Juneau-Douglas High School’s Sadie Tuckwood, middle, is one of a handful of favorites to finish first in the girls state cross country meet on Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School’s Sadie Tuckwood, middle, is one of a handful of favorites to finish first in the girls state cross country meet on Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

JDHS heads to state meet with high hopes

Race is Saturday at Bartlett High School

The state cross country meet is Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage and the Region V champion Juneau-Douglas High School is ready.

The Division I girls race is at 12:45 p.m. and will pit JDHS against fellow region winners Palmer (Region III), Chugiak (Region IV) and West Valley (Region VI) as well as six other teams. The Division I boys race will follow at 2:15 p.m. and include region champions Palmer (Region III), Service (Region IV), JDHS (Region V) and West Valley (Region VI).

Junior Sadie Tuckwood will look to take back her state crown from West Valley’s Kendall Kramer. The two runners shared the same course three weeks ago at the Palmer Invitational, and both finished the 5-kilometer course in under 18:30, a feat two other runners in Alaska (Eagle River’s Emily Walsh and South Anchorage’s Ava Earl) have done this season.

“I’ve never seen so many girls running so fast and it’s pretty special to see,” JDHS co-coach Merry Ellefson said. “Even if we reflect back to the state 3200 (meter run at the state track meet) this spring. Kendall and Sadie were neck-and-neck. Kendall won, but they both popped into the top-10 ever finishes in the 3200.”

This is the quickest team Tuckwood’s been a part of over the last two seasons. Juniors Anna Iverson and Katie McKenna and freshmen Annika Schwartz and Trinity Jackson are all capable of running under 20:30.

The boys team is also a more competitive group this season. Arne Ellefson-Carnes is having his strongest season and so are Finn Morley, Clem Taylor-Roth, Ronan Davies and Ambrose Bucy. The latter four runners have set personal records this season in the neighborhood of 17:30, which Ellefson said puts them in the mix with the majority of the others runners in the meet.

“It’s really about getting those groups to work together with confidence that they’ve garnered from other choices that they’ve made throughout the year,” Ellefson said. “And we’re in a good place in terms of everyone being healthy.”

JDHS’ Koby Goldstein, Dalton Hoy, Jasmin Holst and McKenna McNutt will also be in the meet. Thunder Mountain High School’s Hannah Deer, Kiah Dihle and Tucker Kelly qualified as individuals.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.

More in Sports

Through the author’s spotting scope: A Dall sheep feeds in Denali National Park near the Teklanika River. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Too tough to call

The Teklanika River grows and moves swiftly as it flows north. Eventually… Continue reading

A flying squirrel launches a glide, with patagium spread wide. (Photo by Richard A. Wood)
On the Trails: Gliding in air

An eagle soars overhead, wings spread, making only minute steering adjustments of… Continue reading

Fresh snow covers the surface of Eaglecrest Ski Area on Friday morning. General Manager Dave Scanlan said Thursday the plan is to open the ski area next Saturday. (Webcam photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest manager says things look cool for upcoming season, despite delayed opening

Strong numbers for season pass sales, number of foreign student employees, business leaders told.

The Yukon River, seen here as a wide white band, is freezing later in fall and breaking up earlier in spring than it was a few decades ago. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Long-term views of a changed Alaska

As an instructor for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, I have stood before… Continue reading

A light dusting of snow covers the ground at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Wednesday morning. The planned opening for the ski area has been delayed a week until Saturday, Dec. 9, according to General Manager Dave Scanlan. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest delays scheduled opening by one week until next Saturday, Dec. 9

Warm temperatures and rain dissolved much of ski area’s snowpack, but cold and snow in forecast.

A female robin carries a wad of earthworms to her chicks. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: November gloom and cheers

I like to live where there are seasonal changes in weather and… Continue reading

Participants, many clad in fowl weather gear, head out onto the Airport Dike Trail during the annual Turkey Trot 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run on Thursday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Turkey Trot participants thankful for fowl conditions

“Worst weather we’ve had in 10 years” just means burning off more calories.

The author guides his skiff in the direction of muskegs free from digital connectivity, but there is no escaping thoughts of contemporary life. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Freedom of gratitude

I have fumbled for years attempting to put into words what the… Continue reading

Kristen Rozell skate skis in Valdez in January 2023. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Surfing in winter on cross-country skis

With mild temperatures and ample snow, much of Alaska is now primed… Continue reading

(Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Soldotna hockey bounces back against Juneau

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kale loses 3-1 on Saturday after 4-3 win Friday

Lance Fenumiai, a Juneau resident seen here carrying the ball in a rugby match for St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania, has signed a Major League Rugby contract with the Dallas Jackals. (Photo courtesy of Lux214 Media Group)
JDHS grad Lance Fenumiai signs pro rugby contract with Dallas Jackals

Former college All-American to spend holidays training intensely for season that starts in February.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Casey Blackwell, 10, crosses the finish line after running 27 laps around the indoor track at Dimond Park Field House to complete the 5K Pajama Jog on Sunday.
Juneau Girls on the Run go the distance during 5K Pajama Jog

Participants finish looking like stars — 27 of them — after completing that many laps around track.