Crimson Bear girls eke out one-point victory
The girls Region V cross-country running championships held Saturday were a tale of two wildly different races.
In the extremely tight and exciting Class 4A championships at the Treadwell Historic Trail in Douglas, Ketchikan's Jodi Jakubek and Elise Bolling finished 1-2. But it was the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears who placed five of the next six runners to eke out a narrow 27-28 victory and the region crown.
In the Class 2A-3A race, Wrangell won the competition by a very undramatic 15-point margin. Sophomore Sarah Lende of Haines clocked an impressive 20:05 -- the fastest girls' time of the day and nearly a minute faster than the rest of the 2A-3A field -- to become the individual champion by an equally comfortable margin. Lende's teammate and the defending Class 2A-3A region champion, senior Ella Allred, took second place in 21:03.
The races were run in near-perfect conditions, slighty overcast and cool.
"It would have been the first time in history we would have beaten them," said Jakubek, a junior whose time of 20 minutes and 10 seconds was just three seconds faster than Bolling's, her junior teammate. "It would have been cool."
Juneau coaches Guy Thibodeau and Nancy Thomas said this was at least the 10th straight year that the Crimson Bears topped the region. Neither could confirm how much longer the streak has lasted.
Even though Ketchikan's girls will advance to next week's state meet in Soldotna, they couldn't help but feel a bit down after this one.
"We were a little disappointed we lost," said Bolling. "But our girls' team gave it all they've got. It's kind of like you never know who's going to win between us."
The two teams had split a pair of regular-season meets this year.
"It really came down to Chelsea Farrington," Thibodeau said of his eighth-place finisher. "She ran that course in 21:40 (in the team time trials). Today she improved by 36 seconds. The rest of our girls all improved five to 10 seconds. The kids did a great job."
Juneau was led by freshman Greta Thibodeau, Guy's daughter, who posted a 20:14 and almost took second place before Bolling's kick caught her in the homestretch.
"I'm so proud of myself, I'm proud of all of our girls," Greta Thibodeau said. "All of our effort came together today."
Thibodeau had been running second, third and even fourth on the team earlier this year, but she turned on the speed when she had to.
"I've been tentative in races and holding back," she said. "But today I said I'm going to hit the wall and it'll bounce back."
Following Thibodeau for Juneau were Heidi Denton (fourth place, 20:21), Hilary Young (fifth place, 20:23), Brandy Weston (seventh place, 20:56), and Farrington (21:04).
"Awful, that was awful," Denton said of her run on Saturday. "I couldn't concentrate, it was weird."
She said in the team's time trials two weeks ago she felt much better.
"I wasn't tired like I was today. I wanted to go faster, but my body just wouldn't let me," Denton said. "The team did really good though. Our goal was to stay together and we did a great job of that."
In the Class 2A-3A meet, Wrangell didn't necessarily have a glamorous day, going 5-8-12-14-15. But its consistency was plenty enough to overcome the field.
"This was the first time we've fielded a full team all year," Wolves coach Monty Buness said.
He said the victory helped the team erase last year's bad memory when it finished third at regions and failed to qualify for state, even though it finished first in 1998 and returned all of the girls from that team.
Despite the 1-2 finish by Lende and Allred, the Glacier Bears didn't qualify for state as a team. They tied for second place with Mount Edgecumbe at 47 points apiece, but lost the tie-breaker and a shot at the state championships. Wrangell and Mount Edgecumbe will send full teams, and any runners not on those two teams who finished among the top 10 will also compete at state.
Haines, too, fielded a full team for the first time this year. But it could have used one more runner on Saturday. The Glacier Bears lost a chance at state on the sixth-runner tiebreaker because Mount Edgecumbe had a sixth runner while Haines didn't.
But they'll still have a couple of strong runners in Lende and Allred.
The Class 2A-3A top five was rounded out by Kake's Christina Morris (22:08), Craig's Anjuli Haydu (22:16) and Wrangell's Kaelene Wilson (22:26).
