SENIOR WALK – Sitka High School seniors walk through the halls of Xoots Elementary School wearing their graduation attire this morning as they are congratulated by students. The seniors walked through the halls of both elementary schools and the middle school this morning. Seventy-four seniors will be graduating in the ceremony which begins 7 p.m. tonight in the school gym. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Top Cross Country Runners Converge on Sitka

By GARLAND KENNEDY

Sentinel Sports Editor

Competing Saturday against some of the best runners in the state in the largest cross country meet ever hosted locally, the Sitka High Wolves secured some top finishes but couldn’t quite outpace the Grace Christian Grizzlies in the second to last regular season meet of the year. 

Among Division II schools, Grace Christian edged out Sitka in team scores, by 7 points on the girls side, and 26 on the boys. The Lady Wolves took third out of eight teams, and Sitka’s boys earned fourth place of 12 squads.

 

Sitka High junior Clare Mullin, left, crosses the finish line in a home cross country meet alongside Juneau’s Ida Meyer, Saturday. Meyer won the race by a fraction of a second. (Sentinel photo by James Poulson)

Also in the meet was Sitka’s other local team, the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves. The girls took fifth place, the boys eighth. A full story on the MEHS squad will appear in Tuesday’s Sentinel.

Larger Division I teams from Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain and Ketchikan also competed, along with smaller schools including Kake, Craig, Metlakatla and Wrangell.

It was Grace Christian’s first cross country race in Sitka, and they came for the chance to run against the Wolves prior to the state competition, SHS coach Shasta Smith said. She was glad for the competition in what she believes was the biggest cross country meet ever held here.

“We were lucky with the weather. I thought all week it was going to be horrible,” Smith said after the race. “So very, very blessed to have the nice weather. Super excited to have Grace Christian here. And they brought 40 plus kids and excellent competition and they are great competitors (with) good sportsmanship. Awesome, fun, good stuff.”

The forecast called for heavy rain, but the storm held off until afternoon and runners raced in cool and breezy but dry conditions along the winding trails of Sitka National Historical Park. In all, 150 boys and 91 girls, most from Southeast, ran in the meet.

Sitka’s Clare Mullin crossed the finish line in 19:08.43, less than half a second behind Juneau’s Ida Meyer, but a full 17 seconds ahead of the third-place runner, another Juneau-Douglas athlete. Mullin was determined to perform well in the season’s only home meet.

“I was definitely nervous before, more than I have ever been in meets because it’s a home meet, it’s like (there’s) more expectation – I feel like everybody you know is watching you. But I just wanted to go out there, give it a good effort,” she said.

As she headed into the final stretch of the 5 kilometer event, Mullin was determined to close the gap between herself and Meyer.

She and Marina Dill were in a pack of four with two J-D girls. “And we went into the second back loop and we were passing girls and it’s just so tight back there we clumped up, and then we spread out a little bit from there after we crossed the bridge... In my brain I was like ‘no, no, I can’t be gassed,’ but my legs were really tired. At the end I was really trying to close that gap as much as I could,” she recalled.

While Mullin pushed hard in the final stretch, Meyer crossed the finish line in 19:08.04.

“It was nice for Clare to be in a situation today where she had to battle, it came down to the wire,” the coach said. “That was really good for her to have to get to that point, because she hasn’t in a while.”

Marina Dill, also a junior, finished in 20:04, less than a second ahead of the fifth-place runner.

“What was going through my mind was I wanted to place and make these points for my team… Wow, that was close! And I’m just glad it’s over,” Dill said a few minutes after finishing.

At the start of the race, she was determined “to flip on that on-switch and give it my all.”

The large number of runners gave her some extra motivation, too.

Sitka’s girls took third place in the meet, with Juneau first and Grace in second out of eight teams.

Like some other runners that day, Sitka sophomore Jade Kubik also was nervous at the start line.

“I just kept telling myself it’s over in, like, 20-something minutes, that I’ll be fine no matter what, even if I feel like crap during it,” Kubik said. “I was really nervous to race (against Grace) too, because the only time I raced them was in state last year… I didn’t really know what to expect from them, but I did pretty well, I think.”

She took 23rd place in 23:33.

Sitka competes again this weekend in Ketchikan, with the Region V meet coming up a week later in Juneau.

