The delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) of over 120 athletes has been felt on the Adair Kennedy and Thunder Mountain fields for two weeks now as the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears and Thunder Mountain Falcons track and field teams have prepared for the season opener at Ketchikan this weekend.
The results of this increased intensity of exercise will be seen in competition throughout the season.
“I have high expectations this year,” TMHS coach Scott May said. “I think our boys will be in some great competition with Juneau-Douglas and Ketchikan. Also, there are always surprises from the smaller schools.”
Skagway, Yakutat, Sitka, Wrangell, Haines and Petersburg always produce talented distance teams that can mix it up with the bigger schools and coach May and JDHS head coach Janette Gagnon are excited about the rosters of athletes that will be running, throwing and jumping around southeast.
TMHS is expected to compete with 19 seniors, 18 juniors, 18 sophomores and 15 freshmen.
JDHS begins competition with 13 seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores, and 17 freshmen.
“It is going to be interesting with all these freshmen,” Gagnon said. “And with all the new people. It is figuring out what everyone wants to do and what everyone can do and playing around with different events. It will be fun to say the least because even though they are new, they listen, try really hard every day and we are all ready seeing some good growth. We are going to go up from here, it is just a matter of how far up we can go.”
State cross-country champ Taylee Nyquest, a freshman from Thorne Bay, and Diane Murph from Petersburg will also provide some great competition for the Falcons’ Maddie Hall and the TMHS and JDHS distance girls.
Although JDHS graduated top male distance runner David Francis, sophomore Riley Moser is forgoing the soccer season to concentrate on track and will be near the leaders in most meets and will be a great duel for the Falcons’ state qualifier Khalil English.
JDHS sophomore Arianna Hintermeister surprised the conference with her improvement last season that resulted to a trip to state as part of the 4x800 relay team and senior captains Jaden Sierra and T-Jae Garcia, and Esra Siddeek are expected to repeat as state qualifiers again this year in sprints and sprint relays.
The Falcons return 11 state qualifiers including Junior captain Jenna Luhrs in the discus, Sammy Haight in the 200, junior Estie Dawson in the 800, and sophomore Maddie Hall in the 3200 and 1600, junior Khalil English in 800 and 1600, senior captain Nick Bursell in the 4x8 and high jump, senior James Steeves in the 4x800, sophomore Kenny Fox in the long jump, sophomore Brendan Pietz in the triple jump, senior Joseph Ia in the 4x100, and classmate Chris Luna in the 4x100.
“I believe our current 4x100 is stronger than last years,” May said. “With over 70 athletes this year, I think our depth will provide us with an advantage some of the smaller schools don’t have. We have also worked hard this year at building strength in each area. Last year there were a few events that we were not represented in. This year however, we have all events covered, and have spread our most competitive athletes throughout all the events. We also have an outstanding coaching staff and community volunteer base. So my expectations are high, but I do not want to be overconfident, as one never knows who will come along, and which teams might have a participation burst like we are experiencing.”
The Crimson Bears roster includes senior captains T-Jae Garcia, Jade Pilcher, Fernando Pintang, and Jaden Sierra. Teammates include seniors Andrew Alderfer, Brian Brassfield, Jestoni Feliciano, Gabi Fenumiai, Ryan Harvey, John Nichols, Bernie Osborne, Billy Palmer, Esra Siddeek, and Ben Williams; Juniors include Malik Brown, Neal Chapman, Trevor Clauder, LiAnne Fenumiai, Kacey Jackson, and Lauren Shanley-DeBuse; Sophomores include Patrick Benin, Johnny Elliott, Arianna Hintermeister, Riley Moser, Junetta Peterson, Iris Pilcher, Etienne Soboleff, and Jordyn Vinje; Freshmen include Aakash Bathja, Harrison Bibb, Kayla Browning, Kana Galletes, Kaia Hamrick, Katherine Kane, Toma Kimlinger, Justin Miller, Jason Nichols, Linda Palmer, Lisa Palmer, Anton Rieselbach, Emily Sheakley, Duncan Smith, Tim Staley, Catherine Walsh, Ashley Wittwer, and Adam Zimmerman. Managers are Kristen Dalton and Stephanie Dalton. JDHS assistant coaches are Kevin Hamrick, Joel Abbott, Greg Frank and Daria Horne. Volunteer discipline experts are Cal Casipit, Kelly Tousley, Josh Smith and Carolyn Chenoweth.
The Falcons roster includes senior captains Nick Bursell, Katie Jones, Ashlynn Kay, James Steeves, Ben Travers and junior captain Jenna Luhrs. Senior teammates include David Elliott, Uinise Foo-Chong, Ian Grant, Joe Ia, Brandon Johanson, Ethan Kramp, Emilyanne Lohery, Chris Luna, Lium Macaulay, Shayla Reeves, Jeren Smith, Jonelle Staveland, Avery Stewart, and Brennan Watson; Juniors include Angelina Bonilla, Brock Cary, Estie Dawson, Justin Elmore, Khalil English, Ben Jahn, Josiah Loseby, Morgan Nichols, Joe Padden, Crystal Parfitt, Bradley Peterson, Hunter Runge, Rafael Sales, Russell “Timmy” Smith, Ofeina Soaki, Justin Watanabe, and Nicolas Wright; Sophomore teammates include Carissa Anderson, Jamie Barnhill, Trey Bowen, Cheyenne Ekis, Gill Fowlkes, Kenny Fox, Madison Gregory, Sammy Haight, Maddie Hall, Rick Johnson, Addisohn Jones, Michael Lohrey, Luke Padden, Brendan Pietz, Alex Rather, Thane Reishus-O’Brien, Danielle Steinman, and Dylan Taylor; Freshman teammates include Alexandria Austin, Obadiah Dawson, Fredrica George, Dunya Hermann, Alice Johnson, Jase Lippert, Bryson Morris, Aiden Pierce, Morgan Rivest, Nathan Ropp, Max Suzuki, Ava Tompkins, Neal Van Tomlen, Naomi Welling, and Sara Wood. TMHS features assistant coaches Jim Kearns, Alex Souza, Graham Storey and Tina Lee. Volunteer discipline experts are Lorna Wilson, Dwayne Duskin Jr., Drake Peterson, Brian Gwaltney, Kari Tupou and Richard Welling.
TMHS and JDHS travel to Ketchikan this weekend. The Capital Invite is April 26-27 at TMHS, on May 3-4 a meet is at Haines and the Region V championships are at TMHS on May 10-11. The state championships are May 17-18 at Fairbanks’ Lathrop High School.
“You can be sure that there will be some great competition this year,” May said. “And I believe that some of our athletes and other Southeast athletes will be among the top in the State in their respective events.”