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Emily Sharp continues to break records every time she steps onto the track for the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears in the 100-meter hurdles, but this time she came up just short at the state meet in Fairbanks.
One day after setting the state record during the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles, Dimond's Keiahanna Engel defeated Sharp in the finals on Saturday and beat her record by .02 seconds. The good news for Sharp is she'll be back next year to improve even further on her school, regional and state records in her best race, the 100-meter hurdles.
"Emily's hurdles were amazing, and Samantha (Sharp) was right behind her breaking PRs also," said JDHS coach Janette Gagnon.
Both Sharp sisters are juniors and will be back next year for the Crimson Bears.
Gagnon said one of the highlights of the meet was an accomplishment the girls' team made off the track, which they were recognized for at the awards ceremony following the meet.
"As a team we haven't done as well as we have the last couple of years, but I told them to keep their ears open," she said. "When they announced the girls' 4A All-Academic Team, it was Juneau-Douglas. The girls were incredibly excited about that."
In other events, senior Leah Francis, who has been battling a back injury all season, placed third in the 3,200-meter run, and the girls' 4x100-meter relay team, which consisted of Iris Neary, Maya Rieselbach, Samantha Sharp and Esra Siddeek, placed fourth in the finals and set a JDHS school record in the process.
The boys' 4x200 relay team, which consisted of Nick Rutecki, Chris Holloway, Jesse Miller and Christian Parker finished second, while Zachary Bursell, Dawson Walker, Robin Woodby and Andre Bunton finished third in the 4x800 relay.
Gagnon also said the girls' 4x400 relay team, which consisted of Karissa Jackson, Emily Sharp, Lillian Burger-Pothier and Francis, was impressive at the state level.
"They were ranked sixth or seventh going into the race," she said. "We held on pretty strong and had a really, really strong final leg. All four girls ran amazing races and had big PRs for themselves."
Overall, the girls' team finished in eighth place in the standings while the boys finished in 12th place.
Gagnon said another highlight from the weekend was how the Southeast teams showed support for one another.
"At the state meet, we all kind of become a Southeast team rather than just a Juneau team," she said. "So every time another Southeast team was out on the track, our team was cheering for them just as loudly as we cheered for our own teammates.
"That's always a highlight to see that camaraderie."
With the season now at its end, Juneau-Douglas' first-year coach looks forward to the future of the program, even with one of her best runners, Francis, heading to Stanford in the fall.
"We're looking really strong. Emily (Sharp) and Sam (Sharp) are both returning next year, and a lot of our relay teams are made mostly of freshmen, sophomores and juniors," she said. "We're definitely building back up and have the potential to make another run at the state title within the next couple of years."