The Juneau-Douglas High School track teams will have a little more competition at their annual track meet at Haines today and Saturday.
Originally, the Crimson Bears were to compete with just the Haines squads. But in the past week, Petersburg and Sitka also decided to make the trip.
"It's been just us and Haines for the last two or three years," Head track coach Tracy Rivera said. "Now there's going to be about 15 Sitka kids and 15 Petersburg people."
The Bears will send 32 atheletes to Haines in their final tune-up for the Region V track meet in Juneau next weekend.
"We're going to be running a few people in different events again," Rivera said. "Adrianna (Rodriguez) will be in the 400 meters. She's been running well in practice."
Rodriguez is the girls' top sprinter, winning the 100 and 200 meters at last week's Juneau Invitational as well as anchoring the winning 4x100- and 4x200-meter relay teams.
"The boys are looking healthy," Rivera said. "This will be a good meet for Alan Floresca to get some more experience in the hurdles. A couple of the girls, Brandy Weston and Rachel Chenoweth have been milking shin splints pretty bad. Hopefully they will be 100 percent next week."
With just two weeks until the state track and field meet at Palmer High School, the Bears have several athletes and one relay team that have been among the top performances in the state this year.
Senior Clay Brown continues to lead the state in the triple jump with his 41-foot, 3-inch leap at the Skyview Invitational on April 27-28. Sophomore Loreen Tupou has the state's fifth-best discus toss at 102-8 1/2 feet and sophomore Molly Krehlik turned in the state's sixth-best time in the 1,600 meters at 5:35.46. Finally, the girls' 3,200-meter relay team clocked the state's fourth-best time of 10:25.68 at Skyview.
Sitka and Petersburg have been some of Juneau's toughest competition in the southeast this season. The Sitka boys defeated the Crimson Bears at the Sitka Invitational on April 6-7 by an eight-point margin, but Juneau turned the tables at the Juneau Invitational, beating the Wolves 166-141.
Sitka's Thor Hartwig is ranked as one of the state's best 300-meter hurdlers and Matt Mangini is the Southeast's premier sprinter, sweeping the 100, 200 and 400 meters at the Juneau Invite, as well as winning the long jump with the state's second best leap of 19-9 1/2.
The Petersburg girls gave the Juneau a run for their money in their only match-up against the Bears (at the Juneau Invite), but Juneau still came out ahead 185-139. Petersburg senior Amber Beardslee ranks fifth in the state in the high jump.
Preliminaries begin today at 4 p.m. starting with the girls 100-meter dash. The 3,200-meter run final will also take place today, with all other final events starting on Saturday morning.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.