By JDHS Track and Field Coaches
The 2020 Track & Field season was looking to be one for the record books, though what we envisioned is not what happened. The cross country teams had a great season and many athletes from cross country and some sprinters were also successful on the Nordic Ski trails. During our pre-season open gym opportunities and the only week of practice we were able to hold, we had a packed gym with returning and many new athletes. With great leadership from our seniors, the new athletes were learning drills and showing strength in all challenges that were thrown their way. When in-person practices were suspended and then canceled, the team rallied with workouts supplied by their event coaches and then competing in a virtual mile team challenge. The team was looking forward to defending their regional champions titles from last year and setting the stage for a return on Crimson Bear pride on the podiums at regionals and state.
— Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé track and field coaches Janette Gagnon, Kevin Hamrick, Daria Horne, Jesse Stringer, Zack Bursell, Louis Tagaban and Josh Smith
Aaron Blust: Aaron Blust has been an asset to the JDHS track and field team throughout his time in high school. Aaron is the only male athlete in his class to have competed in the Alaska Region V championships for his freshman, sophomore and junior years.
He was chosen to be a team captain this year because of his dedication to the team and his own growth as an athlete. Aaron is a quiet leader who new athletes feel comfortable learning from and who coaches can rely on to lead by example. Aaron will be going to Olin College of Engineering, located near Boston.
Ambrose Bucy: Ambrose’s positive attitude and enthusiasm during his time as a JDHS harrier have led to achievements for himself as well as his teammates. Ambrose worked hard during his time in high school to balance academics, sports and travel. Ambrose didn’t travel on many trips, but his dedication to practices in town was stellar. He worked hard and helped to push his teammates through workouts with encouraging words.
Ian D’Amore: Ian D’Amore waited until his junior year to compete in track and field and he had a tremendous season. Ian had success with his 4-by-100 meter and 4-by-400-meter sprint relay team as they qualified to run in the 2019 state meet.
Ian was a coach’s dream, with many “yes coach,” “got it coach” and “thank you coach” to any task or workout he was given. He is a determined athlete, striving to improve his times and his handoff technique for the relays. Ian will be attending San Diego State and will focus on business.
Alex Eagan: Alex has been improving yearly as a thrower. His work ethic and dedication to getting stronger has really paid off for him. His technique is perhaps his best attribute in his success as a discus thrower, and his friendly attitude and leadership skills have been a blessing for the team. This season Alex was looking forward to being named a captain of the team and to having the opportunity to be Gabe’s partner for the JDHS Unified Team.
Together they had a goal of winning the unified shot put at the state meet. Alex will be going to Cornell University to study engineering.
Anna Iverson: Anna’s grit and fortitude have created many accomplishments on the track. Her efforts have been key contributors to multiple region championship relay teams, a second place four-by-800-meter relay team during the 2019 Alaska State Championships, the first team title for Region V in over a decade, as well as being chosen as team captain during her junior year.
The JDHS track and field coaching staff wish her well as she continues her career as a distance runner at Pacific Lutheran University where she will study to be a nurse.
Mitchell Laudert: Mitchell Laudert competed in the 100 meter and 200 meter while contributing to the sprint relays. Mitchell continued to increase his distance in the long jump and triple jump nearly every track meet. Mitchell was looking forward to this season to see if his growth spurt helped his gain some inches in high jump as well as the vertical jumps. Mitchell enjoyed all aspects of sports in Southeast Alaska, from traveling, group housing, and making friends in each town. His future includes attending Electrical Apprenticeship School in Anchorage.
Jaydon Maloney: Jaydon Maloney has been a leader on the JDHS track and field team through his dedication and determination. As a mid-distance athlete he contributed to the depth of men’s athletes on the 2019 team that could run under 60 seconds in the 400-meter. Jaydon worked hard to improve his relay handoffs, as he knew every split of a second made a difference for the team. He was chosen to be a captain for his determination, his leadership and his amazing dedication to all things track and field, even fundraising.
The coaching staff wish him well as he continues his education and possibly his running career at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
Katie McKenna: Katie’s work on the track during her time at JDHS has helped reshape and redefine the legacy of women’s distance running at JD. Alongside teammate Anna Iverson, Katie has also helped lead her team to multiple region championships in relays, a second place four-by-800-meter relay team during the 2019 Alaska State Championships, the first team title for Region V in over a decade, as well as a personal accomplishment of being the fifth fastest female to run the 800 meters for JDHS. Katie has balanced many activities and leadership roles in addition to her commitment to track and field.
The coaches wish her well as she attends Williams College to study medicine and public policy.
Bridget McTague: Bridget was joining the track and field team for the first time and was showing great potential during pre-season training and the first week of practice. The coaches were delighted to have her energy added to the strength of our girls team. We wish Bridget well in her next endeavors.
Sosan Monsef: During Sosan’s time as a JDHS distance athlete, she has contributed to multiple region champion relay teams. As a student athlete she has alway made the best choice of being a top student as well as a gifted athlete. Sosan has never liked the spotlight, while also working hard to be among the top athletes on our team. Sosan showed great dedication to her teammates and the goals of the team. We wish her the best in all of her goals in college and life.
Sadie Tuckwood: As a student athlete at JDHS, Tuckwood established herself as one of the fastest females to have ever run for JD, let alone the state of Alaska. Her accomplishments on the track include besting the school record in the 3200, six top five or better finishes at the Alaska Track and Field State Championships, six region titles, being the top scoring female athlete on the first women’s team to win a region title in over a decade as well as being chosen as one of the 2020 JD track and field team captains. The coaching staff at JD wish her luck as she continues her career as a harrier for Gonzaga University.
• This piece was submitted by JDHS head track and field coach Janette Gagnon