Senior Greta Thibodeau closed out her prep running career with a ninth-place finish - and sophomore Jordan Harvey ran a blistering PR to finish 13th - as the Juneau girls finished third in the team standings at Saturday's Class 4A girls cross-country state championship race in Palmer.
"The girls just ran a great, great race," Juneau coach Guy Thibodeau said. "Jordan Harvey was unbelievable, and Greta improved again this week."
East Anchorage repeated as state team champions - its fifth title in six years - with 61 points, just ahead of Service (64). Juneau's 95 points was one better than fourth-place West Valley.
Soldotna's Ari Goldstein won the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) 4A girls race in 18 minutes, 45.77 seconds.
Greta Thibodeau set a goal of finishing in the top 10, and accomplished that with a time of 19:44.91 to lead the Crimson Bears. Harvey finished in 20:03.18, followed by junior Megan Bush (21st, 20:15.76), sophomore Jordan Moser (24th, 20:20.11), sophomore Jaci Hayden (38th, 21:01.35), sophomore Lexy Garvey (43rd, 21:07.83) and senior Kendri Cesar (46th, 21:14.09).
"We ran a smart race," Greta Thibodeau said. "We kept our heads on our shoulders. ... We all peaked at the right time."
"It's really wonderful when you see someone like Greta go out (with a top-10 finish)," Juneau coach Merry Ellefson said. "It's a great inspiration for the rest of the team."
Harvey said the success of the Juneau boys earlier in the day also provided inspiration to the Crimson Bear girls. She said she tried to channel all her efforts from all the practices of the season into Saturday's race.
"I knew that this race had to be one of the best," Harvey said. "(I knew we had) to take all those hard workouts and put them into this race."
In the Class 1A-2A-3A girls race, Susitna Valley won its second consecutive small-schools girls team crown by 20 points over Seward, 34-54. Seward's Whitney Anderson won the race in 18:48 - more than 90 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
The top Southeast finishers were Petersburg's Autumn Streuli (10th, 21:05.62) and Wrangell's Laurie Brown (20th, 21:50.44). Yakutat's Hannah Esbenshade was 59th in 23:21.05, and Skagway's Candi Ketterman finished 61st in 23:35.40.
Andrew Krueger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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