REGION V CHAMPIONSHIPS
Results of Saturday's Region V-Class 4A and Region V-Class 2A-3A girls cross-country running championship races from Treadwell Historic Trails in Douglas. The course was 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
Class 4A girls teams -- 1. Juneau-Douglas, 27 points; 2. Ketchikan, 28. Incomplete team: Sitka.
Class 4A girls individual runners -- 1. Jodi Jakubek (Ket), 20:10; 2. Elise Bolling (Ket), 20:13; 3. Greta Thibodeau (JD), 20:14; 4. Heidi Denton (JD), 20:21; 5. Hilary Young (JD), 20:23; 6. Liz Duncan (Ket), 20:43; 7. Brandy Weston (JD), 20:56; 8. Chelsea Farrington (JD), 21:04; 9. Erin Nugent (Ket), 21:14; 10. Sarah Brandt-Erickson (Ket), 21:20; 11. Holly Thompson (Ket), 21:36; 12. Jenny Baxter (JD), 22:09; 13. Breanne Rohm (JD), 22:51; 14. Stephanie Woodruff (Ket), 23:34; 15. Jessica Carlson (Sit), 24:54; 16. Juliet Agne (Sit), 31:06.
Class 2A-3A girls teams -- 1. Wrangell, 32; 2. Mount Edgecumbe, 47 (wins tiebreaker based on sixth runner); 3. Haines, 47; 4. Metlakatla, 84. Incomplete teams: Kake, Craig, Skagway, Klawock, Angoon (Yakutat didn't show because of weather).
Class 2A-3A girls individuals -- 1. Sarah Lende (Hai), 20:05; 2. Ella Allred (Hai), 21:03; 3. Christina Morris (Kake), 22:08; 4. Anjuli Haydu (Cra), 22:16; 5. Kaelene Wilson (Wra), 22:26; 6. Erica Visscher (ME), 22:43; 7. Leah Thomas (Ska), 23:21; 8. Erin Andersen (Wra), 23:30; 9. Robin Knudsen (Kake), 23:40; 10. Stephanie Lang (ME), 23:45; 11. Stephanie Weimer (Kla), 24:15; 12. Alice Miller (Wra), 24:30; 13. Lauren Mackie (Cra), 24:44; 14. Heather Eastaugh (Wra), 24:51; 15. Kristy Brown (Wra), 25:00; 16. Bethany Buckingham (Kla), 25:04; 17. Aleasha Hayward (Met), 25:14; 18. Jennifer Woods (ME), 25:15; 19. Melanie Beans (ME), 25:23; 20. Alexa Mark (Hai), 25:25;
21. Larissa Motto (ME), 25:38; 22. Eliza Lende (Hai), 25:57; 23. Sarah Cohen (Hai), 26:15; 24. Brenda White (Met), 26:45; 25. Colleen Ketterman (Ska), 26:50; 26. Angela Kearns (Ang), 27:06; 27. Ashley Law (Ska), 27:07; 28. Kristina Knorr (Ska), 27:37; 29. Sapphire Mills (Met), 29:01; 30. Candra Deguzman (Met), 29:04; 31. Ashley Hayward (Met), 20:12; 32. Carmen Estrada (Ang), 30:48; 33. Amber Jamestown (Ang), 31:18; 34. Jennifer Hanlon (ME), 31:30; 35. Laura Sorenson (ME), 32:38; 36. Kelly Kadake (Kake), 32:53; 37. Marci Kookesh (Ang), 33:17; 38. Chelsey Loudon (Kla), 33:31.
Stringer repeats as boys 4A champion
Repeat champ: Jesse Stringer of Juneau leaps across the finish line.
BRIAN WALLACE / THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Predicting the top five runners in Saturday's boys Region V-Class 2A-3A and Class 4A cross-country running championship races would have required the Psychic Channel's finest.