“I’m really excited for regions,” Mullin said. “Juneau’s a great course with pretty good hills on it. It’ll be a good challenge… It’ll be good preparation for state to really test my limits again.”

She enjoyed having the large crowd that turned out to cheer the runners.

“Thanks to everyone who came out and watched us. Running is a really hard sport and it’s really good to have everybody here cheering; it makes it a lot more bearable,” Mullin said.

Sitka’s boys finished in fourth place overall, with Juneau in first of 12 teams, Grace in second and Thunder Mountain in third, though of those schools only Grace is in Division II with Sitka. Leading the pack for the Wolves was junior Connor Hitchcock, who took second in 16:37. Grace Christian’s Robbie Annett won, in 16:26.

Hitchcock went into the event with a plan already in mind.

“My coach and I discussed it a little bit beforehand, and we decided that the best way was to just get out fast, see how things settle,” he said. “If the Grace kids make moves or get out ahead, don’t follow, just race your race, and then that second mile, really go hard and try to hunt. And then the third mile is always just kind of the same, just build and go faster.”

He was happy for the chance to compete against Grace, which he likened to “a dress rehearsal” for the state meet three weeks from now in Palmer.

When the time comes to race there, he plans to keep up with Annett as best he can.

“I was actually closer to him than I expected,” the junior said. “He got out faster than me, but other than that I think we kept about the same pace for the race. So I think if I was able to get out a little bit faster, and then just stick on him, then I might have had a chance.”

With so many runners, coach Smith said, the narrower, more winding sections of the route became crowded and slowed some runners down.

“It got a little congested on the back loop, because some kids were just starting their first lap while other kids were starting their second,” she said. “So there was some traffic back there. I know that slowed some kids down because it’s really narrow.”

Sitka’s second finisher was Trey Demmert, who crossed the line in 16:56 to take fifth place. In 17:29 was senior Annan Weiland, the Wolves’ third runner and 13th overall.

“It’s bigger than our regions meet, as far as I know,” Weiland said. “I really liked going against Grace; I really think they should come more often… I’m really thankful for the opportunity of so many teams because in the past three meets, it’s only been Sitka really, besides last weekend (in Wrangell), and there weren’t a whole lot of people out there pushing us. It was almost refreshing.”

On the course, he “didn’t have the aggression that I hoped for,” but for the remainder of the season intends to maintain consistency with his training and his diet.

One more regular season meet awaits the Wolves next weekend in Ketchikan, with the Region V competition only a week after that.

Saturday’s race results are below.

