The Juneau Douglas High School boys' top runner, senior Hunter Brown, had set his goal to finish in the top 10 Saturday at the 5k Run Division 4A state championships.
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That is exactly what he accomplished, winning eighth place with a time of 16:57.33.
The Crimson Bears charged forward, taking fifth place out of 11 teams. The competition was tough, with the top runner faster than ever before.
Kodiak High School junior Trevor Dunbar won the boys championship Saturday by setting a new state record with a time of 15:36.43.
"I wasn't trying to set a record, just trying to go out pretty fast and have a good race," Dunbar said. "I like to start out with the guys to try and pace myself and to see where they are at. I got into my groove on the second lap and just gave it my all on the third."
The sound of the runners was like a thundering herd of buffaloes. The ground shook and a tunnel of wind swept over the spectators as the 4A boys championship race went by.
Though Brown felt that he started the race a bit to fast, it paid off for him in the end. Mobbed by friends after the race, Brown was excited about his time. He worked hard to pass several other runners on the second lap.
"It really helped having some people in front of me to pace off of, that's for sure," he said. "I felt really good out there at first, but then I realized that I might have gone out a little hard. But I am really happy to come away with a top 10 finish and a time under 17 minutes."
JDHS freshman Sage Thibodeau was proud, too. Thibodeau ran the course with a time of 17.33.44 finishing in 22nd place.
"Oh, man, on that second lap I was passing people and feeling real good. The coach's encouragement helped so much. It just helped me to do better and catch the next guy in front of me," Thibodeau said.
JDHS freshmen came up big for their team on Saturday. Zach Bursell finished 37th with a time of 17.53.78.
JDHS coach Guy Thibodeau was all praises after the race.
"The results from the team are way beyond what we were looking at from the earlier race here. The times improved dramatically. Our guys went out pretty smart. Sage began the race at about 50th and moved up into the 30s right away, which is tough to do in this group. Hunter only got passed by one guy and ran a great race, but that was a great finish."
In the boys 5k Run Division 123A championship, Haines senior Chandler Kemp throttled through the last two-thirds of the race with a bleeding nose. Trailing close behind his opponent, Kemp could not hold to second position and finished in third spot with a time of 16.43.30. The Haines boys team took fifth place out of 10 schools.
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