Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Palmer's Ruby Woodings, Colony's Jill Bowker and Kenai Central's Riana Boonstra and Jaycie Calvert make up the lead pack a little over a kilometer from the finish in the Class 4A girls race at the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails. Woodings won the race, and Boonstra and Calvert led the Kardinals to the team title.

Kenai girls, Kodiak boys, Homer girls and boys defend Region III crowns

The Region III meet at autumn-splashed Tsalteshi Trails saw team repeat champions in the Kodiak boys, Kenai Central girls, and Homer girls and boys.

The meet also had an individual runner repeat in Seward senior Hunter Kratz.

But, as usual, only one school was able to repeat as the home for a Region III individual and team champion in the same gender, and that’s the Kodiak boys.

Bears senior Keith Osowski became the 11th straight region winner from Kodiak while leading the Bears to a region title for the 15th straight year.

With his first region title, Osowski becomes the seventh runner to help prolong the streak. Included in that group is Osowski’s brother, James, who also won at Tsalteshi in 2010.

Kodiak coach Marcus Dunbar said the fact that a Kodiak boy hadn’t won a region race since 1982 before the streak started makes it all the more amazing.

“We think that greatness breeds greatness,” Osowski said. “Everyone just wants to hold it up and keep it going.”

Dunbar said Osowski has always come through with the region streak on the line. When Osowski was a freshman, Dunbar said the Bears hadn’t defeated Kenai or Colony all season, but Osowski finished sixth at regions to help keep the streak alive.

Saturday, Osowski steadily pulled away from Colony senior Tracen Knopp midway through the race and won the five-kilometer course at 16 minutes, 10 seconds, with Knopp finishing 14 seconds back.

The Kodiak boys scored 47 points to defeat runner-up Colony by nine.

The Bears had lost to region competition this season, but not when the streak was on the line Saturday.

Osowski said Kodiak’s heavy training and racing schedule pays off at the end of the season.

“Maybe during the other races, I’m always mentally holding something back because I know there’s something else coming,” he said. “With regions and state, I just put it all on the line.”

The Kenai Peninsula had four runners place in the top 15 to earn state berths — Kenai’s Braden Olsen in seventh, Soldotna’s Josh Shuler in ninth, Kenai’s Karl Danielson in 11th and Soldotna’s Koby Vinson in 12th.

In the Class 4A girls race, the Kenai girls had team and individual streaks going heading into Saturday, and emerged with just one intact.

The Kards won their second straight team title by scoring 42 points to runner-up Colony’s 50.

Kenai put four in the top eight, with Jaycie Calvert in second, Riana Boonstra in fourth, Brooke Satathite in fifth and Ithaca Bergholtz in eighth.

Senior Julie Wilson, not normally a scoring runner for Kenai, then came through with a personal-best time to secure 23rd place and another team title for Kenai.

“It was a little more difficult repeating than it was to win last year,” Kenai coach Maria Calvert said.

In the individual race, Palmer senior Ruby Woodings stopped Kenai’s string of five individual championships with the biggest win of her cross-country career.

Woodings stayed in a lead pack with Colony’s Jill Bowker, Calvert and defending champ Boonstra. Then last year’s region champ in the 800 meters was able to win the sprint to the finish.

After feeling a head cold come on in the days before the race, Woodings drank a mixture of garlic, cayenne pepper and lemon juice Saturday morning.

After such a big win, she’s got to drink the same thing before state, right?

“No,” she said.

Kratz also said his stomach was feeling a little queasy before the Class 1-2-3A boys race, so he tried to settle it down with a half of a banana about a half hour before the gun went off.

A banana is not as inventive as Woodings’ elixir of choice, but it worked just as well.

Despite a hilly course, Kratz turned in a personal record of 15:54 to become the only runner to break 16 minutes all day. His previous best was a 16:01 at the Su Valley Invite a week before regions.

Working in his favor was a stiff challenge from Anchorage Christian Schools junior Blake Bennett, who crossed at 16:01.

