The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé boys and girls varsity cross country teams pose with their Region V Division I championship plaques after sweeping the Region V Cross Country Championships at Sitka National Historical Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Merry Ellefson)

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé boys and girls varsity cross country teams pose with their Region V Division I championship plaques after sweeping the Region V Cross Country Championships at Sitka National Historical Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Merry Ellefson)

Preparation pays off for Juneau-Douglas, Sadie Tuckwood at regions

The weather lent a hand.

Senior Sadie Tuckwood added a historic milestone to her already-impressive running resume on Saturday.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé senior became the first four-time champion at the Region V Cross Country Championships, winning the Division I girls race with her second-fastest race of the season. Tuckwood’s mark of 17 minutes, 50 seconds was more than 20 seconds faster than her previous personal record in Sitka. She set that mark three years ago during her first Region V-winning performance (18:12).

Tuckwood also won the region crowns in Ketchikan (18:24) two years ago and Juneau (18:31) last season.

“The weather was nice — it wasn’t too hot, there was a little breeze,” Tuckwood said. “The course is nice because it’s shady, so that really helps a lot. I don’t know, it was a good day.”

The individual accolade was accompanied by team achievements. JDHS swept the Division I team titles. In the 5-kilometer races, JDHS boys had 21 points, Ketchikan had 53 and Thunder Mountain had 60. The JDHS girls had 20 points while Thunder Mountain and Ketchikan had 47 and 69 points, respectively.

“They just brought their guts and they brought their training and they just brought desire,” JDHS co-coach Merry Ellefson said. “I’m so proud of them all for their efforts out there. They’ve been working hard and they just brought it.”

Thunder Mountain’s Kiah Dihle took second behind Tuckwood, preventing the Crimson Bears from recording a perfect score. (A cross country meet is scored by adding up the places of each teams’ top five runners. Last year, the Crimson Bears placed 1-2-3-4-5 for a perfect score of 15.) JDHS’ Anna Iverson, Skylar Tuckwood and Katie McKenna placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

“Our region has gotten a lot faster throughout the years,” Iverson said. “So there’s just a lot more girls that are able to push me and everyone else on my team.

Iverson, one of the JDHS captains, was proud of her team’s overall performance. All seven JDHS girls in the race finished in the top-10.

“I’ve been thinking and comparing our teams throughout the last few years, and it was just really exciting — this year especially — having so many girls running close to each other,” Iverson said. “That just really got me excited for this weekend.”

JDHS junior Finn Morley won the boys race in 16:44. Morley’s teammates Tim Degener and Ambrose Bucy crossed the finish line less than 10 seconds afterward. Degener took second, Bucy took third, Thunder Mountain’s Tucker Kelly took fourth and Ketchikan’s Brent Capps took fifth.

The second wave of Crimson Bear runners — Will Robinson, Koby Goldstein, Samuel Holst and Aubrey Hekkers — all finished under 17:45.

“It definitely pushes me a lot to know that they’re right behind me,” Morley said. “It also makes me nervous, but I think that’s good. It’s a good atmosphere to be in during racing because they’re there to push me.”

Both JDHS teams qualified for the state meet next Saturday at Bartlett High School by winning regions. Joining them up in Anchorage will be six individual qualifiers from Thunder Mountain: Kelly, Dihle, Matthew Johns, Tommy Bowman, Hannah Deer and Ellie Knapp. All six qualified by finishing in the top-12.

Bowman, a sophomore, ran a personal-record time of 17:47, over a minute faster than most of his times this season.

Region V Championships

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019

Sitka National Historical Park

Team Scores

Boys — 1) Juneau-Douglas 21; 2) Ketchikan 53; 3) Thunder Mountain 60.

Girls — 1) Juneau-Douglas 20; 2) Thunder Mountain 47; 3) Ketchikan 69.

Division I Results

Boys — 1, Morley, Finn, Juneau-Douglas 16:44.01; 2, Degener, Tim, Juneau-Douglas 16:51; 3, Bucy, Ambrose, Juneau-Douglas 16:52.59; 4, Kelly, Tucker, Thunder Mountain 17:00.40; 5, Capps, Brent, Ketchikan 17:00.88; 6, Lapinski, Mickey, Ketchikan 17:01.64; 7, Robinson, Will, Juneau-Douglas 17:22.43; 8, Goldstein, Koby, Juneau-Douglas 17:28.09; 9, Johns, Matthew, Thunder Mountain 17:29.61; 10, Holst, Samuel, Juneau-Douglas 17:39.16; 11, Hekkers, Aubrey, Juneau-Douglas 17:42.67; 12, Bowman, Tommy, Thunder Mountain 17:47.64; 13, Smith, Phillip, Ketchikan 18:04.93; 14, Woodward, Owen, Ketchikan 18:06.93; 15, Blair, Charlie, Ketchikan 18:17.28; 16, Gende, Gavin, Thunder Mountain 18:17.73; 17, Mathews, Hunter, Ketchikan 18:24.39; 18, King, Dwight, Ketchikan 18:47.48; 19, Brown, Jonah, Thunder Mountain 19:16.38; 20, Bultez, Ethan, Thunder Mountain 19:22.48; 21, Dobson, Eric, Thunder Mountain 19:57.89.

Girls — 1, Tuckwood, Sadie, Juneau-Douglas 17:50.33; 2, Dihle, Kiah, Thunder Mountain 19:00.47; 3, Iverson, Anna, Juneau-Douglas 19:10.93; 4, Tuckwood, Skylar Juneau-Douglas 19:17.10; 5, McKenna, Katherine, Juneau-Douglas 19:51.42; 6 Deer, Hannah, Thunder Mountain 20:12.69; 7, Schwartz, Annika, Juneau-Douglas 20:21.03; 8, Hiatt, Anneliese, Ketchikan 20:29.22; 9, Jackson, Trinity, Juneau-Douglas 20:41.41; 10, McNutt, McKenna, Juneau-Douglas 20:43.89; 11, Knapp, Ellie, Thunder Mountain 20:46.82; 12 McCue, Ruby, Ketchikan 21:14.59; 13, Bleakley, Reece, Thunder Mountain 21:43.53; 14, Boehlert, Paige, Ketchikan 21:50.70; 15, Olver, Mackenzie, Thunder Mountain 22:19.09; 16, Odden, Ada, Ketchikan 22:19.60; 17, Sikes, Grace, Thunder Mountain 22:35.76; 18, Booton, Abigail, Thunder Mountain 22:38.66; 19, King, Malia, Ketchikan 23:15.56; 20, Elerding, Morgan, Ketchikan 23:21.07; 21, Walker, Jenna, Ketchikan 23:24.43.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or

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