Juneau-Douglas High School coach Guy Thibodeau was pleased with how his team competed Saturday at the Bartlett Relays, though it served as a preseason event and the ceremonial start of the high school cross country season.
The Crimson Bears' 'A' team of Tyler Dinnan, Wesley Dinnan, Katie Krahlik and Kirsten Jorgensen took first place at the event with a total time of 44 minutes, 33 seconds.
The relay features co-ed teams of two boys and two girls. Each athlete takes a lap around the approximately two-mile course.
"We've traditionally done a little better at the end of the year," Thibodeau said. "We're trying to run off strength-running right now, we haven't done a lot of speed so far. So it's real encouraging to see a number of kids run real competitive times in an early-season meet."
Tyler Dinnan took the individual title by finishing the course in 10 minutes flat. Twin brother Wesley finished third overall, a scant 2 seconds behind Tyler.
More than 100 teams showed up for the event, which is among the most popular in the state.
"It's designed to be a fun relay to kick off the season," Thibodeau said. "It's a different format then what you run the rest of the year. It balances out the men's and women's teams and the team that has strong front-runners on both sides will be successful."
Juneau-Douglas was the only school with two teams in the top 10.
The Bears' 'B' squad claimed ninth place overall with a time of 47 minutes, 18 seconds.
The 'B' team consisted of Nils Domke, Ray Huebschen, Brittany Lehnhart and Jordan Moser.
"It's always nice to see we were the only school with two teams in the top 10," Thibodeau said. "That's a good testament to the depth on the boys' and girls' sides. Add up those four boys and four girls, and you're looking at only one runner away to score in a regulation meet."
Juneau-Douglas sent five squads to the relay race.
The 'D' team of Andrew Ainsworth, Elisha Thibodeau, Henry DeCherney and Carly Craig took 38th overall with a time of 50:53.
Justin Jones, Hunter Brown, Libby Parker and Rachel Tarver comprised the 'C' team and took 39th.
The 'E' squad of Erik Schlechter, Tracy Ralston, Trevor Kennon and Gabrielle Vance finished 82nd.
The season gets underway this weekend, as Juneau-Douglas travels to Sitka for a Southeast meet.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org