A photo finish in the 100-meter dash sees Sitka High School’s Adalyna Moore (right) finish ahead of Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter — although both were officially clocked at 13.54 seconds — during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A photo finish in the 100-meter dash sees Sitka High School’s Adalyna Moore (right) finish ahead of Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter — although both were officially clocked at 13.54 seconds — during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Triumphs come in all forms at annual Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet

Photo finishes, new records, overcoming personal challenges all cause to celebrate at two-day event.

There are undoubtedly closer photo finishes in history than the one between Adalyna Moore and Kerra Baxter in the 100-meter dash Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School — but not statistically, as the official results show each finishing in an identical time of 13.54 seconds.

But the timekeepers, after much consulting among themselves and the digital tablets they were holding to record races, ultimately declared Sitka High School’s Moore the winner over TMHS’ Baxter by a minuscule torso length. It was one of three first-place finishes for the Sitka sophomore during the two-day Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet, earning other wins as part of the 4X100-meter relay and 4X200-meter relay.

Moore, after being declared the winner of her photo finish, described it as a drama that played out (very quickly) in three acts.

“I definitely tripped up in the blocks and I kind of wish that I had a better block start,” she said. “In the middle I saw her coming and I was definitely nervous.”

And in the final sprint “I just closed my eyes. I didn’t want to see her in my peripheral because it would have made me nervous.”

Nick Iverson, a senior at Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School, sprints for the finish line to set a new school record in the 4X800-meter relay during the during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Nick Iverson, a senior at Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School, sprints for the finish line to set a new school record in the 4X800-meter relay during the during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Sitka emerged as the clear overall winner during the event featuring teams from nine Southeast Alaska high schools, with the boys team outscoring Ketchikan High School 180 to 166 and the girls team topping Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kale 173.5 to 137.5. The JDHS boys finished third, while both TMHS teams finished fourth, in what was the first home track-and-field event of the year for both schools.

But local students came away with numerous individual and collective triumphs, including a new JDHS school record of 8 minutes 17.6 seconds in the men’s 4X800-meter relay set by Edgar Jesus Vera Alvarado, Finn Lamb, Wilder Dillingham and Nick Iverson. Iverson, a senior who ran the last leg, said there was hope among the team beforehand about the record.

“Last year we had a really good ‘4-by-8’ team, but all of our team was sophomores and only one junior,” he said. “So we knew next year when we were a lot stronger we could have a pretty good team. We were already like less than 15 seconds away.”

The runners before him did their part and “we were on pace when the baton got passed me to get a school record,” Iverson said. But he was in high gear during the first lap which made the final lap and the record a bit of an extra challenge.

“We were all just really full of adrenaline and ready to rip,” he said. “So the first lap was a bit fast. The second lap was quite a bit slower, I believe. But it was still a good lap. I think everyone just had awesome races and we paced it just fine.”

Skagway High School freshman Samuel Munson (right) talks with his coach Kortney Rupprecht after completing the 1,600-meter race during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Skagway High School freshman Samuel Munson (right) talks with his coach Kortney Rupprecht after completing the 1,600-meter race during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

There were also the victories that didn’t come with first-place awards.

Samuel Munson, 15, a freshman at Skagway High School, celebrated despite finishing last in the 1,600 meters on Saturday since he tied his personal record for the distance even after being forced to drop out of Friday’s events due to shin splints. Furthermore, his finishing time of 7:22.9 was less than half as long as the first time he ran such a race four years ago, making him the most improved athlete on the school’s track-and-field team, said his coach Kortney Rupprecht.

Munson said he was motivated to start running competitively after the COVID-19 pandemic since he wasn’t getting any exercise and at this point “I just like running and I just like getting better. It’s just a thing to keep me healthy.”

His goal during the next few years in high school “is getting some sub-six-minute miles,” he said. Meanwhile, just getting through Saturday’s race after being forced to drop out Friday was victory enough.

“I just have a lot of adrenaline right now, but it does hurt,” he said.

This is the final year the invitational will be held at Thunder Mountain High School since all students in grades 9-12 are being consolidated into Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé starting with the coming school year and TMHS will be converted to a middle school. TMHS track and field coach Dwayne Duskin Jr., who on Saturday offered tributes to his seniors, said it isn’t known yet what will happen with the event next year.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students stretch and rest following their participation in the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students stretch and rest following their participation in the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

2024 Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet results

(Full individual results at athletic.net)

Team scores — boys

1. Sitka 180

2. Ketchikan 166

3. Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kale 125.5

4. Thunder Mountain 97

5. Petersburg 51

6. Haines 36.5

7. Craig 6

Team scores — girls

1. Sitka 173.5

2. Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kale 137.5

3. Ketchikan 106.5

4. Thunder Mountain 79.5

5. Haines 78

6. Petersburg 46

7. Gustavus 6

More photos from the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet:

Timekeepers huddle to determine the official results of a race during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Timekeepers huddle to determine the official results of a race during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at Thunder Mountain High School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A classroom at Thunder Mountain High School serves as one of the sleeping areas for out-of-town students during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A classroom at Thunder Mountain High School serves as one of the sleeping areas for out-of-town students during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School track and field coach Dwayne Duskin Jr. congratulates seniors during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. This is the final year TMHS will have a team due to all students in grades 9-12 being consolidated into Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé starting next school year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School track and field coach Dwayne Duskin Jr. congratulates seniors during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. This is the final year TMHS will have a team due to all students in grades 9-12 being consolidated into Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé starting next school year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

(Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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