This weekend the Crimson Bears rewrote two school records while setting 62 personal records and dominating the Juneau Invitational at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
Long jumper Kristie Ely rewrote the books with a jump of 17 feet, 10 inches which bettered last year's personal best of 16 feet, 9 inches. But the record jump was only good enough for second as Sitka's Kelsea Johnson launched for 18 feet, ¼ inch and set a new bar for Ely to shoot for.
"Johnson is the person who pushes me in every event I enter and it is great to have someone who makes me get better and better," Ely said.
Seniors Erik Bickmore and Katie Krehlik were named the Athletes of the Meet for the Juneau Invitational.
Krehlik nailed down 24.5 individual points for the Crimson Bears and placed second in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs as well as third in the 800. To set a personal record in the 1,600 meter run with a time of 5:15.47, Krehlik had to overcome a last lap burst by J.J. Lendi of Haines for her second-place finish.
Bickmore finished first in the 100 with a time of 11.67 seconds, and in the 200 his time was 23.78 seconds. Bickmore also competed in the long jump and took first with 20 feet, 3 inches. Finally, he helped his relay team to a first place victory and finished with 32.5 individual points for the Bears.
While Krehlik acknowledged that her training time in the pool is the reason for her recent success, Bickmore used the long off season to improve his efforts. Both of these athletes have landed some noticeable early season marks on a state level.
"I've been watching the state times and I have been seeing that my times have beat some of theirs and that's kind of amazing," Bickmore said.
Unofficially, Krehlik, along with teammate Francis and J.J. Lendi of Haines, are grouped together atop the state leader boards in all major distance categories.
Long distance expert Leah Francis won the 3,200 to set a school record with a time of 11:02.23. Francis had great success this weekend, collecting 32.5 points and victories in the 800, 1,600 and a relay event as well.
The biggest surprise of the weekend came from junior Talitha Wilson, who had never entered the event before, yet landed a first place finish in the triple jump with 30 feet, 9 inches.
The Lady Bears leveled the competition in all four of the relay races.
Juneau boys dominated the relays in all but the 400 relay, in which there were a couple of muffed baton passes. The 400 relay was possibly the best race of the weekend, and Sitka's Ian Longridge took advantage of Juneau's mistakes. Longridge battled back in the anchor leg to overcome a 20-meter deficit and edge out Chandler Kemp of Haines for the victory.
Other notables included JDHS junior Robert Partin's shot put of 39 feet, 9 inches and senior efforts from Billy Sarandria, who scored 24 points, and Phillip Moser, who won the 400 with a time of 52.35 and the 300 hurdles in 44.47.
Moser summed up the feeling of a track and field meet and the essence of all sport after the events were over.
"We kicked butt, everyone on the team tried their hardest, so I am happy with that," Moser said. "If we got first or last, it doesn't matter but rather that we ran hard."
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