The Juneau-Douglas High School girls cross country team won their fifth meet of the season on Saturday afternoon on Ward Lake Trail in Ketchikan.
Junior Sadie Tuckwood took first, running her fastest 5-kilometer time of the season — 18 minutes, 11 seconds. Teammate Anna Iverson followed just over a minute later, setting a new personal record. Iverson said she liked the layout of the course, which consists of an out-and-back on an uphill road before looping around Ward Lake, a popular recreation spot seven miles south of Ketchikan.
“I knew that this course you really have to take advantage of the corners because it’s a really twisty course,” Iverson said. “You just have to be able to allow yourself to surge ahead in certain parts.”
Freshman Annika Schwartz (8th, 20:55) finished over 50 seconds behind junior Katie McKenna (4th, 20:25) last weekend but closed the gap on McKenna today.
“I was more mentally prepared and I felt way better at practices all week,” Schwartz said.
An excellent season by both Schwartz and classmate Trinity Jackson is one of the reasons JDHS coach Tristan Knutson-Lombardo thinks the team is capable of a top-3 finish at the state meet. He said the team embraces a team mentality.
“The closer our runners are together, the fewer runners from other teams get in between and it helps it lower that team score,” Knutson-Lombardo said.
Sophomore Jasmin Holst (20:58) finished fifth on the team and ninth overall and Jackson was sixth on the team and 10th overall (21:08).
Thunder Mountain High School’s Hannah Deer and Kiah Dihle also finished in the top-10. Deer and Dihle both picked up the pace from last weekend, shaving over 10 seconds off their respective times from a week ago.
Sitka won the boys race, but senior Arne Ellefson-Carnes claimed the individual title — his fifth of the season — with a 16:10 finish. Sitka’s Dominic Baciocco finished 16 seconds for second overall.
“He just kind of pulled us along,” said senior Ronan Davies, who placed 10th overall and tied his season-best time (17:29).
Davies said he wasn’t entirely happy with how his last two races went. He was third on the team two weeks ago in Skagway but dropped to fifth the next week in Palmer. The battle for second, third and fourth were just as tight in Ketchikan. Davies, who reclaimed the No. 3 spot on the team, said he and teammates Finn Morley (17:11), Ambrose Bucy (17:29) and Clem Taylor-Roth (17:38) tried to stick together for a good portion of the race.
“It’s a lot easier to run when you have a couple teammates next to you,” he said.
Max Dapcevich was the seventh Crimson Bears finisher to the line. Dapcevich said his goal was to run with senior Owen Squires, who was in front for the first half of the race. With about 1-kilometer to go, Dapevich made a move, catapulting him to his fastest time on the season: 18:12.
“When we race, we don’t focus on beating each other,” Dapcevich said. “We focus on beating the other teams by working with each other to make moves.”
Thunder Mountain’s Tucker Kelly finished sixth overall, while Riley Sikes placed 25th with his personal-best time of 18:21.
Top-10 boys results
1, Arne Ellefson-Carnes, Juneau-Douglas, 16:10. 2, Dominic Baciocco, Sitka, 16:26. 3, Skyler McIntyre, Sitka, 16:27. 4, Joe Pate, Sitka, 16:37. 5, Finn Morley, Juneau-Douglas, 17:11. 6, Tucker Kelly, Thunder Mountain, 17:24. 7, Bryce Knudsen, Kake, 17:24. 8. Danny Brady, Skagway, 17:27. 9, Tabor Buxton, Sitka, 17:29. 10, Ronan Davies, Juneau-Douglas, 17:29.
Top-10 girls results
1. Sadie Tuckwood, Juneau-Douglas, 18:11. 2. Anna Iverson, Juneau-Douglas, 19:12. 3. Maia Cowan, Petersburg, 19:51. 4, Katie McKenna, Juneau-Douglas, 20:25. 5, Hannah Deer, Thunder Mountain, 20:44. 6. Kiah Dihle, Thunder Mountain, 20:47. 7, Kendra Coonrad, Petersburg, 20:50. 8, Annika Schwartz, Juneau-Douglas, 20:55. 9, Jasmin Holst, Juneau-Douglas, 20:58. 10. Trinity Jackson, Juneau-Douglas, 21:08.