Runners from Port Alsworth, Bristol Bay Borough and Newhalen earned spots at the ASAA Cross-Country State Championship in Anchorage Sept. 29.
About 70 athletes from the Lake and Peninsula School District and Bristol Bay Borough School raced. The top three in the varsity girls and the top three in the varsity boys divisions won spots at the state championship this next weekend.
It was a tight race for first place in the varsity girls’ 5000 meter race between Malea Voran from Port Alsworth and Faith Clark from Newhalen. Voran won with a time of 24 minutes and 19 seconds. Clark came in just behind her at 24 minutes 30 seconds. Meadow Phelps from Bristol Bay took third at 26 minutes and 2 seconds.
The top three competitors in the varsity boys 5K all finished within 20 seconds of one another. Tanalian Lynx Colson Voran won at 19 minutes flat. Also from Port Alsworth, Trevor McGee came in second at 19 minutes and 15 seconds. Hot on his heels, Kaleb Hill from Bristol Bay came in third at 19 minutes and 20 seconds.
Patchy rain throughout the day meant that runners had to contend with some mud.
“It was a slow course just because of the weather and the conditions, but the kids had a great time with the course,” said Ed Lester, the Newhalen Principal and the athletic director for the Lake and Peninsula School District. “It was a true cross-country course. The kids were muddy, some great hills, some up-and-down. It’s a good prep for our state qualifiers to get ready for the state meet next week.”
Middle Schoolers also competed at the regional meet. This was their final race of the season, as they will not travel to the state championship.
In the middle school girl’s race, Ellah Wardell took first, Aileen Lester took second and Bella Young took third.
In the middle school boy’s race, Samuel Wardell was first, Pete Hill second and Smitka Delkittie took third.
Looking forward to the state championship, which will take place on Sept. 29 in Anchorage, Lester is optimistic about the athletes from his region.
“The six kids that we qualified, I feel very good about. They put in some impressive times,” he said. “I know they worked very hard all season long. They had some great support through their coaches. I know their parents were pushing them. Their teammates were pushing them, and it was a very competitive race.”
Dillingham and the Southwest Region School District will have their regional meet this Saturday, starting at 2 p.m in the Dillingham Schools’ parking lot.
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