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CRUISING: Grace boy wins by over a minute, Kenny Lake girl by 52 seconds.

By KEVIN KLOTT Anchorage Daily News

Published: October 3rd, 2009 11:36 PM

MICHEAL DINNEEN / The Associated Press

PALMER -- Given the nature of cross-country running, a sport where an athlete can draft to save strength and sling-shot past opponents, being the front-runner is never an easy task.

But Grace Christian's Jacob Kirk and Kenny Lake's Kailey Wilson were the exception on a cool Saturday morning when they cruised to boys and girls individual titles, respectively, in the 1-2-3A state cross-country running championships at Palmer High.

Both Kirk and Wilson were so far ahead of the pack going into last half of the five-kilometer (3.1-mile) course, they each used the trail-sweeping mountain bikers as a source of motivation to notch personal-best times and repeat as state champs.

It helped to have that extra push, said Wilson, a sophomore who crossed the finish line at 18 minutes, 56 seconds, to win by 52 seconds. I'm exhausted.

Wilson isn't used to having anyone pushing her, much less a couple of mountain bikers who were trying to keep hundreds of spectators off the course. Growing up in Kenny Lake, a remote community between Glennallen and Valdez, Bailey was a one-woman team for the Hawks last season.

But this season she gained four new teammates and all four qualified for the state meet. Together they celebrated another dominating performance by Wilson, who last season won the state title by 14 seconds.

Looking at the bigger picture, Wilson hopes running will eventually punch her ticket to a college scholarship. Wilson wants to attend either the University of Minnesota or Purdue University to become a veterinarian.

I've got eight long years of vet school ahead of me, she said.

On Saturday, Kirk had nothing but two mountain bikers ahead of him.

The bikers helped a lot, the junior said. I was trying to catch them.

Once the bikers peeled off, the Grace Christian junior wanted to leave nothing in the tank while he sprinted the final 100 meters. Kirk finished in 15:43 to win by a minute over his teammate Andrew Arnold.

He's the fastest kid in the state, Arnold said about Kirk, his best friend since the fifth grade. He's super talented.

Kirk wasn't the only Grizzly to show talent Saturday.

John Weber raced all but a couple hundred meters wearing one shoe and one sock -- and still pulled off a 15th-place finish to help the Grizzlies capture their fourth consecutive team title.

Weber's left shoe came loose when he accidently spiked Arnold in the left leg and left a tiny gash. Instead of stopping to fix his red Saucony Kilkenny, Weber kept running, even when his sock slipped off.

He ran barefoot pretty much the whole way, said Arnold.

Though he ran full strength, Weber said he ran with caution, picking every step carefully to avoid rocks and roots.

It was one thing to accidentally spike his teammate, but to lose a shoe?

Oh great, Weber said he thought after losing it. I'm gonna have to run the rest of this race without a shoe.

Wearing both shoes in the girls race, Grace Christian freshman Monae Boyles finished second behind Wilson in 19:48 to help the Grizzlies win back-to-back team titles.

Grace girls' team victory was its sixth in 10 seasons. The Grace boys, meanwhile, won their sixth in 13 seasons.

I really wanted to push myself so I could help the team, Boyles said. This was my first year at state.

But it's likely not the last we'll hear from her, Bailey, Kirk or the Grizzlies.

Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska

State Cross-Country Running Championships

Saturday, Michael Janecek Running Trail, Palmer High

Class 1-2-3A

Boys

Team scores -- 1, Grace Christian 27. 2, Seward 84. 3, Nome Beltz 109. 4, Bethel 111. 5, Sitka 146. 6, Anchorage Christian 149. 7, Craig 149. 8, Mount Edgecumbe 174. 9, Eielson 205. 10, Galena 309.

Individual results (5-K) -- 1, Kirk, Jacob, Grace, 15:43.4. 2, Arnold, Andrew, Grace, 16:43.5. 3, Payenna, Teddy, Nome Beltz H, 16:53.1. 4, Freidman, Niko, Sitka, 16:59.1. 5, Howell, Patrick, Wrangell, 17:00.1. 6, Klein, John, Grace, 17:02.1. 7, Paniyak, Harold, Chevak, 17:03.6. 8, Wison, Mickey, Skagway, 17:07.2. 9, Chase, Brett, Seward, 17:10.8. 10, Head, Jeremy, Nome Beltz H, 17:15.4. 11, Baker, Matt, ACS, 17:21.3. 12, Keeney, George, Valdez, 17:26.0. 13, Weber, Quinn, Skagway, 17:26.9. 14, Talerico, Andrew, Tri Valley, 17:32.7. 15, Weber, John, Grace, 17:33.5. 16, Dillon, Joseph, Grace, 17:34.3. 17, Night, Billy, Hooper Bay, 17:36.0. 18, Gillespie, Austin, Seward, 17:37.8. 19, LePore, Corbin, Bethel High, 17:39.6. 20, Hanson, Randy, Bethel High, 17:41.3. 21, Coffey, Daniel, Craig, 17:45.1. 22, Edwards, Jordan, Grace, 17:45.6. 23, Rogers, Jesse, Dillingham H, 17:46.4. 24, Strickland, Sebastian, Nikiski, 17:47.3. 25, Brewer, Chris, Eielson, 17:52.1.

