Juneau sweeps track meet

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2008

Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field was the site of the Region V Track & Field Championships this weekend.

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Herbert Law / For The Juneau Empire
Herbert Law / For The Juneau Empire

The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls track teams both placed first in competition against rivals Ketchikan and Sitka.

This was the first year 4A schools were separated from 3A and 2A schools. Haines was 3A/2A champion this year with both the boys and girls team placing first.

The rain fell hard on both days of competition, but the records continued to fall as did personal best times. Juneau's sophomore sensation Leah Francis placed first in the 800, 1600, and 3200 meter races. Frances broke two of her own Southeast records in the 1600 and 3200 meter races.

In the 3200 meter race, Francis ran 10:54.38, which was 15 seconds faster than the record she set as a freshman.

"It was a really good race for me. It was a PR (personal record). It felt good; me and Katy worked together and pushed each other. I guess we can only get faster," Francis said about the race.

JDHS seniors Katie Krehlik and Isabel Bush finished second and third, also setting personal records and completing a 1-2-3 sweep of the 3200 meter event. Krehlik is planning to compete in track at Northern Arizona University next year. All three runners had personal records for the race. JDHS Coach Scott May said the girls pushed each other, and their times were the fastest in the state this year for 3200 meters.

The JDHS track team places more emphasis on setting personal best times as opposed to what place an individual finishes in the race. There were many personal best times on Friday and Saturday for JDHS athletes, which also led to success on the podium.

Samantha Eyre competed on the JDHS Girls 4x100 relay team, which placed second to Sitka this year.

"I am definitely going to miss JDHS track and Field. This team is kind of unique from other sports because our coaches put a lot of emphasis on personal records (over) beating other people," Eyre said.

"We set goals and (we) try to achieve those goals. That's what it's all about. It doesn't matter what place you get. It's all about achieving your own personal best," May said about his team's performance.

May said that 20 JDHS girls and 14 boys set personal records in various events. May said the JDHS girl's team is deep in talent this year and has a chance to finish in the top three at the state tournament next weekend, to be held at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks. Juneau qualified 12 girls and 10 boys to compete at the state competition next week, May said.

On the boy's side, the JDHS 4x200 meter relay team broke a region record that was set in 1994.

JDHS senior Erik Bickmore won the 100 meter and 200 meter dash, and senior Phillip Moser won the 400 meter dash. In the men's 1600 meter run, Haines senior Chandler Kemp won a close race against Juneau runner Hunter Brown, who placed second overall. However, both received first place for their efforts as Haines is a 3A school and Juneau is a 4A school.

The meet was the last home event for Moser, who was part of the 4x200 meter relay team and won the boys 400 meter dash. He was excited to see so many people setting personal records.

"It is great to see all the younger kids starting to reach their potential. It's just awesome seeing people break (personal records). It seems like everyone has been doing really well. Even if it hasn't been a first in every event it seems like everyone on has been (setting) personal records."

Individual results for the races will be published in the Empire later this week.

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