By CRAIG GIAMMONA
Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel
In their final tune-up before the Region V meet in Ketchikan, the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves and Lady Braves cross country teams showed they should be in the hunt for Southeast's state berths.
The Braves finished fifth overall and second among 3A teams, while the Lady Braves were sixth overall and third among 3A squads. The race was hosted by Mt. Edgecumbe and Sitka High Sept. 16 at Sitka National Historical Park.
Scores of MEHS students lined the course to cheer on the more than 200 runners from around Southeast who competed on an overcast, but otherwise pleasant afternoon in Sitka.
Justin Andrew, a senior from Kwethluk, led the Braves, finishing 15th overall and seventh among the 3A runners. The Braves tallied 150 points for their fifth place finish. Juneau Douglas led the way with 36 points, while Sitka High (51), Thunder Mountain (93) and Kayhi (99) also beat the Braves. MEHS finished ahead of Wrangell (167), Craig (177), Klawock (229), Petersburg (251), Metlakatla (278) and Skagway (298).
The Lady Braves had two sophomore runners in the top 17, with Crystal McNeilly (Pilot Station) running 22:10 to take 13th and Scarlett Beaver finishing (Kotzebue) in 22:30 for 17th place.
The Lady Braves scored 127 points for sixth place, but finished right behind conference rival Craig. Juneau-Douglas won the girls meet with 24 points, with Sitka (56), Thunder Mountain (113), Ketchikan (113) and Craig (117) also finishing ahead of MEHS. The Lady Braves beat Klawock (182) and Wrangell (199). Metlakatla, Kake, Skagway and Petersburg had runners at the meet but did not field full teams.
Haines, another team that will battle for a state spot Sept. 24 in Ketchikan, skipped the meet. The top three 3A boys and girls teams will make state, in addition to individual runners who crack the top 15.
For the Lady Braves, Deirdre Creed (32nd, 23:33), Jillian Shagde (36th, 23:58), Felisha Osborn (37th, 23:59), Sarah Freese (38th, 24:01) and Brandi Hale (44th, 24:50) completed the varsity roster at the Sept. 16 race.
On the boys for MEHS, Daniel Adams (24th, 18:48), Douglas Palacios (27th, 19:21), Cody Sherman (39th, 19:27), Kenneth Jackson (52nd, 19:55), Kendrick Hautala (55th, 19:59) and Michael Matthew (60th, 20:16) rounded out the varsity top 7.
MEHS coach Josh Arnold was particularly excited about the performances of Palacios and Jackson, who were running their first races this season. Arnold said his goal all season was to get the Braves and Lady Braves ready to run their best races of the season at the Region V meet in Ketchikan, and he thinks the MEHS squad is on track.
“We’re just now starting to see the benefit of our conditioning,” Arnold said. “We’re going to run hard until the day we leave...We’re likely the only team still getting faster.”
He added: “We’ll show up in Ketchikan with two competitive teams. They’re both in the hunt.”
Other MEHS girl results: Aubrey Gosuk (48th, 25:40), Clara McConnell (51st, 26:10), Alexandra Self (55th, 26:29), Evelyn Oliver (57th, 26:48), Alana Ulak (62nd, 27:45), Marie Friday (63rd, 28:01), Tess Hostetter (64th, 28:03), Cing Pavilla (66th, 28:40), Laurel Ellsworth (67th, 28:48.73), JoAllyn Johnson (70th, 30:03), Bryttni Williams (71st, 30:08), Michaela Martin (72nd, 30:41), Michelle Slwooko (76th, 32:51).
MEHS boys: Nick Bouker (MEHS, 71st, 20:47), Nelson Kanuk (MEHS, 79th, 21:06), Trevor Creed (MEHS, 89th, 21:37), Andy Karmun (MEHS, 92nd, 21:54), Calvin Frankson (MEHS, 93rd, 21:58), Moses Jackson (MEHS, 97th, 22:26), Mattias Hautala (MEHS, 98th, 22:26), Austin Johnson (MEHS, 99th, 22:32), Huey Samuelson (MEHS, 100th, 22:38), Joseph Friday (MEHS, 105th, 22:58), Sam Clark (MEHS, 109th, 23:25), Chris Journey (MEHS, 112th, 24:00), Anthony Lekanof (MEHS, 118th, 24:55), Jae Lee (MEHS, 121st, 25:20), Gusty Akelkok (MEHS, 123rd, 26:26), Austin Bacon (MEHS, 125th, 27:01).
Mt. Edgecumbe students stand along Lincoln Street in Sitka and wait for runners to approach the finish line at the Mt. Edgecumbe Invitational Sept. 16. (Photo by Bruce Christianson)
Mt. Edgecumbe runners, from left, Crystal McNeilly, Scarlett Beaver and Deirdre Creed jockey for position at the start of the Mt. Edgecumbe Invitational. (Photo by Bruce Christianson)
Mt. Edgecumbe runners, from left, JoAllyn Johnson, Michaela Martin, Laurel Ellsworth and Clara McConnell run down Lincoln Street at the start of the Mt. Edgecumbe Invitational. (Photo by Bruce Christianson)
Mt. Edgecumbe's Daniel Adams, a junior from Platinum, races through Sitka National Historical Park. (Photo by Bruce Christianson)
Mt. Edgecumbe runners Bryttni Williams, left, JoAllyn Johnson enjoy themselves during the Mt. Edgecumbe Invitiational in Sitka. (Photo by Bruce Christianson)