Jayna Boonstra of Kenai races her way to another Division II state cross-country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Boonstra finished 5 kilometers in 19 minutes, 47 seconds, to win the sixth individual state title in the last 10 years for the Kardinals girls program. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Jayna Boonstra of Kenai races her way to another Division II state cross-country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Boonstra finished 5 kilometers in 19 minutes, 47 seconds, to win the sixth individual state title in the last 10 years for the Kardinals girls program. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Boonstra repeats as Division II champ

By CAMILLE BOTELLO

Peninsula Clarion

Kenai Central’s Jayna Boonstra raced her way to another Division II state cross-country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage on Saturday, clocking in at 19 minutes, 47 seconds. The junior also took home a gold medal last season, when she finished first with a time of 19:38.

“It’s really amazing,” Boonstra said after the race. “It’s just cool to see all the hard work and all the interval workouts and long runs all come together just for this one day.”

Todd Boonstra, Kenai’s head coach and Jayna’s father, said there’s an added element of angst while watching his daughter race.

“She worked really hard, and I’m glad it’s done because I was so nervous,” he said. “Being a coach, you want all your kids to run well, then (with) a daughter, you get so nervous.”

At the Region 3 race in Kodiak on Oct. 2, Boonstra ran with Grace Christian’s Megan Nelson and Kai Waythomas before Nelson and Boonstra pulled away from Waythomas with 800 meters to go. Boonstra then edged Nelson in a sprint.

Saturday, Nelson was third at 20:24 and Waythomas was fourth at 21:04. Sitka’s Anna Prussian came closest to Boonstra at 20:10 as a Kenai girl won an individual state title for the sixth time in 10 years.

Boonstra now has the chance to match former Kenai runner Allie Ostrander’s three straight state titles from 2012 to 2014, though those crowns came at the Division I level.

The Kardinals girls finished as the state runner-ups with a team score of 58 points.

Also racing for Kenai were Leah Fallon (21:40), Emilee Wilson (21:53), Summer Foster (22:36), Gabriella Tews (23:59), Emily Moss (24:18) and Mya Taylor (25:27).

Jayna said she wanted to recognize the team.

“I’m really proud of our team, they all worked so hard and had a great season together,” she said.

Coming in third in the Division II women’s competition were the Homer Mariners, with 66 team points.

Homer head coach Bob Ostrom said he was impressed with the team’s showing Saturday.

“We had an awesome season, both boys and girls,” he said after the race. “(We’re) really looking forward to getting started next year.”

Junior Eryn Field led Homer, putting herself at seventh place in the Division II race, with a time of 21:31.

Also running for Homer were Elena Badajos (21:47), Frida Renner (22:18), Adelyn McCorison (22:38), Bea McDonough (23:11), Leah Dunn (25:34) and McKenna Black (25:53).

Ostrom said the team has been working on strategy all season.

“Pacing in the race was a big help this week, and it finally started paying off the last few weeks,” he said.

Seward’s Hailey Ingalls also raced for a spot in the top 10 of the Division II women’s meet, clocking in with a time of 21:24. She finished in fifth place.

Men’s Division II

Kenai sophomore Gregory Fallon finished sixth overall for the Division II men’s race, leading the Kardinals with a time of 17:08.

“It feels really good,” Fallon said after his run. “It was my best race this whole season and I just knew it was my last race of the season so I went really hard.”

Boonstra said he was proud of the boys team Saturday.

“I think they did awesome,” he said. “Greg had a super race. … He improved on his region place.”

The Kenai coach said a lot of the boys had personal records at the state run Saturday, despite the weather.

“All the kids, they’re just off their PRs or some had PRs on a tough, muddy course, so there’s not much more I could ask for,” Boonstra said.

Fallon and Seamus McDonough of Homer were the only two Kenai Peninsula top 10 finishers, with McDonough coming in ninth with a time of 17:15.

Also racing in the Division II championships for Kenai were Jack Laker (17:40), Joe Hamilton (18:20), Armands Veksejs (18:42), Tyler Hippchen (18:48), Nathan Haakenson (19:52) and George Wright (20:31).

Homer’s state championship runners were Lance Seneff (18:25), Adams Veldstra (18:29), Brock Barth (18:47), Jody Goodrich (18:49), Damon Weisser (18:53) and Aiden Brost (20:24).

Homer’s head coach said he was impressed with his team’s finish Saturday.

“Those guys did great today, and we really look forward to next year,” Ostrom said.

He said the men’s team will look similar next season, as the Mariners won’t be losing too many seniors.

“I think we’ll be really close to the same team,” Ostrom said. “I’m looking to get some eighth graders coming up.”

Men’s Division III

Justin Trail of Nikolaevsk earned the bronze medal in his Division III championship race Saturday with a time of 18:03.

