Homer’s Daigle, Soldotna’s Arthur win Region III XC crowns

Homer senior Autumn Daigle and Soldotna junior Erika Arthur won individual titles Saturday at the Region III cross-country meet at the Michael Janecek Running Trails at Palmer High School.

Arthur ran 19:52 to defeat freshman Elizabeth Parnell by 12 seconds and win Soldotna’s first region title since Ari Goldstein finished back-to-back triumphs in 2004.

Soldotna coach Ted McKenney said Arthur and SoHi’s Jordan Strausbaugh were leading with 300 yards left when Arthur made a move. Strausbaugh couldn’t match that and was eventually passed for second by Parnell.

“She made a smart move and it worked out for her,” McKenney said of Arthur.

Daigle, who won a Division II state title as a sophomore, won her first region title and the first for Homer since Megan Pitzman claimed her third title in 2016.

Daigle ran 19:03 to top runner-up Jayna Boonstra of Kenai by 31 seconds. Kenai girls had won region titles in seven of the last eight years coming into the meet.

A ton of Kenai Peninsula runners qualified for the state meet, which will be held Saturday at Bartlett High School.

The Soldotna girls and boys both qualified at the Division I level. The Stars needed to get in the top three to qualify. The girls finished second behind region champion Colony. The boys finished third behind champion Kodiak.

The Soldotna boys are going to state for the third straight season, while the girls will be going for the second straight season.

Senior Bradley Walters finished fifth at 17:04 and senior Lance Chilton was eighth at 17:14 to lead the boys, while sophomore Strausbaugh joined Arthur in the top 10 by finishing third at 20:06 to help the Soldotna girls. Kodiak’s Connor Marbrey won the Division I boys race at 16:35.

McKenney said Ellie Burns won the JV race and should give the Stars a boost at state.

As for the boys, they lost to Colony for second by just one point. McKenney said this was an incredible effort by the team because four of his top runners were not competing Saturday for various reasons.

“The other guys stepped up, really worked hard and ran as a group,” McKenney said.

At Division II, teams had to be in the top four to qualify.

For the boys, Seward was third with 72 points and Kenai was fourth at 73 points to qualify. Grace won with 27 points, while Homer boys were fifth to miss state for the first time since 2011.

The Seward boys return to state after missing out last season. Max Pfeiffenberger led the way for the squad by finishing eighth at 16:57 behind a blazing fast 15:04 by repeat region champion Tristian Merchant of Anchorage Christian Schools, who is a junior.

The Kenai boys are back at state for the second straight year. Maison Dunham, a junior, was runner-up to Merchant in 16:28 — a time that would have been good enough to win the Division I race. Joe Hamilton was seventh for the Kards at 16:54.

For the girls, Kenai, Homer and Seward all qualified for state. Grace Christian took the team title at 34, while Kenai had 49, Homer had 69 and Seward had 103. The Kards had a run of four straight region titles snapped.

In addition to Boonstra taking second, sophomore Logan Satathite was fourth at 19:57 and sophomore Leah Fallon was sixth at 20:27. The Kenai girls, the defending Division II state champs, go to state for a sixth straight season.

The Homer girls will go to state for the eighth straight year. Brooke Miller also finished eighth for Homer at 20:39 to help the effort.

The Seward girls return to state after missing out last season. At the beginning of the season, coach Shelly Walker was not even sure if Seward would have enough runners to fill out a varsity team. The Seahawks suited up five runners Saturday and that was enough. Freshman Lena Jagielski led the effort by taking 12th.

The Nikiski boys were able to put together a team and finished seventh in the Division II race.

The Region II meet also was held at Palmer on Saturday, with an additional three peninsula runners qualifying there by finishing in the top 10.

Sophomore Justin Trail finished third for Nikolaevsk to qualify, finishing at 18:00, while winner Kael Gerlach of Glennallen won at 17:20. Josiah Brown of Nikolaevsk also was 12th in 23:51.

Nikolaevsk’s Isabelle Hickman qualified by finishing fifth in 24:44 and Sophia Klaich qualified by finishing eighth in 26:21. The win went to Brynna Gerlach of Glennallen in 20:59.

Region III cross-country meet

Saturday at Palmer

GIRLS

Division I

Team scores: 1. Colony, 38; 2. Soldotna, 52; 3. Kodiak, 62; 4. Palmer, 74; 5. Wasilla, 125.

