Record-breaking year for XC runners

The Juneau-Douglas High School cross country running season came to a close with our banquet last weekend, and we want to thank the hundreds of people in Juneau who made our season so special and successful.


When Thunder Mountain High School opened, the goal and hope was to offer more opportunities for more Juneau students in activities. We are proud to report that this was a milestone year, as between the two high schools we broke records with nearly 100 runners! We are grateful to be collaborating with Thunder Mountain XC coaches Scott May and Sandi Pahlke in building strong, healthy, fun, competitive programs in both schools.

We also coordinated a very successful Juneau Invitational Meet with our Thunder Mountain peers, hosting nearly 250 runners from around Southeast. The visiting runners and coaches are always impressed not only by our top-notch Sandy Beach/Treadwell course, but the largest potluck (thanks to JD and TM parents) in Southeast! A special thanks also goes out to Southeast Road Runners, Colby Shibler and the crew at Parks and Recreation, and the parents and friends and doctors who helped us set up, clean up and work the meet. Extra effort was invested by Course Marshall Greg Frank, Head Timer Bob Marshall, Paul DeSloover and Jeff White. Jeannine Smith, Liselotte Barrows, Andre Bunton, Shawn Miller, Hunter Brown, Bryce Iverson, Janette Gagnon, Tim Blust. Jerry Kress, Dan Wayne, Scott Watts, Molly McKormick, Christy Wallace, Martha Murray, Eliza Dorn, JJ Lende, Justin Dorn, Cynthia Johnson, Ryan Harvey, Martin Woodby and Lilly Pothier all provided on-course and finish line support.

Thanks, too, to Luke Adams for overseeing the event as the JSD Administrator. As Klas stated in an Empire article earlier this year, TM and JD are proud to have the best-designed cross country course in Southeast, and we continue to thank Guy Thibodeau for his vision and hard work in developing this historic, challenging, scenic course.

We are very aware of the discussions regarding sports and funding in this community, and continue to work to align our mission — running and building healthy communities — with our fundraising efforts. Thanks to those parents and runners who helped guide the Runner’s World Cruise participants, thanks to all community members who participated in our annual Toilsome Twosome fundraising race, thanks to the 80 JD runners and their families who showed up for our North Douglas litter pick up, and thanks to many of you for running in and supporting the Hasty Half, whose proceeds benefited our team. Thank you, Shannon Hasty, for your thoughtful generosity in donating to Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain running.

We also want to extend our appreciation to Sandi Wagner and Cricket Curtain for their tireless efforts in overseeing and coordinating cross country and all other JDHS activities.

Our season had the welcome challenge of a great influx of freshmen, and we relied upon our captains for keeping us on schedule. Thanks to Eliza Walker, Mali Tamone, Johnny Elliott and Riley Moser for their leadership on and off the trails. We are also joined by volunteer coaches Hilary Young, Linda Mancuso, Ryan Harvey, and Greg Frank, and we appreciate how each one of them inspires and supports our runners.

Our theme for this season’s banquet was “Why Run?” and we are especially grateful to the Cathedral of the Nativity for hosting our season finale. We are privileged to be part of an unique and larger running community in the Capital City, and we realize each runner answers this question very differently. We are joined, however, by the quest to answer it, and the community we’ve built as we explore our amazing trails, challenge ourselves on the road, train with friends, or set personal goals.

Thank you for keeping us running, Juneau!

Merry Ellefson and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo

Juneau-Douglas High School XC Coaches


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