This weekend's Haines Invitational track and field meet will have two different meanings for members of the Juneau-Douglas High School track team.
For some of the Crimson Bears, the meet will be a low-key affair as they start their tapers for the Region V Championships the next weekend in Juneau. But the meet today and Saturday at Haines High School will mean a lot more for those Juneau runners on the bubble.
"This might be a make-or-break week for some people as far as the region meet goes," Juneau senior distance runner Jesse Stringer said.
Juneau co-coach Scott May said the Crimson Bears plan to take every athlete on the team to Haines this weekend. The meet will feature Juneau, Haines, Petersburg and Sitka, but Ketchikan decided not to make the trip north.
"It would have been nice if everybody (every Southeast team) was going to be there," Stringer said. "It's just a good weekend to get some running in, to get some basic training. This weekend we hope to solidify things, like our relays."
The Haines track is a dirt track, so the Crimson Bears aren't expecting eye-popping times out of the weekend. But they do plan to enjoy the competition.
"It'll be about the same as Sitka," senior sprinter Stephen Perry, referring to another dirt track in the region. "This track is supposed to be better than Sitka's."
Perry is one of several Juneau athletes ranked in this week's State Track Bests list compiled by the Anchorage Daily News, which lists the top-five results in each event this season.
Perry is ranked fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 52.92 seconds. Senior hurdler Alan Floresca is ranked fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles at 16.92 seconds, while freshman Bryce Iverson is fourth in the 3,200 meters with a 10:01.2. Juneau's 4x800-meter relay team of Federico Milanetti, Tristan Knutson-Lombardo, Iverson and Stringer is second with a time of 8:35.02.
In the girls rankings, junior thrower Loreen Tupou is ranked twice -- second in the shot put at 36 feet, 10 inches and third in the discus at 111-9. Senior hurdler Rachel Chenoweth is fourth in the 300-meter low hurdles at 49.86. Juneau's 4x400-meter relay team of Emily Krehlik, Chenoweth, Claire Martin and Heather Bennett is fifth at 4:29.37 and Juneau's 4x800-meter relay team of Heidi Denton, Brittany Rohm, Annie Fox and Molly Krehlik is fifth at 10:42.67.
The only other Southeast athlete in the rankings is Petersburg's Zach Drillevich, who is third in the triple jump at 40-0 1/8.
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.