Bears dominate, Falcons put up best times of the year

Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears did not slow down on Saturday at the 2009 Ketchikan Cross Country Invite, as they continued their hot streak toward the Region V meet in Juneau on Saturday.

Hall Anderson / The Ketchikan Daily News
Hall Anderson / The Ketchikan Daily News

Once again, senior Leah Francis took first with a time of 18:55.00, while teammates Annika Ord (19:58.00) and Sid Browning (20:37.00) came in second and third, respectively. On the boys' side, senior Sage Thibodeau (16:10.00) edged out teammate Zach Bursell (16:17.00) by seven seconds to grab a second place finish. JDHS won the girls' meet with 19 points over second-place Sitka's 59, while the boys won their meet with 26 points. Sitka finished second with 58 points.

JDHS girls coach Merry Ellefson said it was good to see a strong all-around team performance as the Bears' girls try to build on their results in order to send the strongest team possible to the regional.

"We hope to continue to practice as we have been with our eye on state," she said. "As we move into our final week, we have a solid group of girls fighting for the sixth and seventh varsity places, so that is exciting when we have that opportunity.

"It's always thrilling to see someone come on in the end of the season. It's always nice to have new blood as we move toward the finish."

With seven JDHS boys finishing in the top 12 spots on Saturday, coach Guy Thibodeau was pleased with the effort from his squad.

"The kids ran really well," said Thibodeau. "The gap dropped to within a minute for those top five runners, which is really great. We look forward to some good results next week."

Also on Saturday, Thunder Mountain High School had all 13 runners compete together for the first time this season, and every one of them set a personal record.

Coach Scott May said he was thrilled by the results from his runners over the weekend.

"Going in, I wasn't sure we'd get many (personal records) because there is a fairly significant hill about a mile into the course," he said. "So, it's good to see these kids gain some some valuable experience.

"We are really looking forward to the meet in Juneau," he continued. "It will be really good for the kids to run at home in front of their friends and family."

The JDHS boys' 26 points earned first place, followed by Sitka with 58, Ketchikan with 75, Kake's 93, Wrangell's 110, Craig's 111, Mt. Edgecumbe's 134 and Klawock's 138. Thunder Mountain finished with 153 points for ninth place, while Metlakatla and Petersburg high schools finished with 168 and 209 points, respectively.

The JDHS girls finished with 19 points, Sitka with 59, Ketchikan with 94, Mt. Edgecumbe with 114, Yakutat with 125, Haines with 128, Wrangell with 137 and Klawock with 144.

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