The races, held at the Treadwell Historic Trail in Douglas, were tightly contested by long-time Southeast region veterans. When the sizeable dust cloud settled, Juneau-Douglas and Haines had claimed the region crowns.
In the Class 4A race, Juneau's Jesse Stringer posted a 16-minute, 48-second clocking to win his second straight region trophy, helping lead his Crimson Bears over Ketchikan 26-33. It was Juneau's 10th straight region championship -- maybe more.
That's as many as Juneau coaches Guy Thibodeau and Nancy Thomas could remember.
"It was awesome," Stringer said of his team's performance. "This is the best we've run all year. It's the closest we've been all season."
It was essentially a two-team race. Sitka competed, but finished with 84 points.
Each of the top five finishers in last year's 4A region championships competed again this year -- and four of last year's top five finished in the top five again. One was Juneau's Kevin Almlie, who took fourth this year with a time of 17:20.
Ketchikan's Jay Miller (16:58), Lou Hu (17:08) and Jeff Updike (17:35) went 2-3-5, but it wasn't quite good enough to catch Juneau -- the Bears placed sixth through 10th to decide matters.
"I think Ketchikan went out in front too hard," said Stringer. "I was behind for about half the race. I knew this race wouldn't be any different than all the other ones this year, so I didn't go out and shotgun it."
Ketchikan's Miller agreed.
"I went out a little too strong," Miller said. "I should have been five to eight seconds behind Stringer.
"I think we did pretty good," he conceded. "Maybe we could have done a little better, but it's just a game of how you feel that day. Every guy tried their heart our today."
Almlie said he would like to have placed a little closer to the top.
"I should have stayed with Lou (Hu)," Almlie said. "I passed him, but then he passed me again right at the bottom of the hill. I worked the hills the best I could."
He's more intent upon proving himself at the state meet next Saturday at Skyview High School's Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna. Last year he finished a disappointing 50th.
"I choked, I psyched myself out," he said. "This year I'm getting the mental part down."
In the Class 2A-3A race, Klawock's PJ Bush posted a 17:42 to bump off Petersburg's Richard Montgomery by 12 seconds, but it was the Haines Glacier Bears who ran away with the title, totaling 60 points to finish 17 ahead of Petersburg.
"Everything I did for three years, everything I've done prior to this race was for this race," an elated Bush said.
In that race, all of the top five Class 2A-3A runners were seniors.
Klawock's Bush obviously had that part down on Saturday.
"It's beyond belief," he said.
He said it feels good to make amends for last year's region showing, when for a variety of reasons he ended up finishing a dismal 33rd -- and at one point actually sitting down in the race.
"I'm on top of my high school years now," he said.
Petersburg's Montgomery was pleased with his improvement this year, too. Last year he was ill and took seventh at regions.
"My worst place of the year," he said.
Now, he'll set his sights on improving last year's state showing.
"I ran without a shoe," he said, noting it came off when someone clipped his heal a couple hundred meters into the race. "I was ticked off. I'm glad it wasn't my senior year."
Kake's Anthony Dolan (18:00) and Rob Mills (18:00) finished 3-4 to lead the Chieftains -- last year's region champion -- to third place with 82 points. Metlakatla's Joshua Tyler (18:15) rounded out the top five.
REGION V CHAMPIONSHIPS
Results of Saturday's Region V-Class 4A and Region V-Class 2A-3A boys cross-country running championship races from Treadwell Historic Trails in Douglas. The course was 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
Class 4A boys teams -- 1. Juneau-Douglas, 26 points; 2. Ketchikan, 33; 3. Sitka, 84.
