After winning the boys race in the Ketchikan Invitational cross-country running meet Saturday at Ketchikan's Ward Lake course, Juneau-Douglas High School junior Jesse Stringer had to take a special trip -- a trip to the hospital emergency room.
Stringer, the defending Region V-Class 4A champion, was hit by what Juneau coach Guy Thibodeau called a "mystery" ailment shortly before the race. Stringer's stomach was bothered nearly the whole race and, when he finished, the stomach ailment got worse. Thibodeau said Stringer was taken to the hospital, but even after his check-up they still weren't exactly sure what Stringer had.
"It's like a stomach bug," Thibodeau said by phone from Ketchikan. "It bothered him in the race. He's feeling better now. He's trying to walk around a bit to work it out of his system."
Despite the mystery ailment, Stringer was able to lead an incomplete Crimson Bears boys squad to victory in the first meet of the season. Juneau placed three runners among the top five to score 27 points to 40 for Ketchikan. Kake was third with 83 points and Metlakatla took fourth with 96. None of the other schools brought enough runners for a team score.
Stringer covered the 5-kilometer course in 17 minutes flat to beat Ketchikan's Jeff Updike by 12 seconds. Juneau's Kevin Almlie took third place in 17:21, followed by Anthony Dolan of Kake in 17:29 and Juneau's Justin Dorn in 17:32.
"I thought we did great," Almlie said. "We had a couple of guys who weren't satisfied, but not everyone was here and we'll be stronger next week."
In the girls race, Sarah Lende of Haines claimed the individual title with a time of 19:29, beating Ketchikan's Jody Jakubek by 30 seconds. Lende, who travelled to the meet with the Juneau team, was the only Haines runner at the meet. Elise Bolling of Ketchikan took third place in 20:05, followed by the Juneau pair of Heidi Denton in 20:38 and Hilary Young in 20:42. Ketchikan won the team title with 25 points to 31 for Juneau, with no other teams having enough runners for a team score.
"At the beginning it was close and Jody and Elise were on my heels," Lende said. "I tried to keep getting more distance between us as the race went on. We have four girls, not enough for a team score, but I was the only one to come to this meet."
In the boys race, Thibodeau said many of the Juneau boys were running times that were comparable to what they did in last year's region meet, which was held over nearly the same exact course.
"The team is doing great, and I think we might have a chance at state," Almlie said. "I ran 10 to 15 seconds faster than what I ran last year in the region meet. We're all really close and I think our top five or six guys can all run with each other."
Lende is another runner who might have a chance at a state title this year. Lende took fifth place in the Class 1A-2A-3A state meet last year as a freshman and she feels she's stronger and smarter this year.
"I was in Juneau last weekend (for Juneau's informal community race on the school's new Treadwell course), but this is my first big meet of the season," Lende said. "I'm hoping to have a shot at state. I trained a lot more this summer."
Juneau will send its top runners to Anchorage next Saturday for the East Anchorage Flight Races, to be held at Russian Jack Springs Park. That group of runners will also take a side trip to Soldotna to train for a couple of days on the state meet course at Skyview High School. The Juneau runners who don't go to Anchorage will also be on the road next weekend, to Haines for a meet on Saturday.
Results from the Ketchikan Invitational high school cross-country running meet Saturday in Ketchikan. Teams included host Ketchikan High School, plus Juneau-Douglas, Sitka, Kake, Haines, Craig, Wrangell, Klawock and Metlakatla.
Boys team standings -- 1. Juneau-Douglas, 27 points; 2. Ketchikan, 40; 3. Kake, 83; 4. Metlakatla, 96. Incomplete teams: Sitka, Craig, Klawock and Wrangell.
Boys individual finishers -- 1. Jesse Stringer (JD), 17:00; 2. Jeff Updike (Ket), 17:12; 3. Kevin Almlie (JD), 17:21; 4. Anthony Dolan (Kak), 17:29; 5. Justin Dorn (JD), 17:32; 6. Jay Miller (Ket), 17:43; 7. Lu Hu (Ket), 17:44; 8. James Voelckers (JD), 17:46; 9. Josh Tyler (Met), 17:58; 10. Chris Frank (JD), 18:21;
11. P.J. Bush (Kla), 18:26; 12. Reed Willis (JD), 18:35; 13. Brian Bergeron (Ket), 18:58; 14. Eric Moyer (Ket), 19:00; 15. Zane Johnson (Ket), 19:06; 16. Chad Medel (Ket), 19:09; 17. David Wilson (Wra), 19:11; 18. Jordan Davis (JD), 19:14; 19. Kyle Anderson (Kak), 20:04; 20. Gilmore White (Met), 20:06;
21. Keith Reeder (Sit), 20:09; 22. Larry Jackson (Kak), 20:23; 23. Jarrett Leask (Met), 20:24; 24. Greg Wilson (Wra), 20:48; 25. Cyrus Mills (Kak), 21:05; 26. Brian Friske (Sit), 21:17; 27. Trevor Chapman (Sit), 21:19; 28. Jared Williams (Kla), 21:44; 29. Jessie Reynolds (Sit), 21:47; 30. Freddy Hamilton (Cra), 22:04;
31. Brett Weimer (Kla), 22:07; 32. Mark Peterman (Wra), 22:21; 33. Shane Padgett (Kak), 22:52; 34. Brian Westfall (Cra), 24:15; 35. Steven Fawcett (Met), 28:33; 36. J.D. Edwards (Met), 29:40.
Girls team standings -- 1. Ketchikan, 26; 2. Juneau-Douglas, 31. Incomplete teams: Haines, Kake, Sitka, Metlakatla, Craig, Klawock and Wrangell.
Girls individual finishers -- 1. Sarah Lende (Hai), 19:29; 2. Jody Jakubek (Ket), 19:59; 3. Elise Bolling (Ket), 20:05; 4. Heidi Denton (JD), 20:38; 5. Hilary Young (JD), 20:42; 6. Erin Nugent (Ket), 20:43; 7. Greta Thibodeau (JD), 21:11; 8. Breanne Rohm (JD), 21:34; 9. Liz Duncan (Ket), 21:38; 10. Sarah Brandt-Erickson (Ket), 21:42;
11. Chris Morris (Kak), 21:52; 12. Holly Thompson (Ket), 21:58; 13. Kaelene Wilson (Wra), 22:00; 14. Christina Bruce (JD), 22:44; 15. Chelsea Farrington (JD), 22:44; 16. Anjuli Haydu (Cra), 22:49; 17. Stephanie Woodruff (Ket), 23:10; 18. Brittany Rohm (JD), 23:28; 19. Lauren Mackie (Cra), 23:59; 20. Jessie Carlson (Sit), 24:17;
21. Stephanie Weimer (Kla), 24:19; 22. Magin Lehman (Sit), 24:36; 23. Ashley Hayward (Met), 25:31; 24. Heather Eastaugh (Wra), 25:48; 25. Aleasha Hayward (Met), 26:19; 26. Kristy Brown (Wra), 26:40; 27. Brenda White (Met), 27:08; 28. Laura McKay (Wra), 29:12; 29. Kelly Kadake (Kak), 33:10.