The Crimson Bears rewrote the record books at the Region V Track and Field Meet at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Stadium Friday and Saturday, shattering seven regional records on the path to winning Southeast titles for the girls' and boys' teams.
Juneau-Douglas High School junior Tyler Dinnan set a regional record for the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:18.81 in an incredible race, beating teammate and defending state champion Tristan Knutson-Lombardo and twin brother Wesley Dinnan.
Knutson-Lombardo took an early lead in the first two laps of the race, with Tyler and Wesley Dinnan right on his heels as the trio widened a large gap between the rest of the competition. On the third lap, Tyler Dinnan overtook Knutson-Lombardo, only to lose the lead to Wesley Dinnan going into the fourth and final lap.
"My brother surged by me going on to the fourth lap, then we all just were out sprinting in the last 2 (hundred meters)," said Tyler Dinnan.
Wesley Dinnan came in second place, with Knutson-Lombardo placing third, all three setting personal records and establishing themselves as the runners to beat at the state finals.
"That's my favorite race I've ever run, not just because I set a PR (personal record) but because of the strategy going back and forth," said Tyler Dinnan.
He said sibling rivalry was a motivation after Wesley Dinnan had won the 3,200 title Friday evening with a new region record of 9:30.22.
"As a group, I don't think there has been a time when we've had three milers doing 4:20 or better, I'm sure that that's never happened. As a trio they're amazing," said JDHS coach Scott May. "It was very gratifying to see them. I'm proud to see them achieve the goals that they set and the work that they've been doing is paying off."
Tyler Dinnan also won the 800 with a new region record of 1:59.12. The remaining new region records for JDHS came from relay teams, including the girls' 800 relay with a time of 1:48.07, the girls' 1,600 relay with a time of 4:15.69, the girls' 3,200 relay with a time of 10:01.08, and the boys' 1,600 relay with a time of 3:35.04.
"It's very exciting to see everybody setting records, that's very validating to our program and the amount of work the kids are putting in.," May said.
The hard work in practice paid off with numerous individual Region V titles for the Crimson Bears. Craig Millard won the 200 with a time of 23.71, and took the 400 title with a winning time of 51.98. Heather Bennett took the same titles for the girls, with winning times of 26.91 and 1:01.85 respectively.
Katie Krehlik won the 1,600 with a time of 5:30.92, and won the 3,200 in 11:40.76.
Levi Benning owned the hurdles this weekend, winning the 110 hurdles in 16.31 seconds, and the 300 hurdles in 41.82 seconds.
After a vicious spill on Friday that left her knees adorned with bright, multi-colored Band-Aids, Gwenn Miller picked herself up mentally and went on to win the girls 300 meter hurdles in 49.62 seconds.
"It's really unexpected because I've never really won anything," Miller said laughing. "But it feels very good because I've been working hard and it paid off."
The throwers also made their presence felt, with Anja Akstin winning the discus with a throw of 102-feet, 1-inch and Mychal Hutcherson won the shot put with a new personal record of 49-feet, 5 1/2 inches.
Hutcherson remained humble about his victory and said he looks forward to the upcoming competition.
"It's not really that big of a deal. It would be a big deal if I went up there and won state," he said.
Hutcherson said he has been steadily improving over the course of the season and was happy that his best performance to date came when it mattered most.
"It feels real good, especially my senior year," he said. "It's the last opportunity to go to state, I had to do it."
May said the coaches will meet with the athletes in the following days to discuss and finalize a strategy for the optimal performance for individuals and the team at the state meet. He said JDHS has never placed better than eighth place, but said this year could change that.
"Right now the boys look like they could really be above that," May said.
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