Individual 5K results

1. Erika Arthur, Sol, 19:52; 2. Elizabeth Parnell, Kod, 20:04; 3. Jordan Strausbaugh, Sol, 20:06; 4. Naomi Griffin, Kod, 20:09; 5. Shea Alaniva, Col, 20:10; 6. Sofija Spaic, Col, 20:10; 7. Sophie Wright, Pal, 20:23; 8. Lydia Bushey, Col, 20:28; 9. Lucy Shea, Col, 20:30; 10. Abby Novak, Col, 20:34; 11. Jordan Ruffner, Sol, 20:39; 12. Lydia Ortiz, Pal, 20:40; 13. Madeline Ortiz, Pal, 20:41; 14. Abbi Boucher, Was, 20:41;15. Monica Bustillos, Col, 20:54; 16. Malina Fagan, Kod, 20:57; 17. Ryann Cannava, Sol, 20:58; 18. Hallee Blair, Kod, 21:04; 19. Aila Berrigan, Pal, 21:17; 20. Cameron Blackwell, Sol, 21:40; 21. Giselle Rachels, Was, 21:54; 22. Francie Eufemio, Kod, 21:56; 23. Nina Kalytiak, Pal, 22:05; 24. Carly Glover, Kod, 22:13; 25. Riley Malone, Col, 22:19.

26. Katie Delker, Sol, 22:22; 27. Zoe Copp, Pal, 22:23; 28. Isabella Dammeyer, Sol, 22:53; 29. Brynn Steiner, Was, 23:03; 30. Shandelle Breshears, Was, 23:40; 31. Andrea Apthorp, Was, 23:45; 32. Sophia Nowers, Pal, 23:47; 33. Elizabeth Lee, Was, 23:54; 34. Kylee Griffin, Was, 24:03.

Division II

Team scores: 1. Grace, 34; 2. Kenai, 49; 3. Homer, 69; 4. Seward, 103; 5. ACS, 117; 6. Redington, 155.

Individual 5K results

1. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 19:03; 2. Jayna Boonstra, Ken, 19:34; 3. Elise Metzger, Gra, 19:42; 4. Logan Satathite, Ken, 19:57; 5. Megan Nelson, Gra, 20:08; 6. Leah Fallon, Ken, 20:27; 7. Sophia Coverdell, Gra, 20:33; 8. Brooke Miller, Hom, 20:39; 9. Vivi (Genevieve) Trevithick, Gra, 20:39; 10. Rebekah Annett, Gra, 20:49; 11. Reagan Lash, Gra, 20:51; 12. Lena Jagielski, Sew, 20:52; 13. Eryn Field, Hom, 20:55; 14. Anna Stephan, Red, 21:22; 15. Destiny Reimers, ACS, 21:22; 16. Anna McLaughlin, Gra, 21:33; 17. Mikaela Hall, Ken, 21:46; 18. Caroline Bohlman, ACS, 22:09; 19. Hana Cooney, Sew, 22:24; 20. Summer Foster, Ken, 22:24; 21. Aly Guernsey, Sew, 22:25; 22. Lucy Hankins, Sew, 22:26; 23. Maddox Berg, Hom, 22:26; 24. Kara Super, Hom, 22:29; 25. Gabriella Tews, Ken, 22:51.

26. Ashton Ealum, ACS, 23:00; 27. Kyla Smith, ACS, 23:02; 28. Leah Dunn, Hom, 23:02; 29. Maranatha Brueckner, Sew, 23:16; 30. Gracie Gummer, Hom, 23:42; 31. Alexis Anderson, ACS, 23:44; 32. Kelsey Smallwood, ACS, 23:53; 33. Faith Walker, Red, 24:25; 34. Madison Martin, ACS, 24:40; 35. Eva Elmore, Red, 26:13; 36. Eraida Basargin, Red, 27:50; 37. Leia Jenkins, Red, 31:47.

BOYS

Division I

Team scores: 1. Kodiak, 43; 2. Colony, 69; 3. Soldotna, 70; 4. Wasilla, 83; 5. Palmer, 83.

