For the first time since 1981, a new name adorns the board of Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s track records hanging in their gym for the 100 meter dash.
JDHS James Connally, a junior on his second year with the track team, ran a time of 10.84 seconds in an April meet, beating out Tony Moore’s 1981 11.1 record for the same event, said coach Janette Gagnon in an email.
The track team unveiled the new record in an all-hands event on Tuesday, not having told Connally that he had sped past the old record.
“I’m just excited,” Connally said in a phone interview. “It feels good to break the record after 40 years.”
Members of Connally’s family were present to see him rip off the paper to reveal his name on the record board, adjusted to 11.14 for the handheld timing factor, which the previous school record had not been adjusted for, Gagnon said. Connally said he initially had no inkling that his name was going on the board until he saw his family in the gym that afternoon and after the coaches skipped saying who’d ran the fastest 100m dash for the boy’s side.
“With the banner up there, I realized it was me,” Connally said. “I want to just keep breaking that record. And to keep doing my best.”
Connally, who joined during the abruptly truncated 2020 season, said he was inspired by family to join the track team.
“Last season, I joined and it got canceled. This season, I came back ready,” Connally said. “My mom used to run it when she was in high school. I tried it and I enjoyed it so I stuck with it.”
Connally said he’ll keep running and aim to break records for his three primary events, the 100m dash, 200m dash, and long jump. He thanked his parents for their support, and friends and football teammates, Colton Johns and Ali Beya, for their encouragement and always supporting and pushing each other further.
In Alaska, state records can only be set at state meets.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.