Crimson Bears’ head track coach Janette Gagnon (hurdles and jumps) and assistants Joel Abbott (sprints/distance), Greg Frank (distance), Kevin Hamrick (throws), Daria Horne (jumps) and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo (distance) have reasons to be optimistic about this year’s season. Nine of them in fact.
Nine seniors are captains this season: Jesse Miller competes in jumps and mid-distance runs, Ian Andrews is distance, Joel Perry is a sprinter, David Francis is distance, Karissa Jackson is a top hurdler and middle-distance runner, Jean Cumlat is leading the girl’s sprints, Caitlyn Bossio is a mid-distance runner, Sarah McDermott is distance, and Martina Miller is distance.
Martina Miller led 11 Crimson Bears in a recent trip to Ephrata, Wash. for the ray Cross Invite, a one-day track meet.
Miller dropped over 15 seconds from her 3200-meter time of 13:00.26, set at last year’s Region V Meet, to 12:43.79. Miller placed eighth in the event, the only Crimson Bears athlete to place at the event.
“It’s really great to see Martina make such great advances on her performances so early,” coach Joel Abbott. “Not only did she set personal records in all three of her main events, but she did them all in one day. The athletes are used to two-day meets, giving them more time to prepare both mentally and physically. Martina really showed her strength in both of these areas Saturday. Definitely great things to come from her as she progresses through the season.”
Miller than lowered her 1600-meter PR from 5:56.93, set at last year’s State meet in Fairbanks, to 5:54.14 and placed ninth. Miller continued to astonish the field by lowering her 800-meter PR from 2:50.90, set in her sophomore year at Haines Invite, to a 2:39.43.
Joel Perry lowered his 100-meter personal record (PR), set at last year’s Ketchikan Invitational, from 12.14 to 12.12.
Monico Yadao lowered his 100-meter from 12.71, set at last year’s Capitol Invite, to last weekend’s 11.89.
Yadao then trampled his 200-meter time from 25.62, set at last year’s Region V Meet, to a remarkable 24.70.
“It’s always great to see a senior start out the season to a great start,” Abbott said. “What better way than to set two personal records in your main events. Monico has really been training hard since February to obtain these personal records. We’re all excited to see him continue to drop those times during his last season with us as one of our top sprinters.”
While Francis and Andrews anchor the distance paces, they will be joined by talented freshman Johnny Elliot, sophomore Luc Browning and senior Shadd Rudick. Jesse Miller will add some support in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
The girl’s distance rallies around McDermott and Martina Miller with freshmen Leah Liebelt and Emily Wood surprising coaches. Cheyenne Hinckley and Claressa Ulymmer are also running well at the season’s start. A key runner will be Karissa Jackson in the 400 and 4x800.
“We have a lot of new people right at the start of the season,” coach Greg Frank said. “We have worked on exchanges which has been good for our sprinters because so many are new to track.”
The Crimson Bears have three returning female throwers and four new male throwers.
JDHS will compete in a one-day duel meet with TMHS at Falcons’ Field on Saturday. Starting time was not determined by press time.