The Juneau-Douglas girls’ and Thunder Mountain boys’ track and field teams once again took top honors at this weekend’s Juneau Invite at TMHS.
The two teams are now 3-0 on the year after winning meets in Sitka, Ketchikan and now their hometown of Juneau. The JDHS boys finished second out of eight schools to TMHS, while the Falcon girls finished third out of eight schools.
On the girls’ side, JDHS finished with 127 points, followed by Petersburg’s 109, Thunder Mountain’s 99.50, Haines’ 87.50, Sitka’s 61, Ketchikan’s 51, Skagway’s 30, Yakutat’s 25 and Gustavus’ 24.
“The girls are doing really nicely,” JDHS coach Janette Gagnon said. “They’re really feeling themselves out and we only have three or four distance runners. The sprinters and jumpers are really making up for that.
Thunder Mountain won the boys’ meet with 139 points, JDHS finished with 124, Haines was third with 119.50, Sitka fourth with 118, Ketchikan fifth with 50.50, Gustavus sixth with 25, Yakutat seventh with 24 and Petersburg eighth with 18.
“Outstanding. They exceeded all expectations,” TMHS coach Scott May said of the performance of his boys’ team, which saw 32 personal and 12 school records set. “All four of our relays broke school records. The boys’ 4-x-100 and 4-x-200 are currently ranked first and second in the state, and they may stick. We’ll see how it all shakes out after this weekend, but I’m excited and the kids are really excited.”
May named Alex Tracy the boys’ MVP after shattering his personal records in the long and triple jumps. His triple jump leap of 43-feet, 2 1/4 inches is currently the third best jump in the state this year. Tracy also won the long jump with a leap of 20-2 1/2.
“This is a team that scored just 59 points last year at this meet,” May said. “They were fourth last year and now they’re up to 139 points. They’ve come a long way in a very short period of time.”
May said the energy and enthusiasm has spread throughout the program, and that’s why the kids have been able to make such a big jump this year.
“A lot of kids came out this year that didn’t last year,” he said. “I think it’s contagious. Success breeds success, and I think it’s an environment that kids want to be a part of.”
May was also pleased with the performance of the girls’ team, which nearly tripled its output of 35 points last season.
“We only have 11 girls so we’re not big on numbers,” he said, “but we managed to get nine personal and six school records, and we won the girls’ 4-x-100, which is something for us to be very excited about.”
May named senior Sydney Thorne MVP of the girls’ team after she tied Juneau-Douglas’ Esra Siddeek for first in the 100 (13.79), and ran the first leg of the girls’ winning 4-x-100 team (55.84), which set the new school record. She also set a PR in the long jump (13-6 3/4), finishing fifth, and scored 18 total points.
Gagnon named Siddeek the Bears’ top girls’ performer after she won the 200 (23.41) and tied Thorne for top 100 honors. Siddeek also anchored the winning girls’ 4-x-400 relay team (4:45.82), and ran on the second-place 4-x-100 team.
Jesse Miller was the boys’ MVP for the Bears. Miller won the 400 (53.79) and ran on two relays.
“He decided he was a sprinter this year and was a key member of the 4-x-200 team that tried to give Thunder Mountain a run for its money,” Gagnon said. “He was also on the winning 4-x-400 team (3:47.29).”
Gagnon said she’s pleased with the boys’ progress as they have closed the gap some on Thunder Mountain. The Bear finished 23 points behind the Falcons last week in Ketchikan, and 15 this week.
“We had a couple of distance runners come back,” Gagnon explained. “Ian Andrews is back, and Luke Browning is consistently improving his times every week, so they’re really helping to round out our distance group. They’re really trying to come together and they’re working together to figure out how to make things tougher on Thunder Mountain when it comes time for regionals.”
Both teams are back at it next weekend in Haines.
Check B2 Monday for full scoring results.