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Bears set for track season

New-look Juneau opens season in Sitka

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

When the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team heads to Sitka

for its season opener this weekend, there will be a lot of new faces

among the Crimson Bears including a new coaching staff.

But there will also be enough familiar faces on the team that the

Crimson Bears are feeling good about their chances to repeat as Region V

champions and improve on their finishes at last year's state meet. The

Juneau girls tied for 12th last year at state and the boys tied for 14th

place.

"We're looking great," said senior hurdler/high jumper/relay runner Alan

Floresca, who is one of Juneau's team captains. "We're doing a lot more

individual workouts in our events. This year we're really strong, we've

got a lot of kids who could be going to state."

"Everyone's excited," said senior high jumper/middle distance runner

Annie Fox, another team captain. "Our coaches are really into this. We

haven't been as teamish as we are this year. Our chemistry is really great."

There's been a complete overhaul of the coaching staff, and this year

Scott May and Ned Clooten are sharing head coach duties with assistant

coach Jared Smith helping out. Juneau lost several seniors to graduation

from last year's team, but most of Juneau's top state-meet scorers are

back and there's a lot of new blood on the team.

"We've got a real strong freshman class," May said. "Sitka will be kind

of a test run for us. I don't really know anything about the other

Southeast teams, but this weekend we'll find out how we measure up.

We're not trying to peak at Sitka, it's just part of the process to the

end of the season."

"This has been a good turnout," senior captain and distance runner Jesse

Stringer said. "We've been pretty faithful at about 40 people in

workouts. We had a lot of people working out in the preseason."

After this weekend's meet in Sitka (which won't have any hurdles

events), Juneau will head to the Skyview Invitational on April 26-27,

will host the Juneau Invitational on May 3-4, then heads to Haines on

May 10-11. Juneau hosts the Region V meet on May 17-18 at Adair-Kennedy

Memorial Park, and this year's state meet is May 24-25 at Anchorage's

Bartlett High School.

"We're excited," said Juneau junior distance runner Molly Krehlik, the

only non-senior team captain this year. "We're going to be at a meet

every week this season. Last year we had breaks in between."

The Crimson Bears will be led junior Loreen Tupou, who won the state

title in the discus last year with a throw of 110 feet, 10 inches and

finished eighth in the shot put. Tupou didn't join the track team until

midway through the season last year, and she said she's already ahead of

last year's pace even though her knee has been bothering her a bit.

"I just did some lifting," Tupou said when asked what her offseason

program. "I think I've gained 23 feet in the discus. My PR (personal

record) in the shot put has gone from 32 to 36 feet. I'm kind of going

for the state record now (143-2 in discus), but I don't know if I'll get

it. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pick up where I left off."

Juneau's other top female returners from last year's state meet include

Krehlik (fifth in the 3,200 meters, ninth in the 1,600), junior Rachel

Chenoweth (fifth in the 300 low hurdles) and senior Claire Martin (15th

in the 400). Senior Emily Krehlik returns from two of Juneau's four

state relay teams, while Martin, Chenoweth and Molly Krehlik return off

one relay team each.

The boys state meet returners include Stringer (fourth in the 1,600,

11th in the 800), Floresca (12th in the 110 high hurdles) and Stephen

Perry (12th in the 200). Perry and Floresca were also on both of

Juneau's state relay teams.

Other female members of the track team include senior distance runner

Jessica Mikesell, senior middle distance runner Brittany Rohm, senior

thrower Beatriz Muse, senior distance runner Heidi Denton, junior middle

distance runner Meghan DeSloover, junior distance runner Phoebe

Rohrbacher, junior middle distance runner Stephanie Orsi (who is also on

the soccer team), sophomore jumper Jo Marshall, sophomore sprinter

Mikaela Rodriguez (another soccer player), sophomore distance runner

Nina Schwinghammer, sophomore distance runner Tiara Padron, freshman

sprinter Heather Bennett and freshman jumper Meghan Kyle.

On the boys team, the other Crimson Bears are senior distance runner

Gabe Hayden, senior Bob Hirsch (who is in Seattle being treated for

leukemia), senior middle distance runner Federico Milanetti, senior

jumper Greg Albrecht, senior thrower Jonathan Moore, senior distance

runner Brian Nowlin, senior runner Michael Partlow (who is now team

manager because of an injury), senior thrower Sione Tupou, junior

sprinter Adam Fleek, junior distance runner/hirdler William Horton,

junior middle distance runner Alex Marvel, junior thrower Robert

Vicario, junior sprinter/hurdler David Liliedahl, junior sprinter Eric

Lund, sophomore distance runner Tim Davin, sophomore thrower Nathan

Foster, sophomore sprinter Phil Morin, freshman distance runner Bryce

Iverson, freshman distance runner Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, freshman

jumper Michael Kasten, freshman thrower Alika Bradley, freshman sprinter

Joe Manning, freshman sprinter Kyle Russell and freshman runner Mike Grimes.

"I think things are working great," Loreen Tupou said. "We've got a lot

of new people, but they're fitting in, and our coaches are great."

Charles Bingham can be reached at cbingham@juneauempire.com.



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