Boys Results

1. Robbie Annett 16:26.60 Grace Christian

2. Connor Hitchcock 16:37.40 Sitka

3. Simon Nelson 16:50.39 Grace Christian

4. Edgar Vera Alverado 16:55.27 J-D

5. Trey Demmert 16:56.32 Sitka

6. Nick Iverson 17:04.93 J-D

7. Boomchain Loucks 17:08.84 Wrangell

8. Malachi Peimann 17:12.34 J-D

9. Keegan Hansen 17:14.35 Wrangell

10. Owen Woodruff 17:27.60 Thunder Mountain

11. Casey Styles 17:28.41 Ketchikan

12. Erik Thompson 17:29.28 Thunder Mountain

13. Annan Weiland 17:29.58 Sitka

14. Henry Vail 17:35.62 Ketchikan

15. Noah Robbins 17:35.85 Ketchikan

16. Logan Fellman 17:40.97 J-D

17. Sage Janes 17:42.33 Thunder Mountain

18. Oliver Zigmund 17:45.38 J-D

19. Andrew Pounds 17:54.85 Grace Christian

20. Aodhan Nakada 17:55.10 Grace Christian

21. Colton Merriner 17:55.38 Grace Christian

22. Daniel Harrison 17:59.90 Wrangell

23. Carter Phillips 18:01.01 Ketchikan

24. Calvin Knapp 18:03.03 Thunder Mountain

25. Justin Scussel 18:04.19 Thunder Mountain

26. Jacob Friske 18:04.44 MEHS

27. Joshua Reed 18:11.03 J-D

28. Alex Holmgrain 18:18.16 Petersburg

29. Dominic Ross 18:23.09 Kake

30. Owen Crotts 18:26.50 Grace Christian

31. Calder Prussian 18:33.58 Sitka

32. Ian Nelson 18:42.27 Wrangell

33. Xzavier Munoz-Torres 18:46.84 Kake

34. Elias Ward 18:58.36 Petersburg

35. Joe Adolfae 19:01.81 Grace Christian

36. Easton Roads 19:02.88 Grace Christian

37. Dalton Henry 19:09.34 Haines

38. Miezen Deraimer 19:10.59 Thunder Mountain

39. Franz Fermoyle 19:13.18 MEHS

40. Brett Ross 19:20.75 Sitka

41. Bryce Calhoun 19:22.83 Sitka

42. Kailen Wills 19:23.66 Ketchikan

43. Collin Aldassy 19:24.09 Haines

44. Theo Everson 19:31.89 Sitka

45. Jackson Powers 19:32.81 Wrangell

46. Theo Garcia 19:35.11 Grace Christian

47. Finley Hightower 19:36.47 Thunder Mountain

48. Ben Kandoll 19:36.71 Petersburg

49. Bence Bury 19:37.23 J-D

50. JC Davis 19:37.70 Haines

51. Jackson Carney 19:38.95 Wrangell

52. Derek Wilson 19:43.12 MEHS

53. Carson Crotts 19:45.26 Grace Christian

54. Tristen Lemerond 19:52.86 Ketchikan

55. Austin Huang 19:53.14 J-D

56. Banan Davison 19:54.45 Grace Christian

57. Grant Eldridge 19:54.97 Grace Christian

58. Andrew Zingone 19:55.45 Grace Christian

59. Scott Johnson 19:55.78 Ketchikan

60. Jack Styles 19:56.06 Ketchikan

61. Talen Davis 20:04.34 Kake

62. Joshua Bennett 20:07.26 Craig

63. Gerred Garrison 20:08.38 Hoonah

64. Landon Kirkness 20:13.17 Sitka

65. Ethan Reichl 20:17.90 Thunder Mountain

66. Weston Allred 20:18.33 Sitka

67. George Peratrovich 20:21.62 Metlakatla

68. Mathias Paden 20:22.46 Thunder Mountain

69. Isaac Verbrugge 20:29.15 Grace Christian

70. Tyler Ward 0:29.45 Petersburg

71. Bryden Roberts 20:42.61 J-D

72. Brent Sun 20:44.28 MEHS

73. Jude Lindberg 20:47.16 Grace Christian

74. Caleb Spence 20:47.59 Grace Christian

75. TJ Smith 20:49.31 Haines

