Crimson Bears Sweep First Cross-Country Meet with Falcons

    The Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas girls teams start their race on Saturday at Sandy Beach.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - It was a three-peat of cross-country race winners for Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé in the first meet of the season on Saturday on the Historic Treadwell Mine Trail at Douglas’ Sandy Beach (A Kax Yaa Andagan Ye).

      The Sayeik Invitational meet featured senior Aubrey Hekkers winning the varsity boys race in a time of 17 minutes 28 seconds, sophomore Rayna Tuckwood earning the varsity girls win in 20:20, and 2019 graduate Arne Ellefson-Carnes blitzing the community race in 15:55.

      “I’m really hyped,” Hekkers said. “I also set a personal record by one second and also won for the first time. I’m really excited about that.”

      Hekkers was also excited for his teammates.

      “It’s all about just being positive and helping your teammates,” he said. “It’s really fun because when you finish you know they went through the same amount of pain you did.”

      Tuckwood said her win was surprising.

      “Because our whole girls team are seconds apart,” she said. “I felt really good and I also feel really good for my team because they did amazing. We are all really close.”

      Tuckwood noted the importance of her teammates.

      “Really important,” she said. “In every race they are seconds behind me so when I’m running I hear them and hear people cheering and I know I have to go faster. It’s a good community. We do a lot of stuff together. It’s really nice to have such a great team.”

      Ellefson-Carnes was using the race as a training outing before he heads back for his junior season at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

      “Technically that was my fastest time on this course,” Ellefson-Carnes said. “In high school I think I ran 16:26 my senior year. It’s fun to be back and race in front of a home crowd. A few people I ran with on the team but 70 new faces is pretty cool and fun to watch.”

      The Crimson Bears boys scored 19 points to the Falcons 43 and the Crimson Bears girls scored 15 points to the Falcons 48.

      TMHS enior Matthew Johns had the fastest Falcons boy’s time, placing second in 17:47.

      “It was good,” Johns said. “That was my PR on this course so it felt pretty good. I was in fourth for most of the it but felt good so I started picking it up a little bit. Now I definitely have a target on my back with the rest of the JD runners because there are a lot of them up there.”

      TMHS senior Grace Sikes was the top Falcons girl runner, placing sixth in 20:55.

      “I think it was important to show our team that we are really coming out here to compete,” Sikes said. “And that, while we have new coaches and not as big a team as JD, we are still out here to show Juneau what we have and the team can definitely come and run hard.”

      Haines, Petersburg and Skagway all cancelled their attendance due to COVID-19 concerns and travel costs but JD coach Merry Ellefson found the positive in the event.

      “It is really important for us to go toe-to-toe and compete,” she said. “And after last year of waiting and doing virtual this was a really great step. And looking at how our efforts are translating right now, how we score as a team, it’s really important. Cross-country is a team sport and we all know that our results are the results of everyone working together. We can see that again. Like the girls will know what a perfect score means. And it’s great to have such a Thunder Mountain crowd out here too. There was always some surprises, there are always a few disappointments but we’ll just unpack that.”

      One of the disappointments was the lack of other schools attendance.

      “Absolutely,” Ellefson said. “But you know, that’s what Juneau can do. Get our numbers down, wear our masks, get vaccinated and then we’re going to be able to race against other teams.”

      Falcons coach Topaz Shyrock said twice as many of her runners had not run in a race before.

      “Let alone a 5K,” she said. “So it’s pretty cool for them to do that today so they can know what that is like and have some strategies for next time.”

      Falcons co-coach Kent Mearig said the kids were excited for the first race of the season or their careers and tried to find a positive in other towns not attending.

      “It was just a great time to be out here,” Mearig said. “It really did make us value how many runners we have here in Juneau this year. It was really nice to be able to say, ‘you know people couldn’t make it, they were trying to make a wise choice,’ and we have so many kids here running that we can still have a really exciting full and fun race. So that was really nice to have.”

      JDHS senior Tias Carney placed ninth in a personal best time of 18:41 and was greeted at the finish with hugs from his older sister Portia.

      “It is a challenging race but it was great to finish and have my sister here waiting for me,” Carney said. “I’m getting faster and in better shape for soccer, and sprinting at the finish is good for basketball. It’s good cross-training.”

      “It’s really great,” Portia Carney said. “Because I did cross-country when I was in high school and it is really awesome to see him get his best time and start off the season great.”

      2021 TMHS graduate Iayanah Brewer is about to leave for Everett Community College on a track scholarship and was using the race to say goodbye and have some fun.

      “I’ve been going in the gym on my own time,” Brewer said. “And the coach sent me track and weight lifting workouts and I’ve been going to basketball open gyms. I’m nervous because it will be a whole new level and experience but I’m excited. This run was hard, I’m not a distance runner, but it was fun.”

      Falcons freshman Amy Lockwood closed out the girls race in 36:52.

      “It was really hard,” Lockwood said. “At least I finished. It was my first race. I think I had a strong finish. I didn’t even do cross-country in middle school so this is really like my first year. There are a lot of pretty big hills.”

      Falcons freshman Ian Ward closed out the boys race in 29:32.

      “It was really long,” Ward said. “And very hilly.”

      He said finishing is the best part of cross-country.

      “I think I need a nap,” he said.