Trail said he’s grateful for his coaching this season, both in the Nikolaevsk program and with the Homer squad.

“They’re a bigger school and they have a better training regimen,” Trail said after his third place finish Saturday. “And my coach, he pushed me harder than I would have been able to push myself.”

He said maintaining his pace landed him in the Division III top 10 Saturday.

“I just focused on just trying to keep a steady pace throughout the entire thing, just try not to slow down even when I got a cramp,” Trail said.

The senior said he was able to capitalize on the course’s terrain and pass a few other runners before the finish line.

“Going up the hill … it’s a really good spot to pass people,” Trail said.

Women’s Division I

The Stars girls finished in ninth place at the state cross-country race Saturday with 234 team points, meeting the team goal of topping Region 3 rival Kodiak. The Bears were 10th with 244 points.

Senior Jordan Ruffner led the Stars, finishing 17th overall with a time of 20:28.

Head coach Krista Arthur said she was impressed by Ruffner’s finish. Ruffner’s previous best at state was 34th last season.

“We had a really great finish by Jordan Ruffner, today, 17th,” she said. “She didn’t get a medal (at) two places out— it’s real tough.”

Many of the Stars set personal records Saturday, Arthur said, and they held their own with some of the bigger cross-country programs.

“I just was really proud of the whole team,” she said. “I mean, South Anchorage and West Anchorage, they’ve got 2,000 in their school and their running teams have like 100 kids … so it’s a tough feat, it’s very competitive.”

Arthur recognized senior Jordan Strausbaugh as another one of SoHi’s standouts.

“Jordan Strausbaugh, she’s been the leader of our team for four years, and she just battled,” she said.

Strausbaugh finished 38th, with a time of 21:32.

Also running for Soldotna were Kaytlin McAnelly (23:34), Megan Whittom (23:47), Kaidence Shaeffer (24:11), Carson Dement (25:05) and Avery Ciufo (25:32).

State cross-country meet

Saturday at Bartlett High School, Anchorage

Division III

BOYS

Team scores — 1. Haines, 38; 2. Petersburg, 44; 3. Craig, 89; 4. Dillingham, 105; 5. Unalaska, 110; 6. Sockeye, 130; 7. Fort Yukon, 193.

Top 10 5K finishers — 1. Uriah Lucas, Petersburg, 17:38; 2. Leo Wald, Haines, 17:47; 3. Justin Trail, Nikolaevsk, 18:01; 4. Daniel Wardell, Sockeye, 18:14; 5. Michael Durkin, Petersburg, 18:15; 6. Luke Davis, Haines, 18:19; 7. Isaac Titus, Keggat Miut, 18:23; 8. Kaleb Jones, Haines, 18:28; 9. Rogan Hanson, Craig, 18:37; 10. Demetry Hoseth, Dillingham, 18:38.

GIRLS

Team scores — 1. Haines, 34; 2. Glennallen, 54; 3. Sockeye, 58; 4. Petersburg, 75.

1. Ariel Godinez-Long, Haines, 20:31; 2. Teagan Rude, Glennallen, 21:26; 3. Liana Carney, Wrangell, 21:40; 4. Kenai Holien, Klawock, 22:19; 5. Grace Long, Haines, 22:26; 6. Brynna Gerlach, Glennallen, 22:36; 7. Shayauna Bukowski, Nenana, 22:46; 8. Kinley Lister, Petersburg, 22:54; 9. Mackenzy Dryden, Haines, 23:13; 10. Alianna Voran, Sockeye, 23:16.

Division II

BOYS

Team scores — 1. Grace Christian, 20; 2. Sitka, 74; 3. Kenai, 83; 4. ACS, 95; 5. Homer, 96; 6. Nome, 181; 7. Galena, 197; 8. Hutchison, 219.

Top 10 5K finishers — 1. David Sliwinsky, Gra, 16:44; 2. Seth Lochmann, Gra, 16:48; 3. Josh Brower, ACS, 16:49; 4. Aiden Zingone, Gra, 16:57; 5. Ben Thatcher, Gra, 17:02; 6. Gregory Fallon, Kenai, 17:07; 7. Silas Demmert, Sit, 17:10; 8. Ty Elliott, Gra, 17:10; 9. Seamus McDonough, Hom, 17:14; 10. Annan Weiland, Sit, 17:17.

Other peninsula finishers — 14. Jack Laker, Ken, 17:39; 16. Joe Hamilton, Ken, 18:19; 18. Lance Seneff, Hom, 18:24; 20. Adams Veldstra, Hom, 18:28; 23. Armands Veksejs, Ken, 18:41; 24. Brock Barth, Hom, 18:46; 26. Tyler Hippchen, Ken, 18:47; 27. Jody Goodrich, Hom, 18:48; 28. Damon Weisser, Hom, 18:52; 45. Nathan Haakenson, Ken, 19:51; 54. Aiden Brost, Hom, 20:23; 55. George Wright, Ken, 20:30.

