Brianna Fallis at the state track and field championships Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Palmer, AK. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

Brianna Fallis at the state track and field championships Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Palmer, AK. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

Unified teams from JDHS, TMHS win state track events

Unified teams from Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain High School brought home state championships on Friday and Saturday at the ASAA Track & Field State Championships.

Will Weinlaeder and Jacob Rosenbruch took first overall in the boys unified shot put with a combined score of 62 feet, 1.5 inches.

TMHS coach Scott May said Weinlaeder and Rosenbruch, who came in second in the event at the Region V meet, were energized by the atmosphere of the state meet.

“I think they were just super motivated and I know they were just excited to be here,” May said. “I think the environment, everything that goes along with the state meet, really pumped them up.”

JDHS repeated as the unified champions in both the girls 100-meter dash and long jump. Brianna Fallis teamed up with sisters Ashleigh and Gretchen Neal in both events.

Unified events pair athletes with intellectual disabilities with partners (without intellectual disabilities) and are ranked based on the sum of the pairing’s results.

JDHS sophomore Sadie Tuckwood placed second in the 3200 and third in the 1600.

Tuckwood (10:45) was just one second behind the winner from West Valley, Kendall Kramer, in the 3200. She and Kramer, the past two state cross country champions, went at it again the following day in the 1600.

Kramer crossed the tape in that race just five seconds in front of Tuckwood, who ran the four laps in 5 minutes, 14 seconds, good for third place. Tuckwood was tripped up in the beginning but got right back to her feet to finish out the race.

“She wasn’t placing blame on anyone which is the ultimate sportsmanship,” JDHS coach Janette Gagnon said.

Arne Ellefson-Carnes was similarly strong in the 3200, coming in fifth place with a time of 9:51. Ellefson-Carnes was just .30 seconds behind third place and one second behind second place.

Other top-six performances at the meet included TMHS junior Audrey Welling and TMHS freshman Hannah Deer. Welling came in sixth place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.18 seconds.

Deer came in third place in the 400-meter dash with a scorching time of 1:00.72.

“She came from really quite a long ways behind and passed three or four people on the home stretch,” May said.

West Valley claimed the boys title with 78 points while South Anchorage won the girls title with 88 points.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or

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