Zack Pursell, assistant coach for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé track team, puts James Connally’s name on the school record board for breaking a long-standing record for the 100 meter dash on May 11, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Zack Pursell, assistant coach for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé track team, puts James Connally’s name on the school record board for breaking a long-standing record for the 100 meter dash on May 11, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS junior breaks 40-year-old school track record

The 100 meter dash record has stood since Reagan was president.

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.”

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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.

James Connally, a Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior, rips the cover off the school record board after recently breaking a long-standing record for the 100 meter dash on May 11, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

James Connally, a Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior, rips the cover off the school record board after recently breaking a long-standing record for the 100 meter dash on May 11, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“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.”

James Connally sprints past the finish in the 100 meter dash, setting what would become a school record for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Courtesy photo / Janette Gagnon)

James Connally sprints past the finish in the 100 meter dash, setting what would become a school record for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Courtesy photo / Janette Gagnon)

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 mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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