GIRLS

Team scores — 1. Grace Christian, 29; 2. Kenai, 58; 3. Homer, 66; 4. ACS, 105; 5. Monroe Catholic, 113; 6. Bethel, 150.

Top 10 5K finishers — 1. Jayna Boonstra, Ken, 19:47; 2. Anna Prussian, Sit, 20:10; 3. Megan Nelson, Gra, 20:24; 4. Kai Waythomas, Gra, 21:04; 5. Hailey Ingalls, Sew, 21:24; 6. Mya Campbell, Red, 21:31; 7. Eryn Field, Hom, 21:31; 8. Debbie Brower, ACS, 21:36; 9. Sophia Coverdell, Gra, 21:38; 10. Georgia Thatcher, Gra, 21:38.

Other peninsula finishers — 11. Leah Fallon, Ken, 21:40; 13. Elena Badajos, Hom, 21:47; 14. Emilee Wilson, Ken, 21:53; 19. Frida Renner, Hom, 22:18; 21. Summer Foster, Ken, 22:36; 22. Adelyn McCorison, Hom, 22:38; 25. Bea McDonough, Hom, 23:11; 28. Gabriella Tews, Ken, 23:59; 30. Emily Moss, Ken, 24:18; 39. Mya Taylor, Ken, 25:27; 41. Leah Dunn, Hom, 25:34; 46. McKenna Black, Hom, 25:53.

Division I

BOYS

Team scores — 1. West Valley, 72; 2. West, 81; 3. Service, 89; 4. Dimond, 101; 5. Kodiak, 145; 6. South, 156; 7. Colony, 175; 8. Palmer, 186; 9. Juneau-Douglas, 194; 10. Lathrop, 220.

Top 10 5K finishers — 1. Daniel Abramowicz, WV, 16:12; 2. Jared Gardiner, Dim, 16:29; 3. Fischer Adams, Pal, 16:37; 4. Micah Fields, Kod, 16:37; 5. Shane Fisher, WV, 16:50; 6. Isaac Main, Wes, 16:53; 7. Aaron Power, Ser, 16:54; 8. Tobias Buchanan, Col, 16:58; 9. Elias Soule, Ser, 16:58; 10. Brennan Lackey, Was, 16:59.

GIRLS

Team scores — 1. Chugiak, 42; 2. South, 68; 3. Juneau, 90; 4. West, 106; 5. West Valley, 136; 6. Colony, 145; 7. Service, 172; 8. Lathrop, 211; 9. Soldotna, 234; 10. Kodiak, 244.

Top 10 5K finishers — 1. Robyn Miller, Sou, 19:10; 2. Campbell Peterson, Chu, 19:27; 3. Kiah Dihle, TM, 19:40; 4. Elliana Zock, Sou, 19:43; 5. Katey Houser, Pal, 19:49; 6. Ella Hopkins, Col, 19:51; 7. Payton Smith, Wes, 19:55; 8. Ava Trembath, ER, 19:57; 9. Meredith Schwartz, Ser, 20:03; 10. Skyler Belmear, Chu, 20:06.

Other peninsula finishers — 17. Jordan Ruffner, Sol, 20:28; 38. Jordan Strausbaugh, Sol, 21:32; 70. Kaytlin McAnelly, Sol, 23:34; 72. Megan Whittom, Sol, 23:47; 75. Kaidence Shaeffer, Sol, 24:11; 76. Carson Dement, Sol, 25:05; 77. Avery Ciufo, Sol, 25:32.

Jayna Boonstra of Kenai races her way to another Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Jayna Boonstra of Kenai races her way to another Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Seamus McDonough of Homer gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for his ninth place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Seamus McDonough of Homer gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for his ninth place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Eryn Field of Homer gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for her seventh place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Eryn Field of Homer gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for her seventh place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Hailey Ingalls of Seward gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for her fifth place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Hailey Ingalls of Seward gets a medal at the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for her fifth place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Justin Trail of Nikolaevsk gets a medal at the Division III state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for his third place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Justin Trail of Nikolaevsk gets a medal at the Division III state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 for his third place finish. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Gregory Fallon of Kenai races his way to sixth place during the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Gregory Fallon of Kenai races his way to sixth place during the Division II state cross country championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Jordan Ruffner places 17th at the Division I state cross-country championship Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

Soldotna’s Jordan Ruffner places 17th at the Division I state cross-country championship Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Bartlett High School in Anchorage. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

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