Sadie Tuckwood and Arne Ellefson-Carnes captured their third consecutive region titles before a spirited home crowd at Sandy Beach on Saturday.
The duo won their respective 5-kilometer races well ahead of 20 challengers in the Region V Cross Country Championship meet on a big day for Juneau-Douglas High School.
The JDHS girls ran to a perfect score of 15 while the boys scored 19 to claim the Divison I titles. Both teams will now prepare for next weekend’s state meet in Anchorage. So too will the Sitka boys and Petersburg girls, which took home the Division II wins.
Tuckwood (18 minutes, 31 seconds), a junior, and Ellefson-Carnes (16:55), a senior, were also region winners in Sitka two years ago and in Ketchikan last year.
“Our varsity is doing really good so that will be cool to see how it ends up at state,” Tuckwood said.
Ellefson-Carnes has run faster on his home course in the past. He said he went out a little too hard and had trouble maintaining his breakneck pace throughout the race.
“Once you got out fast, you can’t really take an easy kilometer to rest up because it’s hard to speed back up again,” Ellefson-Carnes said. “I just tried to hang on.”
The race started and finished on the Savikko Park softball fields and looped around Treadwell Arena before heading into the Treadwell Mine Historic Trails. About two-thirds of the race occurred on the wooded trails.
Hannah Deer and Anna Iverson ran side-by-side as they entered the woods. Iverson took an eight-second lead on Deer after the first of two 1-kilometer loops, and like Tuckwood, was forced to run by herself the rest of the race.
Third place came down to a three-way race between junior Katie McKenna and freshmen Trinity Jackson and Annika Schwartz. With the finish line in sight, Jackson burst to the front of the trio, while McKenna edged Schwartz by just 0.39 seconds.
Schwartz said she knew Jackson would be trouble when the two bounded together toward the finish line.
“I’ve run with her a lot before and she’s definitely a sprinter,” Schwartz said. “I helped her during the middle race and then she helped me a lot at the end.”
Jackson said they encouraged one another throughout the race.
“If we didn’t do that we both wouldn’t have ran as fast as we did,” she said.
Deer finished 24 seconds later as the first Thunder Mountain and non-JDHS runner to the finish line. About 20 minutes after the race ended, Deer and teammates Ellie Knapp and Sally Thompson grouped together for a hug.
Thunder Mountain coach Sandi Pahlke said Thompson’s leadership has helped younger runners like Deer and Kiah Dihle flourish.
“She’s been a great leader and sets the bar high for the kids,” Pahlke said.
The boys race featured its own gutsy finish between Crimson Bears Clem Taylor-Roth and Ambrose Bucy. Taylor-Roth led a pack of about eight runners early on before breaking ahead. The only runner to go with him was Bucy, and the two traded the lead down the final stretch. With about 10 meters left to go, Taylor-Roth nudged forward to finish third behind Ellefson-Carnes and Thunder Mountain’s Tucker Kelly.
“I was hoping I could drop Ambrose sometime earlier but I couldn’t,” Taylor-Roth said. “I just had to leave it to the kick.”
Girls Division I
Team Scores — 1. JDHS 15; 2. Ketchikan 58; 3. Thunder Mountain 61.
1. Tuckwood, Sadie. Juneau-Douglas, 18:31.56.
2. Iverson, Anna. Juneau-Douglas, 19:56.71.
3. Jackson, Trinity. Juneau-Douglas, 20:25.55.
4. McKenna, Katherine. Juneau-Douglas, 20:29.28.
5, Schwartz, Annika, Juneau-Douglas, 20:29.67.
6. Deer, Hannah. Thunder Mountain, 20:53.45.
7. Dihle, Kiah. Thunder Mountain, 21:15.63.
8. Holst, Jasmin, Juneau-Douglas, 21:20.85.
9. McCue, Ruby. Ketchikan, 21:33.89.
10. Elerding, Morgan. Ketchikan, 21:39.71.
11. McNutt, McKenna. Juneau-Douglas, 21:55.06.
12. Cyr, Ashley. Ketchikan, 21:57.67.
13. Knapp, Elizabeth. Thunder Mountain, 22:06.80.
14. Boehlert, Paige, Ketchikan. 22:15.77.
15. Thompson, Sally. Thunder Mountain, 22:33.73.
16. Boehlert, Maggie. Ketchikan, 23:20.48.
17. Sikes, Grace. Thunder Mountain, 23:38.69.
18. Knight, Elizabeth. Ketchikan, 23:46.81.
19. Hudson, Grace. Thunder Mountain, 23:50.35.
20. Knight, Rachel. Ketchikan, 24:06.84.
Boys Division I
Team Scores — 1. JDHS 19; 2. Ketchikan 50; 3. Thunder Mountain 71.
1. Ellefson-Carnes, Arne. Juneau-Douglas, 16:55.82.
2. Kelly, Tucker. Thunder Mountain, 17:21.37.
3. Taylor-Roth, Clem. Juneau-Douglas, 17:38.12.
4. Bucy, Ambrose. Juneau-Douglas, 17:38.55.
5. Goldstein, Koby. Juneau-Douglas, 17:54.35.
6. Davies, Ronan. Juneau-Douglas, 18:00.11.
7. Capps, Brent. Ketchikan, 18:01.64.
8. Dapcevich, Max. Juneau-Douglas, 18:03.38.
9. Smith, Phillip. Ketchikan, 18:04.16.
10. King, Jacob. Ketchikan, 18:05.39.
11. Lapinski, Mickey. Ketchikan, 18:15.56.
12. Tim, Degener. Juneau-Douglas, 18:26.93.
13. Blair, Charlie. Ketchikan, 18:32.81.
14. Credito, Ivan. Ketchikan, 19:08.59.
15. Brown, Jonah. Thunder Mountain, 19:16.87.
16. King, Dwight. Ketchikan, 19:42.52.
17. West, Elias. Thunder Mountain, 20:42.98.
18. Sikes, Riley. Thunder Mountain, 20:47.04.
19. Unzicker, Isaiah. Thunder Mountain, 21:03.34.
20. Bowman, Tommy. Thunder Mountain, 21:04.42.
21. Bultez, Ethan. Thunder Mountain, 24:37.54.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.