“He definitely helped,” said Kratz, who also led the Seward boys to a fourth place and a state berth. “I’m always thinking about Blake when I get to the starting line.

“He’s worked hard and he deserves all the success he is having.”

The Homer boys put all five of their scoring runners in the top 11 to repeat as team champions.

Jordan Beachy was fifth, Jacob Davis was sixth, Luciano Fasulo was seventh, Jared Brant was eighth and Charlie Menke was 11th. The top four were all under 17 minutes, while Menke was at 17:29.

“We don’t have any guys as fast as Hunter, but the strength of our guys is we have four guys who can go under 17 minutes, and another one who’s not too far behind,” Homer coach Bill Steyer said.

In the Class 1-2-3A girls race, a joke in Homer’s Friday cross-country practice turned serious.

“We were joking around in practice yesterday, and we were like, ‘We should just go 1-2-3 tomorrow,’” Homer senior Megan Pitzman said.

The Mariners did just that, with Pitzman winning at 19:37, Audrey Rosencrans in second at 19:46 and Autumn Daigle in third at 19:47.

With Lauren Evarts in ninth and Alex Moseley in 10th, Homer won a third straight team title by scoring 23 points to the 46 of Grace Christian.

Steyer was expecting a stiff challenge from the Grizzlies, but was very happy with the way his fresh team performed.

“This is the first race they’ve run rested,” he said. “They’ve been going into all the meets untapered.

“They got a slight taper going into this race and had a good performance.”

Pitzman won her third region title in four tries. She was in the lead group with Seward junior Ruby Lindquist, the defending region champion, and Lindquist managed to take the lead in the last kilometer.

But Pitzman and her teammates chased her down as Lindquist was seventh to lead Seward to third place and a state berth.

“Megan is always a runner that has gotten stronger, both physically and mentally, as the season goes along,” Steyer said.

The state meet will be Saturday at the Bartlett High School Trails.

Region II meet

Nikolaevsk qualified five runners for state Saturday at the Region II meet at Susitna Valley.

Runners had to finish in the top 10 to qualify. In the boys race, freshman Zachary Trail was sixth and Michael Trail was ninth, moving up from 11th late in the race.

In the girls race, the Warriors had three freshmen qualify — Justina Fefelov in fourth, Elizabeth Fefelov in fifth and Isabelle Hickman in ninth.

The Nikolaevsk girls won the sportsmanship award, and Michael Trail and Elizabeth Fefelov won academic medals.

Region III meet

Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails

GIRLS

Class 1-2-3A

Team scores: 1. Homer, 23; 2. Grace Christian, 46; 3. Seward, 83; 4. Anchorage Chrisitian Schools, 90.

Individual five-kilometer results

1. Megan Pitzman, Hom, 19:37; 2. Audrey Rosencrans, Hom, 19:46; 3. Autumn Daigle, Hom, 19:47; 4. Tessa O’Hara, ACS, 19:52; 5. Allison VanPelt, Hou, 19:54; 6. Grace Gannon, Gra, 20:01; 7. Ruby Lindquist, Sew, 20:03; 8. Mazzy Jackson, Gra, 20:13; 9. Lauren Evarts, Hom, 20:28; 10. Alex Moseley, Hom, 20:28; 11. Charlee Demientieff, Gra, 20:32; 12. Laura Ellis, Gra, 20:36; 13. Haley Knott, Hom, 20:42; 14. Maddy Morgan, Gra, 20:56; 15. Katie Davis, Hom, 21:02; 16. Grace Annett, Gra, 21:33; 17. Sadie Lindquist, Sew, 21:39; 18. Amy Hatter, Gra, 21:41; 19. Emma Moore, Sew, 21:42; 20. Tanis Lorring, Sew, 22:16; 21. Destiny Reimers, ACS, 22:18; 22. Anika Witsoe, Cor, 22:24; 23. Tommi Crist, Red, 22:32; 24. Mary Kate Parks, ACS, 22:42; 25. Ria Smyke, Cor, 22:42.