76. Jeremiah Ward 20:54.09 Sitka

77. Edwin Solomon 20:54.65 MEHS

78. Daniel Degener 20:56.16 Thunder Mountain

79. Calder Ratliff 20:56.47 Petersburg

80. Brady Crotts 21:00.25 Grace Christian

81. Luke Syren 21:02.77 Grace Christian

82. Dashel Huskey 21:05.20 Hoonah

83. Royce Rock 21:06.77 Grace Christian

84. Gavin Alderson-Bell 21:08.97 Ketchikan

85. Kolby Clark-Pruitt 21:34.28 MEHS

86. Daniel Davis 21:41.56 Grace Christian

87. Ian Bagley 21:44.16 Sitka

88. Justin Hames 21:44.79 Sitka

89. Adrian Skeek 21:53.09 Kake

90. Jomar Molina 21:54.67 Sitka

91. Cooper Martin 21:56.44 Grace Christian

92. Alex Weerasignhe 21:56.85 Haines

93. Will Davis 21:57.14 Haines

94. Max Wallace 22:02.41 Grace Christian

95. Nathaniel Vincler 22:03.06 MEHS

96. Inde Eckerson 22:04.23 J-D

97. Shane Tincher 22:09.54 Sitka

98. Jackson Benson 22:11.02 Metlakatla

99. ADI Michael 22:19.65 MEHS

100. Cole McLaughlin 22:23.48 Sitka

101. Tyger Waythomas 22:25.35 Grace Christian

102. Cooper Powers 22:27.22 Wrangell

103. Benjamin Wright 22:30.62 Grace Christian

104. Ryan Annett 22:30.88 Grace Christian

105. Rylan Armstrong 22:36.20 MEHS

106. Tavin Aceveda-Chilton 22:39.67 Kake

107. Donald Olson 22:49.27 MEHS

108. Jeremy Newcomb 22:54.20 Craig

109. Trevyn Gillen 22:56.61 Wrangell

110. Carter Marsden 22:57.31 Metlakatla

111. Ethan Bertagnoli 22:59.94 Petersburg

112. Morgan Crenna 23:01.50 Sitka

113. Vincent Verley 23:01.80 Grace Christian

114. Liam Andrews 23:27.65 Craig

115. Waylon Jones 23:30.98 Petersburg

116. Edward Austin 23:32.45 Hoonah

117. Sawyer Rose 23:33.85 Ketchikan

118. Adrian Ducat 23:34.10 Petersburg

119. Aulis Nelson 23:37.99 Craig

120. Xavier Olsen 23:42.11 Metlakatla

121. David Friday 23:46.31 Klawock

122. Lennie Brandell 24:00.11 MEHS

123. Rocco Lindsey 24:11.70 Metlakatla

124. Josh McGraw 24:35.31 Sitka

125. Jack Mickelson 24:36.23 Sitka

126. Woods Hill 24:48.36 Sitka

127. Dreydin Ohana 24:49.57 Ketchikan

128. Nigatu Daggett 25:01.91 Grace Christian

129. Cruz Lindsey 25:07.07 Metlakatla

130. Aiden Karsunki 25:13.29 Sitka

131. Dane Evans 25:15.90 Sitka

132. Kyle Johnson 25:22.41 Angoon

133. Omar Tinker 25:27.20 MEHS

134. Brody Booth 25:27.49 Metlakatla

135. Lawrence Howland 26:09.87 Hoonah

136. Gianni Scudero Hayward 26:26.82 Metlakatla

137. Donavon Kookesh-Booth 27:09.49 Angoon

138. Tyrone Carlson 27:11.81 Hydaburg

139. Axel Poulin 27:14.79 Grace Christian

140. Daniel Bean-Willis 27:15.76 Kake

141. Joseph Henry 28:40.38 MEHS

142. Gage Pendergrass 28:56.33 MEHS

143. Bruce Cook 28:59.22 Metlakatla

144. Tristan Ross-Shaquanie 29:03.44 Kake

145. Vincent Milligrock 29:51.81 Metlakatla

146. Gus Mork 30:40.50 MEHS

147. Raymond Fairbanks 31:10.56 Klawock

148. Sylvester Williams 37:16.87 Craig

149. Maika Olap 39:58.09 Hydaburg

150. Kaylen Williams 42:45.91 Metlakatla

 