26, Tennyson, Reed, Dillingham H, 17:55.4. 27, Davis, Caleb, Grace, 17:58.9. 28, Hamilton, Blake, Haines, 17:59.3. 29, Finn, Matt, ACS, 18:00.6. 30, Alexie, Adrian, Tuluksak, 18:02.9. 31, Klejka, Jeremiah, Bethel High, 18:04.7. 32, Buchanan, Andrew, Seward, 18:06.1. 33, Baxter, Ryan, Craig, 18:06.6. 34, Rosenkrans, Dirck, Kenny Lake, 18:08.1. 35, Phillips, Byron, Mount Edgecumbe, 18:08.3. 36, Knotek, Miles, Seward, 18:09.6. 37, Johnson, Steven, Wrangell, 18:10.8. 38, Marshall, Jacob, Seward, 18:11.1. 39, Talerico, Jonathan, Tri Valley, 18:14.8. 40, Carter, Jake, Tri Valley, 18:15.1. 41, Turner, Curtis, Mount Edgecumbe, 18:16.7. 42, Kahler, James, Sitka, 18:19.6. 43, Rogers, Mathew, Dillingham H, 18:21.7. 44, Ballot, Linus, Buckland, 18:22.2. 45, Sullivan, Tim, Nome Beltz H, 18:22.8. 46, Nelson, David, Craig, 18:23.5. 47, Asquith-Heinz, Quinn, Haines, 18:23.8. 48, O'Brien, Seth, Bethel High, 18:24.9. 49, Blandford, Nathan, Nome Beltz H, 18:26.1. 50, Castle, Dylan, Craig, 18:28.3.

51, Beier, Christian, Heritage, 18:29.0. 52, Pfluger, Samy, Seward, 18:31.4. 53, Ferguson, Conor, Chevak, 18:35.2. 54, McKennett, Jonathon, Port Alsworth, 18:38.0. 55, Borbely, Michael, Eielson, 18:40.5. 56, Leahy, Daniel, Kenny Lake, 18:42.4. 57, Turner, Brian, Mount Edgecumbe, 18:43.7. 58, MacIntyre, Stephen, Sitka, 18:44.1. 59, Tedrick, Daniel, ACS, 18:44.5. 60, Stooksbury, Stephen, ACS, 18:44.8. 61, Klejka, Jesse, Bethel High, 18:48.0. 62, Miller, Jared, Kotzebue, 18:49.0. 63, Connolly, Patrick, Eielson, 18:49.4. 64, Woolsey, Sam, Sitka, 18:50.1. 65, Mlynarik, Koebryn, Cook Inlet, 18:51.0. 66, Bergamaschi, Asa, White Mountain, 18:52.8. 67, Patrick, William, Sitka, 18:53.9. 68, Conger, Emerson, Nome Beltz H, 18:57.0. 69, Schmidt, Tim, Nome Beltz H, 18:58.0. 70, Shepherd, Keaton, Kenny Lake, 18:58.5. 71, Andrews, Brian, Chevak, 19:02.2. 72, Haskins, Kyle, Unalaska Hig, 19:02.6. 73, Sia, Ian, Mount Edgecumbe, 19:02.9. 74, Chavez, Ryan, Bethel High, 19:04.1. 75, Brouillard, Ross, Monroe, 19:09.2.

