This weekend’s event in Haines served as a final tuneup for most Southeast runners with the Region V track meet quickly approaching, but it also saw the Falcons boys’ team once again dominate the competition.
Thunder Mountain took first place on the boys’ side with 137 points, while the girls placed fourth overall with 61 points.
Falcons coach Scott May said the result surprised him given the numbers his boys were facing.
“We really didn’t expect this,” he said. “We had all thought Haines was going to win based on their high finishes and the fact they had a big team and were pretty deep.
“We were surprised with the final score.”
Haines finished in second with 132 points, while Juneau-Douglas and Sitka rounded out the top four teams with 93 and 92 points, respectively.
The TMHS boys’ relay team grabbed the win in the 4-x-100 and 4-x-800 relays, and took fourth in the 4-x-400. Seven Falcons throwers also posted personal records, with Tyrel Kramp breaking the 40-foot mark in the shot put.
Katie Jones ended up setting a personal and school record in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 6:12.77.
Kimmy Laboca earned May’s athlete of the meet honor on the girls’ side, taking second place in the shot put and third in the discus.
But there was some bad news for the Falcons as May said it looks like Evie Walker will miss the remainder of the season after reinjuring her ankle during the meet. May also said he had to pull Alex Tracy after just one long jump and one triple jump with an injury to his quadricep. Tracy also serves as the leadoff man for the Falcons’ highly ranked relay team.
“We’re hoping he heals this week,” May said.
Chris Luna replaced Tracy in the relays during the rest of the meet. The Falcons scored in every event the boys entered, and freshman Khalil English was May’s athlete of the meet on the boys’ side. English finished second overall in the 3,200-meter run and was edged by Bears star Zach Bursell in the 1600.
As for Juneau-Douglas, coach Janette Gagnon said her kids went into this weekend with their focus on the upcoming region meet in Juneau on Friday and Saturday.
“Kids were trying lots of new events just for fun because of regionals next weekend,” she said. “So we had a lot of sprinter girls trying throwing events to rest their legs.”
But even with some of the athletes trying new events, the JDHS girls’ team continued to look strong, finishing second overall to Sitka with 103 points. The Wolves scored 120.
Gagnon said Jesse Miller was one of the strongest performers on the boys’ side, breaking 20 feet in the long jump for the first time ever. She also mentioned Andre Bunton as another one of the top Bears this weekend. Bunton ran the 100-meter hurdles for the first time, and despite falling in the preliminaries made it to the finals. He also hit 41 feet in the triple jump for the second week in a row.
Gagnon said it was more of a “fun weekend” for the girls in preparation for the upcoming meet in Juneau.
“I think everyone is rested, as long as nobody danced too hard at prom (Saturday) night,” she joked. “We’re really trying to figure out how we can maximize the kids and the events so we can have a good showing.
“The boys have been chasing Thunder Mountain all season, so we’d like to make up some points,” she continued. “The girls are just trying to stay strong and hold on to the first place finishes we’ve had every weekend, except this weekend.”
The 2011 Region V Championships are in Juneau beginning on Friday at Thunder Mountain High School.