Thunder Mountain High School senior Mallory Welling launches over a hurdle during the 300 meter hurdle prelims at the Capital Invitational Track and Field meet Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School senior Mallory Welling launches over a hurdle during the 300 meter hurdle prelims at the Capital Invitational Track and Field meet Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Juneau’s track and field season kicks off with Capital Invitational

The weekend meet was the first of the season.

The season is now underway for Juneau’s high school track teams as teams from across Southeast Alaska gathered over the weekend to compete in the annual Capital Invitational track and field meet jointly hosted by Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School.

Sitka High School senior Silas Demmert sprints to the finish line during the Capital Invitational Track and Field meet Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Sitka High School senior Silas Demmert sprints to the finish line during the Capital Invitational Track and Field meet Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

The JDHS’ girls and boys varsity team came out of the meet finishing second in combined points, next to Sitka High School which largely dominated the meet both in overall points and individual scores. Thunder Mountain’s boy varsity finished third overall, and girls varsity finished fourth.

Haines High School sophomore Alex Weerasinghe (left) races to the finish line next to Thunder Mountain High School freshman Daniel Juergens (right) at the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Haines High School sophomore Alex Weerasinghe (left) races to the finish line next to Thunder Mountain High School freshman Daniel Juergens (right) at the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“It was fantastic,” said JDHS coach Jesse Stringer. “We had a lot of fun as a team and are working on making sure we have fun when we compete while at the same time doing our best — we seemed to accomplish that during this past weekend. The captains, seniors and juniors, they’re the ones making this team happen — this team leads itself.”

Stringer said this year the team has about 70 athletes, split between track and field competitions. He said going into the season, he has high hopes for the athletes moving forward after some strong performances over the weekend. Stringer said this year’s team has the most athletes JDHS has had in the state’s top 10 ranks for its division in decades.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé sophomore Serena Crupi jumps over a hurdle at the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé sophomore Serena Crupi jumps over a hurdle at the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Stringer said the team seems to already have a great attitude and bond with each other which he hopes to see grow as the season goes on. He said he hopes to emphasize the idea of having fun and finding joy in competition, something that isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.

“I think what matters special is how well they work together as a whole team,” he said. “They used their camaraderie to compete well, and competing from a place of joy is much different than competing than what we often hear like ‘dig deep’ or ‘go harder’ but friendships and relationships are important as well.”

TMHS coach Dwayne Duskin said he was also happy with the TMHS team’s strong performance given it was the first meet of the season and the girls team was missing a few key athletes over the weekend.

A stack of hurdles sit near the track on Friday during the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

A stack of hurdles sit near the track on Friday during the Capital Invitation Track and Field Meet at Thunder Mountain High School Friday evening. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

“Overall they performed really well, I was surprised that so many people got personal records so quickly, almost everyone on the team did,” he said. “I was impressed by how well they did, a lot of them it was their first time at a track meet, and the majority of the team did really well.”

Duskin said looking toward the future of the team this season, he hopes to emphasize the need for the athletes to take practices more seriously, and to come into them with a better attitude. He said doing that will help the athletes see the results he knows they can achieve if they dedicate themselves to it.

“My motto is to work hard and have fun,” he said. “We need to focus in on what we’re doing and work hard to see the results.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

Team combined scores

Girls Varsity

— Sitka (244 points)

— JDHS (123 points)

— Haines (86 points)

— TMHS (63 points)

— Petersburg (61 points)

— Ketchikan (35 points)

Boys Varsity

— Sitka (170 points)

— JDHS (166 points)

— TMHS (126 points)

— Ketchikan (102.5 points)

— Haines (76.5 points)

— Petersburg (20 points)

— Yakutat (18 points)

— Skagway (5 points)

Event winners

Girls Varsity

— 100 meter – 13.86 seconds, Emma Heuer (Sitka)

— 200 meter – 28.68 seconds, Natalie Hall (Sitka)

— 400 meter – 1:05 minutes, Clara Odden (Ketchikan)

— 800 meter – 2:34 minutes, Clare Mullin (Sitka)

— 1600 meter – 5:38 minutes, Clare Mullin (Sitka)

— 3200 meter – 11:40 minutes, Ida Meyer (JDHS)

— 100 meter hurdle – 16.70 seconds, Mallory Welling (TMHS)

—300 meter hurdle – 51.65 seconds, Mallory Welling (TMHS)

— 4×100 meter relay – 57.11 seconds, Deszerei Chong, Gwen White, Hayla Trigg and Jadelynn Kubik (Sitka)

— 4×200 meter relay – 2 minutes, Deszerei Chong, Gwen White, Hayla Trigg and Emma Heuer (Sitka)

—4×400 meter relay – 4:32 minutes, Marina Dill, Clare Mullin, Natalie Hall and Anna Prussian (Sitka)

— 4×800 meter relay – 10:07 minutes, Ida Meyer, Kate Schwarting, Pacific Ricke and Maisy Morley (JDHS)

— SMR 1600 meter – 4:47 minutes, Grace Long, Avari Getchell, Mackenzy Dryden and Ari’el Godines Long (Haines)

— Shot Put – 28’ 1.5, Emma Dohrn (Haines)

— Discus – 84’ 0, Emma Dohrn (Haines)

— 14’6.25, Long jump – Clare Mullin (Sitka)

— 4’10, High jump – Mallory Welling (TMHS)

— 28’ 6.75, Triple jump – Mackenzy Dryden (Haines)

Boys Varsity

— 100 meter – 11.52 seconds, Jason Lorig (Ketichkan)

— 200 Meter – 23.85 seconds, Jason Lorig (Ketichkan)

— 400 meter – 53.24 seconds, Wilder Dillingham (JDHS)

— 800 meter – 2:07 minutes, Luke Davis (Haines)

— 1600 meter – 4:41 minutes, Silas Demmert (Sitka)

— 3200 meter – 9:51 minutes, Silas Demmert (Sitka)

— 110-meter hurdle – 18.36 seconds, David Davis (Sitka)

—300 meter hurdle – 43.96 seconds, Caden Johns (JDHS)

— 4×100 meter relay – 45.51 seconds Jayden Johnson, Lucas White, Jamal Johnson and Jarrell Williams (TMHS)

— 4×200 meter relay – 1:38 minutes, Brenden West, Wilder Dillingham, Tobin Montalbo and Robbie Gabel (JDHS)

—4×400 meter relay – 3:46 minutes, Annan Weiland, Dylan Crenna, Dezi Olney-Miller and Camden Young (Sitka)

— 4×800 meter relay – 9:26 minutes, Trey Demmert, Silas Demmert, Jeremia Fergueson and James Helem (Sitka)

— SMR 1600 meter – 4:05 minutes, Gavin Gerrin, Finn Lamb, Wilder Dillingham and Corder Janes (JDHS)

— Shot Put – 37’10, Trey Colbert (Ketchikan)

— Discus – 123’11, Eric Gillham (Haines)

— Long jump – 19’ 5.5, Chase Darbonne (TMHS)

— High jump – 5’7, Rowan Olne-Miller (Sitka)

— Triple jump – 40’ 3.75, Chase Darbonne (THMS)

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