26. Ruth Sobek, ACS, 22:49; 27. Ashley Fuller, ACS, 22:56; 28. Coral Petrosius, Sew, 23:06; 29. Emily Tedrick, ACS, 23:11; 30. Emma Armand, Sew, 23:24; 31. Sophia Dow, Sew, 24:24; 32. Katelyn Wadsworth, Val, 24:26; 33. Amber Major, Val, 24:38; 34. Makenzie Hofacker, ACS, 25:23.

Class 4A

Team scores: 1. Kenai Central, 42; 2. Colony, 50; 3. Palmer, 62; 4. Kodiak, 68; 5. Wasilla, 145; 6. Soldotna, 147.

Individual five-kilometer results

1. Ruby Woodings, Pal, 19:20; 2. Jaycie Calvert, Ken, 19:27; 3. Jill Bowker, Col, 19:30; 4. Riana Boonstra, Ken, 19:38; 5. Brooke Satathite, Ken, 19:43; 6. Coleen Geraghty, Col, 19:48; 7. Elisabeth Bowker, Col, 19:52; 8. Ithaca Bergholtz, Ken, 19:53; 9. Honey Rose Macatuno, Kod, 20:10; 10. Carly Glover, Kod, 20:16; 11. Arielle Himelbloom, Kod, 20:17; 12. Sophia Nowers, Pal, 20:20; 13. Rya Berrigan, Pal, 20:25; 14. Maddie Christiansen, Kod, 20:46; 15. Brynn Steiner, Was, 20:56; 16. Cathelyne Powers, Col, 20:57; 17. Nina Kalytiak, Pal, 21:12; 18. Geneva Higley, Col, 21:25; 19. Lydia Ortiz, Pal, 21:35; 20. Rosemary Toro, Pal, 21:36; 21. Amanda Mayer, Col, 21:44; 22. Molly Erickson, Sol, 21:46; 23. Julie Wilson, Ken, 21:50; 24. Katie Parnell, Kod, 21:50; 25. Addison Gibson, Ken, 21:56.

26. Alyson Kopsack, Col, 22:13; 27. Cameron Blackwell, Sol, 22:17; 28. Kellie Arthur, Sol, 22:22; 29. Chloe Nelson, Kod, 22:33; 30. Carissa Vasquez, Was, 22:43; 31. Madison Parker, Kod, 22:54; 32. Kayla Lopez, Was, 22:59; 33. Caitlin Bales, Was, 23:12; 34. Sophie Thomas, Sol, 23:29; 35. Jordan Burroughs, Was, 23:30; 36. Fiona Boze, Sol, 24:27; 37. Amelia Butler, Was, 24:36; 38. Breann Drourbaugh, Was, 24:55; 39. Tovia Bremond-Hilton, Sol, 27:02; 40. Selby Hill, Sol, 27:21.

BOYS

Class 1-2-3A

Team scores: 1. Homer, 37; 2. ACS, 56; 3. Grace, 57; 4. Seward, 109; 5. Cordova, 133; 6. Houston, 152.

Individual five-kilometer results

1. Hunter Kratz, Sew, 15:54; 2. Blake Bennett, ACS, 16:01; 3. Zach Hamberger, Cor, 16:22; 4. Trent Fritzel, Gra, 16:28; 5. Jordan Beachy, Hom, 16:42; 6. Jacob Davis, Hom, 16:45; 7. Luciano Fasulo, Hom, 16:53; 8. Jared Brant, Hom, 16:57; 9. Luke Fritzel, Gra, 17:10; 10. Gabe Martin, Gra, 17:18; 11. Charlie Menke, Hom, 17:29; 12. William Parks, ACS, 17:38; 13. Kaleb Smith, ACS, 17:39; 14. Ben Sobek, ACS, 17:40; 15. John Sanford, ACS, 17:41; 16. Vincent Coverdell, Gra, 17:50; 17. Denver Waclawski, Hom, 17:59; 18. Levi Gionet, Gra, 18:02; 19. Tobin Karlberg, Gra, 18:09; 20. Jens Knutson, Hou, 18:11; 21. Ethan Isaacson, Gra, 18:13; 22. Zen Petrosius, Sew, 18:17; 23. Bill Rich, Hom, 18:27; 24. Riley Scott, Hou, 18:34; 25. Dillon Fogg, ACS, 18:42.

