won the Division I-Region VI boys 3,200 and the victory of 9 minutes, 53.19 seconds automatically advanced the West Valley senior for the race at the state meet next week in Palmer.
However, Herron said he doesn’t plan to compete in the 3,200 at the state meet. The University of Arizona recruit’s specialty is the 800 run, which he won at the last two state meets.
But he enjoyed winning the 3,200 for the first and last time in the Region VI meet.
“It feels good. I like hearing my name with that event,” Herron said. “Even though I don’t like running it much, it (victory) sounds good.”
His reason for not liking the 3,200 is understandable.
“I think the pain lasts too long. I like two minutes of pain, not 10 minutes of pain; that’s kind of my philosophy,” Herron said with a smile.
Dan Callahan, who coaches West Valley’s distance runners, said Herron “is doing everything this weekend” in regard to distance races. Herron is scheduled to race today in the 800 and 1,600 runs and the 4x400-meter relay.
“In the past, he’s kind of survived just a little bit on his talent,” Callahan said. “He’s got a good background now, he’s working really hard, and at state he should do well.”
The Region VI Championships on Friday featured finals in the girls discus, boys shot put, the boys and girls triple and high jumps, and preliminaries in running events and hurdles.
The meet ends today with finals for the long jump, girls shot put, boys discus, and running finals and relays. The field-event finals are set for 11 a.m., and the running finals and relays are slated for 11:30 a.m.
The first-place finishers in the individual events of the four region meets across Alaska automatically advance to the Division I or Division II meets of the Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska State Track and Field Championships on May 24 and 25 at Palmer High School.
Division I comprises large schools and Division II comprises small schools in Alaska.
Also qualifying for the state meet are the next best 12 results combined from the individual events at the region meets, and the first-place relays and next-best relays combined from around Alaska this weekend.
West Valley junior Kendall Kramer, after she had been battling a cold, won the Division I girls 3,200 in 10:37.00. It’s one of the best times in Alaska history for a girls 3,200 race.
“I had not been feeling my best but I knew I could come back strong,” Kramer said by phone.
Kramer said she was nervous for the race because she had run 11 minutes, 9 seconds in the 3,200 during the regular season.
“I didn’t think too hard about getting a record, it was so hot,” she said of Friday’s sunny weather in the 70s. It wasn’t the most fun of races but I was really glad to get that PR (personal record) and show the rest of the state that I’m not out of shape.”
Kramer’s effort Friday ranks behind the 9:58.74 and 10:09.72 efforts of Allie Ostrander when she competed for Kenai Central High School. Ostrander is now a redshirt junior standout for Boise State University and is the two-time defending NCAA Division I women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase champion.
“It’s not hard to believe that, because Alaskan girls have exponentially gotten faster because Allie showed everyone we could be faster,” Kramer said. “I’m glad to be helping raise the bar.”
Preseton Silas, a junior at nearby Hutchison, won the Division II boys 3,200 in 11:07.05. Monroe Catholic freshman Katie Bast earned the Division II girls title in 11:57.97 in her first region meet.
North Pole’s Olivia Berg set a personal record in winning the Division I girls triple jump at 33 feet, 2.25 inches. It’s the Patriots junior’s last region meet because she graduated early Friday.
“For me, there’s a lot of dedication put in at practice,” Berg said. “There’s those days you take off because of the stretching and the need to take care of yourself, and there’s those days where you push yourself harder than you’ve ever done before. And those are the days that pay off.”
Berg also won the Division I high jump at 5 feet.
Delta Junction junior Brenna Marchuk won the Division II girls triple jump (32 feet). Senior Kassandra Howard won the Division II girls high jump (5 feet) for Valdez in its first Region VI meet.
Lathrop junior Jhon Rones reached 39-9.5 to win the Division I boys triple jump. Eielson junior Zoltan Holmly was the Division I boys winner at 39-2.5.
West Valley senior Terrell Johnson took the Division I boys high jump at 6-2, and Valdez senior Kyler LaBonte earned the Division II honor at 5-10.
West Valley junior Sheridan Blasey launched the discus 127 feet, 7 inches for the girls Division I title. Galena junior She Killingsworth earned the Division II honor at 86-9.
Koby Wightman, a Galena senior, registered a heave of 42-3 to win the Division II boys shot put. Lathrop senior Corbin Tomaszewski was the Division I winner with an effort of 41-10.75 in the finals.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.