JDHS and Sitka take region cross-country titles

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A muddy course at the Treadwell Mine Trails didn't slow Southeast down.
XC (3)

Above: The girls take off Saturday. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

The Region V Cross-Country Championships were held on Saturday in Juneau.

Both the boys and girls teams from Juneau Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Sitka High School came out on top.

The JDHS boys claimed their 34th XC title in a row.

JDHS scored a total of 19 points, Thunder Mountain High School had a total of 57, and Ketchikan 59.

JDHS girls had all seven runners across the finish line before the other DI teams, claiming their 10th title in a row. JDHS scored 15 points, Ketchikan 56, and TMHS 75.

JDHS senior captain Edgar Vera finished at 16 minutes 55.58 seconds, with TMHS freshman Erik Thompson close behind at 16:55.77.

Vera said it was a great team race.

“This was one of the most painful races I’ve done but I was really thinking of my team,” he said. “I think this race was definitely more of a team race. We just wanted to put a good effort in. Our team did amazing! We almost had a perfect score in our division.”

He shared what he hopes to accomplish at state next weekend.

“For myself, it would be really nice if I could get top five at state,” he said. “As a team, we’re really shooting to get top three. I think that’s probably the priority to get third at state for sure. That would be really awesome.”

Below: Vera in the combined DI and DII race. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Abby John, coach for JDHS XC, also highlighted their team effort.

“For our runners that are typically running maybe in the top four, we had some runners in our top seven kind of move up. It was really a good team race today. They really turned it on in the last kilometer and a half and ran super well on both sides,” she added. “We love to watch them run. They put all the work in and now we can just kind of enjoy the rest of the season.”

She added that she enjoys seeing it all come together in the championship season. State will be in Palmer this upcoming weekend.

“It’s always a joy to see them run strong like this,” she said.

Above: In the combined DI and DII race, Sitka junior Connor Hitchcock hit the fastest male time of the day at 16:50.45. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY) Below: JDHS junior Ida Meyer takes in her win of the fastest girls’ time of the day at 19:15.92 in the combined DI and DII race. (Photo credit Jasz Garrett/KINY)

Meyer said she took a risk and it paid off.

“I just kind of went for it. It was a really good race. I think our team came into it pretty strong,” she said.

Meyer added she’s been running since at least 10 years old when her dad started taking her to Juneau Trail and Road Runners.

But she’s not looking to the past, she’s looking forward to what’s next.

“Our team has really grown so much over the season after losing some significant people, and now, we’re just getting stronger every week,” she commented.