    (school, name, class - time):

    JD. Aubrey Hekkers 12 - 17:28

    TM. Matthew Johns 12 - 17:47

    JD. Eli Crupi 11 - 18:10

    JD. Will Robinson 11 - 18:12

    JD. Samuel Holst 12 - 18:16

    JD. Martin Holst 10 - 18:27

    JD. Wilder Dillingham 10 - 18:28

    TM. Calvin Knapp 10 - 18:29

    JD. Tias Carney 12 - 18:41

    JD. EdgarVera Alvarado  10 - 18:42

    JD. Finn Kesey 11 - 18:54

    JD. Leif St. Clair 10 - 19:09

    JD. Malachi Piemann 10 - 19:10

    JD. Caden Mesdag 11 - 19:14

    TM. Kael Nord 9 - 19:24

    JD. Kyle Dusenberry 11- 19:25

    JD. Joshua Reed  9 - 19:28

    TM. John Magalhaes 11 - 19:51

    JD. Nick Iverson 9 - 20:16

    JD. Colton Johns 12 - 20:17

    TM. Quinn Quiroga 9 - 20:18

    JD. Oliver Zigmund 10 - 20:28

    JD. Owen Costello 12 - 20:29

    TM. Ben Erickson  11 - 20:46

    JD. Ben Goldstein 11 - 21:23

    JD. Robbie Gabel 11 - 21:28

    TM. Alexander Ward 12 - 21:32

    JD. Ferguson Wheeler 9 - 21:35

    JD. Jake Sleppy 12 - 22:14

    JD. Finn Lamb  9 - 22:24

    TM. Ethan Reichl 10 - 22:27

    TM. Matthias Paden  9 - 23:14

    JD. Ryan Thibodeau 9 - 23:37

    JD. Edward Hu  10 - 23:38

    JD. Jack Schwarting 11 - 23:39

    JD. Kelton Griffith 10 - 23:41

    TM. Kajson Cunningham  9 - 24:40

    TM. Casey Knapp 9 - 25:50

    TM. Michael Witting 11 - 26:05

    TM. Benjamin Sikes 9 - 26:11

    TM. Bruno Malecha 9 - 26:22

    TM. Elijah Levy 9 - 26:39

    TM. Merrick Hartman 9 - 27:51

    JD. Reece Dusenberry 11 - 29:01

    TM. Ian Ward 9 - 29:32

    JD. Tobin Montalbo 11 - #N/A

    JD. Shem Stitz  9 - #N/A

    TM. Justus Paden 11 - #N/A


    (school, name, class - time):

    JD. Rayna Tuckwood 10- 20:20

    JD. Etta Eller 10 - 20:37

    JD. McKenna McNutt 12 - 20:42

    JD. Annika Schwartz 12 - 20:47

    JD. Ida Meyer 9 - 20:54

    TM. Grace Sikes 12 - 20:55

    JD. Ella Goldstein 12 - 21:02

    JD. Maisy Morley 10 - 21:19

    JD. Trinity Jackson 12 - 21:27

    JD. Skylar Tuckwood 11 - 21:36

    JD. Celia Wheeler 12 - 21:37

    JD. Ruby Rivas 10 - 22:44

    JD. Jayme Geary 11 - 22:54

    JD. Ava Newell 10 - 23:21

    JD. Nettle Fraley-Hart 11 - 23:26

    TM. Abigail Booton 12 - 24:23

    JD. Ashlie Stringer 12 - 24:26

    JD. Serena Crupi 9 - 24:36

    TM. Mackenzie Olver 11 - 24:57

    TM. Aliyah Overturf  11 - 25:00

    JD. Natanya Reed 12 - 25:05

    JD. Ellie Yerkes 9 - 25:09

    JD. Marina Lloyd 12 - 25:41

    JD. Genevieve Pikul 10 - 27:10

    JD. Mariah Kadinger 11 - 27:12

    TM. Mackenzie Lam 10 - 27:13

    TM. Jayda Skeek 12 - 27:17

    TM. Naomi Olver 12 - 28:00

    TM. Pema Curry 9 - 28:27

    JD. Addie Buss 9 - 30:33

    JD. Mary Johnson 9 - 30:34

    TM. Shaylen Montgomery 10 - 32:10

    TM. Gwendolyn Lokwood 12 - 33:04

    JD. Kayla Peter  9 - 33:08

    TM. Amy Lockwood  9 - 36:52

    JD. Bailey Rogusta 9 - dnf

    TM. Hailey Dompeling 12 - dnf


    Com. Arne Ellefson 15:55

    Com. Dylan Anthony 16:58

    TM. Darin Tingey 19:50

    Com. Ronin Davies  20:36

    Com. Anna Iverson 20:36

    Com. Clem Taylor-Roth 20:36

    JD. Reed Maier  21:01

    JD. Zayden Schijvens 21:07

    TM. Thomas Bowen 21:39

    TM. Justin Scussel 22:21

    TM. Cade Babcock 22:23

    JD. Lindsey McTague 22:47

    JD. Lizzie Stitz 22:48

    JD. Kate Schwarting 22:53

    JD. Colse Bruno 24:01

    JD. Layne Cutnose 24:07

    JD. Harry Coutu 24:39

    Com. Iayanah Brewer 24:54

    TM. Cailynn Baxter 26:39

    Com. Cerys Hudson 27:06

    TM. Carvin Haas 27:12

    Com. Darryl Tseu 29:06

    JD. Acey Wall 29:31

    TM. Kerra Baxter 34:22

    JD. Kaylee Karlson-Byers 36:50

    Com. Nate Blake 36:51

    TM. Thomas Rice 44:22

    TM. Dorothy Germain 44:23

    JD. Simone Rabung 49:07

    JD. Tria Bowers #N/A

    JD. Peyton Edmunds #N/A

    JD. Miles Quigley #N/A

    JD. Talia Schlosser #N/A

    TM. Joshua Thurman #N/A

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