76, Jones, George, Sitka, 19:09.9. 77, Atherton, Jesse, Seward, 19:11.3. 78, Morden, Jimmy, Delta, 19:12.6. 79, Polk, Michael, Bethel High, 19:13.8. 80, Burke, Michael, Su-Valley, 19:15.3. 81, Horner, Henry, Mount Edgecumbe, 19:15.7. 82, John, George, Toksook Bay, 19:17.3. 83, Pelto, Eric, Delta, 19:17.8. 84, Magdanz, Grant, Kotzebue, 19:18.2. 85, Atkinson, Sam, Kotzebue, 19:18.5. 86, Brandon, Daniel, ACS, 19:28.5. 87, Gale, Cooper, Sitka, 19:29.0. 88, Charters, Luke, ACS, 19:29.3. 89, Johnson, Jeremiah, Nome Beltz H, 19:43.6. 90, Johnson, Jordan, Mount Edgecumbe, 19:49.0. 91, Brand, Willie, Craig, 19:58.2. 92, Jacobson, Zach, Hutchison, 19:58.6. 93, Westlake, Johnathon, Kiana, 20:00.4. 94, George, Sam, Barrow High, 20:01.4. 95, Solomon, Nasuayaaq, Barrow High, 20:05.4. 96, Valero, Jeremy, Eielson, 20:08.1. 97, Tirrell, Tony, Delta, 20:09.0. 98, Spindler, David, Hutchison, 20:10.9. 99, Green, Jack, Galena Jr/Sr, 20:19.7. 100, Kavairlook, John, Galena Jr/Sr, 20:21.2.

101, Kelly, Bill, Su-Valley, 20:36.8. 102, Rogers, Terry, Mount Edgecumbe, 20:58.7. 103, Almenzor, DJ, Craig, 21:00.1. 104, Price, Mitchell, Eielson, 21:02.1. 105, Huhndorf, Sidney, Galena Jr/Sr, 21:08.0. 106, King, Jackson, Eielson, 21:09.0. 107, Smith, Chris, Eielson, 21:14.8. 108, Goodwin, Matthew, Galena Jr/Sr, 21:49.3. 109, Quigley, Patrick, Craig, 22:08.6. 110, Dewey, Joshua, Galena Jr/Sr, 23:56.5. 111, Kruger, Kyle, Galena Jr/Sr, 24:11.6. 112, Erick, Ethan, Galena Jr/Sr, 27:28.4.

Girls

Team scores -- 1, Grace Christian 36. 2, Sitka 96. 3, Seward 107. 4, Monroe 119. 5, Skagway 124. 6, Dillingham 150. 7, Craig 162. 8, Anchorage Christian School 178. 9, Kotzebue 196.

Individual results (5-K) -- 1, Wilson, Kailey, Kenny Lake, 18:56.1. 2, Boyles, Monae, Grace, 19:48.8. 3, Barnwell, Allison, Seward, 20:07.3. 4, Applegate, Mariah, Grace, 20:15.4. 5, Bennett, Lizzy, Monroe, 20:19.8. 6, Davis, BethAnne, Grace, 20:22.3. 7, Stong, Katie, Port Lions, 20:35.1. 8, Paustian, Kari, Sitka, 20:44.2. 9, Jensen, Amanda, Skagway, 20:56.8. 10, Atherton, Kristina, Seward, 21:01.6. 11, Fifield, Macala, Monroe, 21:05.2. 12, Brady, Bailey, Sitka, 21:06.9. 13, Nickerson, Amber, Craig, 21:21.0. 14, Hunter, Jaclyn, Scammon Bay, 21:31.5. 15, Lisac, Jorden, Dillingham H, 21:31.9. 16, Esbenshade, Tina, Yakutat, 21:40.2. 17, Winkle, Betsy, Grace, 21:41.8. 18, Scott, Missy, Su-Valley, 21:42.9. 19, Price, Blair, Grace, 21:47.9. 20, Trujillo, Claire, Grace, 21:49.7. 21, Surdyk, Kaitlyn, Skagway, 21:55.9. 22, Leaverton, Rori, Skagway, 21:59.4. 23, MacIntytre, Jennifer, Sitka, 22:00.0. 24, Anderson, Leisha, ACS, 22:06.4. 25, McGill, Amanda, Dillingham H, 22:10.3.

26, Shade, Jillian, Dillingham H, 22:12.1. 27, Olson, Annie Kate, Nome Beltz H, 22:17.9. 28, Murtiff, Mickey, Eielson, 22:18.2. 29, Trujillo, Anna, Grace, 22:18.5. 30, Larson, Tristen, Valdez, 22:21.8. 31, Buchanan, Jenna, Galena Jr/Sr, 22:23.2. 32, Tomaganuk, Marissa, Hooper Bay, 22:24.7. 33, Herbig, Emily, Skagway, 22:25.0. 34, Pellumbi, Eniana, Bethel High, 22:25.3. 35, Lemieux, Jolene, Haines, 22:27.4. 36, Miller, Katie, Valdez, 22:36.0. 37, Anderson, Margaret, Chevak, 22:36.7. 38, Hamberger, Jessica, Cordova, 22:39.5. 39, Hickerson, Winona, Kotzebue, 22:43.1. 40, Sefton, Kelly, Seward, 22:43.7. 41, Merioles, Emily, Valdez, 22:45.3. 42, Dyer, Laura, Seward, 22:48.2. 43, Wheeler, Justyne, Yakutat, 22:48.6. 44, Gladsjo, Amy, Wrangell, 22:52.3. 45, Helkenn, Jessica, Delta, 22:54.7. 46, Baker, Rachel, ACS, 22:55.1. 47, Stevenson, Bailey, Su-Valley, 22:56.3. 48, Lake, Chelsea, Chevak, 22:57.9. 49, Winkler, Anitra, Cantwell, 22:58.3. 50, Stokes, Delainey, Monroe, 22:59.3.