Class 4A boys individual runners -- 1. Jesse Stringer (JD), 16 minutes, 48 seconds; 2. Jay Miller (Ket), 16:58; 3. Lou Hu (Ket), 17:08; 4. Kevin Almlie (JD), 17:20; 5. Jeff Updike (Ket), 17:35; 6. Justin Dorn (JD), 17:40; 7. James Voelckers (JD), 17:43; 8. Axel Thibodeau (JD), 18:00; 9. Wesley Brooks (JD), 18:15; 10. Brian Nowlin (JD), 18:21; 11. Zane Johnson (Ket), 18:37; 12. Eric Moyer (Ket), 18:38; 13. Brian Bergeron (Ket), 18:42; 14. Collin Kambak (Sit), 18:45; 15. Chad Medel (Ket), 19:02; 16. Logan Wild (Sit), 19:13; 17. Keith Reeder (Sit), 19:26; 18. Brian Friske (Sit), 21:17; 19. Stephan Hartrich (Sit), 21:19; 20. Trevor Chapman (Sit), 21:20; 21. Isaac Reynolds (Sit), 21:53.
Class 2A-3A boys teams -- 1. Haines, 60 points; 2. Petersburg, 71; 3. Kake, 82; 4. Mount Edgecumbe, 97; 5. Wrangell, 103; 6. Skagway, 123; 7. Metlakatla, 153; 8. Craig, 170. Incomplete teams: Klawock, Angoon (Yakutat didn't show because of weather).
Class 2A-3A boys individual runners -- 1. PJ Bush (Kla), 17 minutes, 42 seconds; 2. Richard Montgomery (Pet), 17:54; 3. Anthony Dolan (Kake), 18:00; 4. Rob Mills (Kake), 18:00; 5. Joshua Tyler (Met), 18:15; 6. Russell Bush (Ska), 18:23; 7. David Wilson (Wra), 18:34; 8. Chase Gray (ME), 18:42; 9. Nik Hura (Hai), 18:50; 10. Soren Allred (Hai), 18:53; 11. Jack Marsh (Pet), 18:59; 12. John Plucker (Hai), 18:59; 13. Danny Montgomery (Pet), 19:02; 14. Curtis Jung (ME), 19:11; 15. Shane Harnden (Hai), 19:15; 16. Brandon Ongtowosruk (ME), 19:16; 17. Mike Maleski (Wra), 19:23; 18. Jeremy Stolley (Wra), 19:28; 19. Joey Jacobson (Hai), 19:30; 20. Roger Canoe (ME), 19:55;
21. Adam Johnson (Cra), 19:57; 22. Kyle Anderson (Kake), 20:02; 23. Larry Jackson (Kake), 20:03; 24. Ryan Jones (Cra), 20:05; 25. Jarrett Leask (Met), 20:07; 26. Zac Drllevich (Pet), 20:13; 27. Greg Wilson (Wra), 20:15; 28. Stan Bush (Ska), 20:30; 29. Garrett Henry (Ska), 20:44; 30. Kyle Hardin (Pet), 20:45; 31. Reid Tulloch (Pet), 20:49; 32. Logan Lossing (Ska), 20:53; 33. Mitchell Snyder (Ska), 20:54; 34. Thomas Cochran (Ska), 20:55; 35. Cyrus Mills (Kake), 20:55; 36. Alan Cushing (Pet), 21:06; 37. Kyle Ellis (Ska), 21:11; 38. Gilmore White (Met), 21:12; 39. Mark Peterman (Wra), 21:36; 40. Cal Weagant (Hai), 21:44;
41. James Trotter (Cra), 21:47; 42. Frank Henderson (Met), 21:50; 43. Brett Weimer (Kla), 22:01; 44. Freddy Hamilton (Cra), 22:07; 45. Randy Gloko (ME), 22:08; 46. Peter Jorgenson (ME), 22:35; 47. Jared Williams (Kla), 22:42; 48. Bryan Westfall (Cra), 22:50; 49. Shane Padgett (Kake), 22:52; 50. Troy Sharp (Kla), 22:56; 51. Ozelle Jamestown (Ang), 23:34; 52. Roy Nathan (Met), 25:05; 53. Joe Rugo (Wra), 26:28; 54. Steven Fawcett (Met), 26:52; 55. Phillip Edwards (Met), 30:17.