The Steel Bucket Relays by Anchorage Daily News
Northwest XC Review #1 2016
The 2016 Cross Country season got under way last weekend with a number of meets being held in Alaska. Given it 's winter Alaska needs to get rolling early, which makes it an especially long season for its stars like Trevor Dunbar & Levi Thomet, who extended their campaigns to qualify for the Foot Locker National Championship in December. August to December is a long competitive season after all and only forty runners of each sex can earn a berth, so it is a select field.
The honor of hosting the first 5K of the season went to Colony, which held its meet on the trails in Palmer. There was a three-way battle in the boys' race between Hunter Kratz of Seward, Keith Osowski of Kodiak & Blake Bennett of Anchorage Christian. Bennett fell off the pace late in the race leaving a duel down the home stretch with Kratz squeaking out a victory with a time of 16:49.01 to Osowski 's time of 16:50.90. Hunter Hayes of Wasilla (home of Sarah Palin, who almost looks like a decent candidate with Trump now running) ran 27:38 placing a distant fourth with Josh Shuler finishing fifth three seconds later. Kratz earned second last fall in the State 3A championship & the division's top returnee. Wasilla won the boys' team title over Kodiak 41 to 55.
Grace Gannon, a senior for Grace Christian, made her first cross country race a victorious on by winning with a time of 10:09. Her teammate Mazzy Jackson placed second nineteen seconds late & Allison VanPelt of Houston followed in third with 20:33. Jill Bowker of Colony, who has finished fifth & 7th respectively at State as a freshman & sophomore, with a time of 20:46. Colony's Coleen Geraghty nipped her running mate Elizabeth Bowker by a second by finishing fifth with a time of 20:50. The Colony girls edged Grace Christian 38 to 43.
West Valley Invitational
This race was held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on its West Ridge Trails at a distance of 3200 meters. Faith Wildman of West Valley negotiated the course in 13:29 to defeat Delta Junction's Hailey Williams by a twelve second margin. Bailey Roe of West Valley earned third with 13:43. Emma Axelson, a freshman from West Valley, won the Open Girls' race with a time of 13:49.
The West Valley guys took four of the top five places with Ti Donaldson taking laurels with 10:51. Logan Mowry of Lathrop broke up the WV pack by placing second with 11:09. Aaron Bravo of West earned third with 11:11 finishing two seconds ahead of Elliot Kenaston.
Nikiski Class Races
This race was held on Monday at Nikiski High School over a distance of 5K. Honey Rose Macatuno of Kodiak had the fastest female time of the day, when she won the Junior - Senior Division with a 5K time of 11:10. Alex Moseley of Homer took second in 22:30 & Arielle Himelbloom of Kodiak finished third in 22:34. Jaycie Calvert of Kenai Central triumphed in the Freshman - Sophomore race with 22:32. Homer beat Kenai Central 1 to 43. Keith Osowski of Kodiak topped the boys with 17:15 & Jacob Davis of Homer followed in second with 18:01. Kodiak won the team race over Homer 23 to 26.
Steel Bucket Relays
Held on Tuesday with a distance of 2K at Kinkaid Park in Anchorage this race is a tradition. Finn Walker, who placed third at the 4A State Meet last fall, repeated as champion in the Steel Bucket Relays with a 2K time of 6:48. His West Anchorage team mates led by the second place finish of Brian Britt (6:52) swept the top five place to easily win the team race. Declan Dammeyer, Luke Jager & Tristan Wiese completed the shut out. The Dimond gals were almost as dominant as they took the first four positions in the girls' race with Kylie Judd leading the way with 8:09. Ruth Cvancara placed second in 8:30 & was followed into the chute by Ariana & Calee Stark