51, Ilughey, Alaire, Sitka, 23:03.6. 52, Carlos, Whitney, Togiak, 23:05.7. 53, Schreder, Megan, Monroe, 23:14.3. 54, Webb, Justine, Sitka, 23:15.7. 55, Ionashku, Tanya, Delta, 23:23.0. 56, Castle, Melissa, Craig, 23:24.4. 57, Rooney, Mykayla, Wrangell, 23:24.9. 58, Beans-Polk, Chelsea, Bethel High, 23:27.0. 59, Williams, Cassi, Klawock, 23:27.2. 60, Boskofsky, Raissa, Port Lions, 23:27.8. 61, Magpantay, JB, Unalaska Hig, 23:28.4. 62, Medinger, Kathryn, Sitka, 23:31.5. 63, Corsetti, Sierra, IDEA, 23:36.2. 64, Rassmussen-Rehkopf, Sara, Sitka, 23:40.4. 65, Jaconette, Olivia, ACS, 23:45.0. 66, Barlow, Kara, Craig, 23:50.5. 67, Uttercyuk, Carla, Scammon Bay, 23:51.3. 68, Doty, Mariah, Kenny Lake, 23:51.6. 69, Joseph, Cassandra, Tanana, 23:52.1. 70, Reed, Julie, Kiana, 23:55.7. 71, Vanderbunt, Britney, Eielson, 23:56.7. 72, Nelson, Darilyn, Kotzebue, 23:57.4. 73, Gore, Windy, Cantwell, 23:58.7. 74, Green, Crystal, Delta, 23:59.4. 75, Wortman, Paisley, Craig, 24:04.2.

76, Horner, Rochelle, Nome Beltz H, 24:18.4. 77, Gallahorn, Heather, Kotzebue, 24:18.7. 78, Simmonds, Flora, Barrow High, 24:20.3. 79, Lind, Maren, Dillingham H, 24:23.5. 80, Owen, Alex, Craig, 24:29.0. 81, Thompson, Krystal, ACS, 24:29.7. 82, Prociw, April, Barrow High, 24:35.4. 83, Berry, Tess, Seward, 24:38.3. 84, Boyd, Taylor, Eielson, 24:45.0. 85, Jackson, Ruth, Noorvik, 24:48.9. 86, Ferguson, Elizabeth, Kotzebue, 24:58.2. 87, Tozier, Caitlin, Nome Beltz H, 24:59.2. 88, Polk, Kira, Bethel High, 25:02.6. 89, Halverson, Josie, Monroe, 25:05.3. 90, Herbert, Maggie, Seward, 25:05.6. 91, Michels, Morgan, Su-Valley, 25:13.0. 92, Erlich, Jamie, Kotzebue, 25:14.8. 93, Zweifel, Catie, Seward, 25:20.6. 94, Norris, Alyssa, Monroe, 25:22.6. 95, Pitka, Lorena, Galena Jr/Sr, 25:34.4. 96, Willis, Sabrina, ACS, 25:51.2. 97, Commack, Robin, Selawik, 25:51.9. 98, Koonooka, Marina, Gambell, 26:06.6. 99, Schreder, Nicole, Monroe, 26:12.3. 100, Whiting, Denali, Kotzebue, 26:45.1.

101, Godsby, Emily, ACS, 26:53.2. 102, Nelson, Brittany, Dillingham H, 27:03.4. 103, Cosca, Billie, Nome Beltz H, 27:24.1. 104, Sheldon, Marie, Galena Jr/Sr, 27:34.0. 105, Gregg, Darla, Galena Jr/Sr, 27:34.4. 106, Thibodeauz, Brianna, ACS, 28:27.0. 107, Henricksen, Kayla, Skagway, 28:48.6. 108, Gregg, Katherine, Galena Jr/Sr, 30:05.0. 109, Van Diest, Tisha, Galena Jr/Sr, 31:14.4. 110, Betterton, Victoria, Galena Jr/Sr, 37:09.1.