Individual 5K results

1. Connor Marbrey, Kod, 16:35; 2. Braxton Gruner, Kod, 16:52; 3. Landon Hayes, Was, 16:57; 4. Colt Hubert, Kod, 16:58; 5. Bradley Walters, Sol, 17:04; 6. Ryan Owens, Pal, 17:10; 7. Mike Reem, Pal, 17:12; 8. Lance Chilton, Sol, 17:14; 9. Lane Meier, Col, 17:20; 10. Jake Waterhouse, Col, 17:20; 11. Brennan Lackey, Was, 17:21; 12. Kolten Greathouse, Was, 17:21; 13. Noble Gurney, Pal, 17:22; 14. Garrett Streit, Col, 17:24; 15. Anchor Musgrave, Sol, 17:30; 16. Zac Cheyette, Col, 17:39; 17. Riley Birbilas, Kod, 17:46; 18. Maleda Denbrock, Sol, 17:47; 19. Jerrod Bolton, Kod, 17:48; 20. Jayden Rice, Col, 17:49; 21. David Castro, Kod, 17:50; 22. Jackson Roberts, Kod, 17:50; 23. Bryson Whitworth, Col, 18:04; 24. Quinn Cox, Sol, 18:09; 25. Zachary Daniel, Col, 18:10.

26. Levi Miller, Pal, 18:14; 27. Zachary Burns, Sol, 18:18; 28. Alexander Logsdon, Was, 18:23; 29. Aidan Lee, Was, 18:25; 30. John Zwolinski, Was, 18:27; 31. Ziven Witczak, Pal, 18:35; 32. Logan Magee, Was, 18:43; 33. Ethan Copp, Pal, 18:54; 34. Joshua Villanueva, Pal, 19:57; 35. Tytus Gilbert, Sol, 20:54.

Division II

Team scores: 1. Grace Christian, 27; 2. ACS, 69; 3. Seward, 72; 4. Kenai, 73; 5. Homer, 118; 6. Houston, 198; 7. Nikiski, 200.

Individual 5K results

1. Tristian Merchant, ACS, 15:04; 2. Maison Dunham, Ken, 16:28; 3. Seth Kniegge, Gra, 16:29; 4. Vincent Coverdell, Gra, 16:50; 5. Cole Fritzel, Gra, 16:51; 6. Paul Kopp, Gra, 16:52; 7. Joe Hamilton, Ken, 16:54; 8. Max Pfeiffenberger, Sew, 16:57; 9. Preston Wethington, Gra, 17:02; 10. Kaleb Smith, ACS, 17:03; 11. David Sliwinski, Gra, 17:07; 12. Bjorn Nilsson, Sew, 17:15; 13. Joshua Davis, ACS, 17:25; 14. Trey Ingalls, Sew, 17:25; 15. Aiden Zingone, Gra, 17:40; 16. Ky Calvert, Ken, 17:49; 17. Jaden Van Dyke, Sew, 17:49; 18. Clayton Beachy, Hom, 17:57; 19. Nathan Haakenson, Ken, 18:03; 20. Micah Tedrick, ACS, 18:07; 21. Levi Deboard, Sew, 18:17; 22. Samuel Koster, Sew, 18:18; 23. Austin Cline, Hom, 18:18; 24. Eyoab Knapp, Hom, 18:19; 25. Preston Merchant, ACS, 18:20.

26. Devin Wise, Hom, 18:27; 27. Lance Seneff, Hom, 18:30; 28. Seamus McDonough, Hom, 18:32; 29. Luke Cross, Ken, 18:42; 30. Tyler Hippchen, Ken, 18:58; 31. Daniel Szepanski, ACS, 19:01; 32. Damon Weisser, Hom, 19:02; 33. Bryan McCollum, Nik, 19:12; 34. Clayton Petersen, Sew, 19:13; 35. Josh Foster, Ken, 19:16; 36. Samuel Stapley, Hou, 19:40; 37. Dawson Cowell, Red, 19:49; 38. Daniel Spencer, Hou, 19:50; 39. Logan Seymore, Red, 20:07; 40. Charles Hansen, Hou, 20:16; 41. Joseph Yourkoski, Nik, 20:45; 42. Luke Hofacker, ACS, 20:48; 43. Yorik Bastuck, Nik, 21:09; 44. Jasper Ross, Hou, 21:24; 45. Gavin Metcalf, Red, 22:10; 46. Rory Gilmartin, Nik, 22:29; 47. Victor Westelynck, Nik, 23:58; 48. Eli Knapp, Hou, 28:13.

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