Girls Results

1. Ida Meyer 19:08.04 J-D

2. Clare Mullin 19:08.43 Sitka

3. Rayna Tuckwood 19:25.28 J-D

4. Marina Dill 20:04.67 Sitka

5. Ari’el Godinez Long 20:05.05 Haines

6. Iris White 20:40.31 J-D

7. Kate Schwarting 20:40.56 J-D

8. Elshaday (Ellie) Yerkes 21:25.90 J-D

9. Sydney Mondeel 21:28.77 Grace Christian

10. Della Mearig 21:31.83 Thunder Mountain

11. Maria Toth 22:07.24 Petersburg

12. Faith Mondeel 22:23.83 Grace Christian

13. Aliyah Glover 22:32.08 Ketchikan

14. Kinley Lister 22:38.47 Petersburg

15. Alana Harrison 22:47.28 Wrangell

16. Carol Frey 22:48.33 Ketchikan

17. Delaney Schaffer 22:54.61 Grace Christian

18. Aliyah Merculief 22:55.39 Sitka

19. Tagan Rinner 23:07.52 Grace Christian

20. Ava Huey 23:07.93 Grace Christian

21. Ryan Elerding 23:26.13 Ketchikan

22. Sophia Owen 23:28.03 Thunder Mountain

23. Jadelynn Kubik 23:33.20 Sitka

24. Bessie Williams 23:36.56 MEHS

25. Avery Reger 23:43.84 Grace Christian

26. Hope Jackson 23:54.46 Grace Christian

27. Aries Bioff 24:13.86 MEHS

28. Sarah Kleeman 24:15.27 Ketchikan

29. Faith Elliott 24:15.51 Grace Christian

30. Gabriele Whitacre 24:25.85 Petersburg

31. Adelaide Bell 24:32.42 Grace Christian

32. Krista Howland 24:41.15 Hoonah

33. Brynne Loggy-Smith 24:43.17 Thunder Mountain

34. Easton Ross 24:45.08 Hoonah

35. Jillian Jackson 24:54.43 Kake

36. Ellie Wall 24:57.95 J-D

37. Lauren Tucker 25:01.87 Ketchikan

38. Maria Chang 25:04.51 Kake

39. Macy Alander 25:08.09 Hydaburg

40. Abigail Clark 25:11.91 Grace Christian

41. Marina Marley 25:12.46 Sitka

42. Bailey Roguska 25:13.27 J-D

43. Kate Thompson 25:22.18 Petersburg

44. Sarah Murphy 25:23.67 Grace Christian

45. Kalee Herman 25:38.38 Wrangell

46. Madelyn Gass 25:42.40 Ketchikan

47. Camelia Bell 25:43.18 Haines

48. Alison Tingey 25:43.74 Thunder Mountain

49. Leilynn Swain 26:04.69 Sitka

50. Ashlynn Smith 26:13.52 Craig

51. Sarah Bahnke 26:16.12 MEHS

52. Jullian Levy 26:17.05 Thunder Mountain

53. Kaycee Parady 26:20.39 J-D

54. Kiera Arnold 26:27.55 Ketchikan

55. Sarah Nanouk-Jones 26:31.48 MEHS

56. Lydia Chang 26:44.84 Kake

57. Olivia Heath 26:52.52 Craig

58. Faith Horner 26:54.84 Craig

59. Madison Conatser 27:02.25 Craig

60. Magen Barr 27:19.92 MEHS

61. Randy Stichert 27:23.88 Thunder Mountain

62. reana Nelson 27:25.57 MEHS

63. Audrey Bahnke 27:26.74 MEHS

64. Piper Blackgoat 27:37.99 Thunder Mountain

65. Sloan Christiansen 27:38.59 Thunder Mountain

66. Khaila Fratis 27:54.09 MEHS

67. Isabella Hoppe 27:58.41 Klawock

68. Katie Jackson 28:01.48 Grace Christian

69. Piper Caskey 28:21.67 Ketchikan

70. Paige Ross 28:23.78 Kake

71. Madison Padgett 28:25.31 Kake

72. Lisa Kookesh-Booth 28:42.57 Angoon

73. Ashlyn Ganey 28:50.80 Haines

74. Mackenzie Williams 28:55.00 Metlakatla

75. Angela Bahna 29:07.09 Sitka

76. Ilana Kalke 29:15.82 MEHS

77. Ella Ebbighausen 29:31.33 Craig

78. Makenna Beans 30:16.93 MEHS

79. Keira Sanderson 30:32.72 Klawock

80. Clara Edenfield 31:14.53 Ketchikan

81. Raven Hotch 31:41.90 Haines

82. Eden Hallingstad 31:47.69 Kake

83. Riley Dock 32:31.83 MEHS

84. Makia Silva 32:53.13 Angoon

85. LilyIda Jackson 33:11.98 Kake

86. Rowan Huskey 33:19.14 Hoonah

87. Nina Varnell 33:22.27 Ketchikan

88. Sara Steffen 33:57.07 Craig

89. Nalaysia Raymond 34:13.64 Craig

90. Aubrey Buck 36:23.58 Grace Christian

91. Georgina Tocktoo 40:06.52 MEHS

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20 YEARS AGO

May 2004

Dr. Arthur Cleveland, a former dean at Columbus State University in Georgia, was named the new president of Sheldon Jackson College, SJC officials announced today. He will be replacing C. Carlyle Haaland, who has held the position for four years.


50 YEARS AGO

May 1974

Coaching and managing the Little League teams this year are John Abbott and John Calhoun, ANB; Dale and DeWayne Vilandre, Alaska Federal; Walt Barker, Elks; Frank Simmons and Frank Vilandre, Lions; Leo Bacon, Pat Ness, Cliff Robards and Bob Edenso, Moose; and Everett Webb, Sportsmen. Head umpire is Carl Karpstein.

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