Bringing only 12 boys and 12 girls to the Palmer Relays over the weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School track and field team planned to just have fun at the unique event.
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In addition to enjoying themselves, the Crimson Bears brought back a title.
The girls team won the event with 79 points on Saturday, edging second place Colony High School by five points and third-place West Anchorage High School by nine points.
The JDHS boys finished in fifth place overall as host Palmer High School won the event.
"That's exciting that the 12 that went accomplished what they accomplished," JDHS coach Scott May said.
The Palmer Relays is one of the more unusual track and field events in the state. Unlike a traditional meet, the Palmer Relays feature co-ed relay races, hurdles races run in a relay shuttle and team field events where distances are added up.
"Our motto is to go out and have fun and see what happens," May said. "When you take the edge off and have fun, the kids relax and enjoy it and are able to do great things.
The girls team won the event with a strong showing in the 1,600-meter relay. The team of Katie Krehlik, Leigh Miller, Evelyn Fisher and Alison DeLaBruere won the race in 4 minutes, 23.79 seconds.
Krehlik also finished second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:37. Service High School's Farrell Andrew won the race in 19:23.
JDHS girls also won the 100 hurdles shuttle run relay as Katy Nickerson, Gabrielle Vance, Kaitlin Niewoehner and Annie Bartholomew won in 1:16.59.
Nickerson finished fourth in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles while Bartholomew cleared 4 feet, 6 inches to finish third in the high jump.
Also, Kristie Ely won the long jump with a leap of 14 feet, 7 inches with DeLaBruere taking second with 13 feet, 6 ¼ inches. Ely also placed second in the triple jump with 32 feet, 7 inches.
Holly Bennett took third in the shot put with a throw of 30 feet, 7 inches.
For the boys, Juneau's Levi Benning nipped Chugiak's Shaun Ward at the line to win the 110 hurdles. Benning's time of 15.62 was just .03 better than Ward.
Benning placed second to Ward in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.25. Ward won in 39.83.
Crimson Bears sprinter Jake Pernula placed fourth in the 100, finishing in 11.83.
Juneau-Douglas' field athletes got a chance to show their stuff on the track as the team of Robert Partin, Samson Keeney, Matt Barry and Erik Schlechter took second in the 400 meter relay for field athletes with a time of 51.74.
Aaron Kearns continued his strong start to the season by winning both the long jump and triple jump competitions. Kearns won the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 8 ½ inches and the triple jump with a effort of 39 feet, 1 inch.
Juneau-Douglas will now prepare for its lone home regular season meet, the Juneau Invitational, on May 3-4.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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