From left to right, Emma Sees, Emma Nelson, Brynn Kruchoski, KayLee Manwaring and Adrianna Proffitt of Chugiak run as a pack in the Tsalteshi Invitational on Saturday in Soldotna. The group stampeded to the team title easily over West Valley with two in the top 10, four in the top 20 and all five scorers in the top 30. Photo Courtesy Brian Kuchoski for the Star


Northwest XC Review 2016   #2

Alaska runners competed for the second weekend in a row with a 5K at the Tsalteshi Invitation.  Early season action saw a number of other states get their season under way with Utah, Indiana & Ohio getting the 2016 campaign under way.   The Carmel girls of Indiana look strong once again with the surprise of the weekend being the second place finish of Sarah Leinheiser, a 2015 Foot Locker National Finalist.   Whitney Rich made her first start of the season a victorious won but the nation's preseason favorite guy, Casey Clinger, still is yet to run.

Tsalteshi Invitational
This race was held on Saturday in Soldotna at a distance of 5K.   Kendall Kramer of West Valley claimed victory with a time of 19:07. Maggie Meeds of South Anchorage ran 10:34 to place second ahead of West Anchorage's Molly Gellert of West Anchorage, who was timed in 19:41.  Grace Gannon, winner of the Colony Invitational, earned fourth with 19:49 and Magdalen York of West took fifth in 19:59.  Chugiak, which was led by the 8th place finish of Emma Sees (20:08) defeated their West Valley Rivals 91 to 136 but it should be noted that Faith Wildman, who had earlier won the West Valley Invitational, did not run for the Wolf pack.

The boys' race provided a meeting of early season race champions, as Finn Walker of West Anchorage, the Steel  Bucket winner, topped Kodiak's Keith Osowski, who had triumphed at the Nikiski Invitational.  Walker won  with a time of 16:07 to have a seven second margin & even had  the bonus of leading WA to the team championship over South Anchorage by a 32 to 101 margin.  Tracen Knopp of Colony finished third a second behind Osowski, while Ti Donaldson of West Valley. earlier winner of the West Valley Invitational, placed fourth in 16:17.  Luke Jager of West Anchorage earned  fifth in 16:28 as he nipped his teammate, who shared the time.


North Central 4K Warmup In.
 Sat.  Aug 20, 2016 - North Central HS - Indianapolis, IN
The teams of  Carmel Highs School have been perennially powerful  for decades, so their appearance at the North Central Warm-up  made this 4K race worthy of note.  The Carmel gals took the first four places in the Junior - Senior Division & the first six spots in the freshman - sophomore  division & had it been run as a traditional race the Carmel gals would  have swept the top five places, so Carmel looks  to be as strong as ever.  The one surprise came, when Christina Geisler secured the win over her teammate Sarah Leinheiser, who was Foot Locker finalist last December.  Geisler, like Leinheiser a senior, finished 22 seconds ahead of her running made with a time of 14:27. Maddie Dalton, a junior added a third place effort with 14:51, while Rachel Anderson came in fourth in 15:24.  Freshman Phoebe Bates scored in the other  division with 14:50 & Lily McAndrews ran 15:58 for second.  Toudora Galuska of Bloomington South earned fifth in the older division & was the swiftest runner not from Carmel with her mark of `5:58.

North Central's Ian Hunter recorded the fastest time of the day when he ran 13:23 to win the Junior - Senior race & second was Ian Shaw of Bloomington South, who is  just a sophomore yet  finished  just three seconds  back.  Jake Wisniewski of BS took third with 13:27 & Adam Faler of NC finished fourth in 13:28 & was the top senior.  Carmel had the top two placements in the lower class division with sophomore Zach Wilson taking  first in 13:31 & freshman Ben Myers claiming second in  13:37.


Meister Family Memorial Run
Sat. Aug 20, 2016 Monroe Central HS Farmland. In.

The Westfield boys  & girls' squad won their respective races handily with the guys defeating Pendleton Heights 28 to 86 and the girls  scoring an 18 to 69 margin over South Adams. Bailkey McIntire of South Adams annexed the guys' title with a mark of 16:16 for the 5K  race, while Westfield's Aaron Beeneet took second  with 16:36. Third went to Parker Jones of Pendleton Heights with 16:49 with Nick Leahy of Westfield was the last runner to break seventeen minutes with his  time of 16:50.

Westdfield runners went 1 -2 in the gal’s race with Gabby Dilick winning in 20:22 & Lauren Bailey following with 20:32.  Leah Keesling of Randolph Southern clocked 20:45 to take third.  Gabby Brown placed fourth in 21:07 leading a parade of Westfield  runners who swept the next four places.


OHSAA Early Season Invitational Ohio

Aug 20, 2016 - National Trail Raceway - Hebron, OH
Runners, who ran this early season race, had the advantage of racing on  the course, which will host the State meet in November.   Appropriately India Johnson, who placed second in Division I last fall, won the race with a time of 18:46.   Grace Kilroy was the only other female to break nineteen minutes, as she ran 18:51 for winning Centerville.   Emma Bower led second place Olentangy Liberty with her third place effort of 19:05.

Arjun Jha of Thomas Worthington ran a fine early season time of 15:42 to score in the boy's race and Matt Scrape  of Pickerington Central clocked a solid 15:55 to earn second.  Dustin Horter of Lakota East ran sixteen flat  for third and Andy Payne of TW placed 4th with 16:07.  Victorious Louisville, was led by the fourth place finish of Noah Chaplik, who took fifth with 16:14.  He was backed by his teammates Zach Fresenko (16:17), Nick Chaplik (16:21) & Zach Birdsall (16:23) who swept the next two places.


Highland Invitational

Thurs. August 18, 2016 - Sugar House Park - Salt Lake City, UT   2.65 Mile.
The Highland course is yet another one that will host the  future State meet but  instead of the 3.0 mile course then, this race is  contested at 2.85 miles.  The race came  down to a two-man duel between Joe Benson of Timpanogos & Grant Gardner of Springville with Benson getting the nod  by one second with a mark of 14:39. It was Benson's second win of the season having won the Premier Invite the previous Saturday.  Ryan Raff of Lehi placed third with 14:48 & Brennan Benson of Timpanogos claimed third with 14:55.  Jima Rout of Olympus came in fifth with 15:02.  Timpanogos easily topped the 38 tram field with a low total of 59, as Olympus was second with 105 & Springville right  behind with 114.  Caleb Armstrong, a sophomore at Hurricane, came in sixth with a time of 15:04.

Whitney Rich, who placed third in 5A last year, started the campaign with a victory with a time of 17:00.  The Bingham senior earned a solid 29-second margin over Julie Sumsion of Springville. Sara Musselman, who placed fifth in that State division last fall, led American Fork to the team title with her time of 17:41.  Kaitlin Struthers of Skyridge finished fourth in 17:46 & Micaela Rivera of Herriman was fifth with 18:01 as she nipped Hannah Dutson, who shared the time.  Timpanogos places second in the girls' team race with 141 points.