26. Brendon McMurry, Sew, 18:48; 27. Shannon LeMay, ACS, 18:50; 28. Gage Frohnapefel, Cor, 19:08; 29. Steven Osborn, Sew, 19:08; 30. Micah Whitcomb, Cor, 19:19; 31. Roma Hamner, Sew, 19:25; 32. Jaden Van Dyke, Sew, 19:34; 33. Isaac Smoldon, Hou, 19:40; 34. Simon Estes, Sew, 19:54; 35. Bryan McCollum, Nik, 20:29; 36. James Hacock, Val, 20:41; 37. Rafael Alfaro, Val, 20:55; 38. Joseph Yourkoski, Nik, 20:58; 39. William Deaton, Cor, 21:02; 40. Lain Guim, Hou, 21:17; 41. Gavin Wallis, Nik, 21:36; 42. Kaleb Corillo, Cor, 22:54; 43. Ethan Beckett, Cor, 23:03; 44. Ben Swanson, Val, 23:12; 45. Aaden Hendrick, Hou, 24:07; 46. Ben Wray, Cor, 24:57.

Class 4A

Team scores: 1. Kodiak, 47; 2. Colony, 56; 3. Wasilla, 74; 4. Palmer, 95; 5. Soldotna, 107; 6. Kenai Central, 135.

Individual five-kilometer results

1. Keith Osowski, Kod, 16:10; 2. Tracen Knopp, Col, 16:24; 3. Jack Hannah, Kod, 16:41; 4. Hunter Hayes, Was, 16:43; 5. Gavin Block, Col, 17:02; 6. Leif Mumma, Pal, 17:04; 7. Braden Olsen, Ken, 17:10; 8. Brenden Thompson, Kod, 17:20; 9. Josh Shuler, Sol, 17:20; 10. Jackson Peters, Col, 17:21; 11. Karl Danielson, Ken, 17:22; 12. Koby Vinson, Sol, 17:22; 13. Connor Owens, Pal, 17:22; 14. Isaak Bell, Was, 17:25; 15. Anthony Maghupoy, Kod, 17:29; 16. Thorsten Warhus, Was, 17:30; 17. Jeff Lautrup, Col, 17:33; 18. Chase Rosenberg, Pal, 17:38; 19. Eliasson Van Pelt, Was, 17:39; 20. Gabe Nummer, Kod, 17:49; 21. Kaleb Greathouse, Was, 17:51; 22. Josh Taylor, Col, 17:53; 23. McKinley Larson, Was, 17:54; 24. Daniel Waitman, Was, 17:58; 25. Bechler Metcalf, Sol, 18:01.

26. Camrin Yturbe, Kod, 18:02; 27. Michael Bersin, Kod, 18:02; 28. Johnie Burton, Pal, 18:02; 29. John-Mark Pothast, Sol, 18:03; 30. Lev Robertson, Pal, 18:20; 31. Luke Arthur, Col, 18:21; 32. Lance Chilton, Sol, 18:22; 33. Bradley Walters, Sol, 18:23; 34. Addison Downing, Sol, 18:2; 35. Cade Johnston, Col, 18:29; 36. Julian Davis, Pal, 18:46; 37. Amiqaq Maclean, Pal, 19:19; 38. Cy Dull, Ken, 19:24; 39. Gideon Collver, Ken, 20:02; 40. Alden Bookey, Ken, 20:05; 41. Jaycob Goff, Ken, 20:38.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Seward’s Ruby Lindquist and Homer’s Autumn Daigle, Audrey Rosencrans and Megan Pitzman pace the lead pack two kilometers into the Class 1-2-3A girls race at the Region III meet Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails. Pitzman, Rosencrans and Daigle went 1-2-3 to lead Homer to the girls crown.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Cordova’s Zach Hamberger and Grace Christian’s Trent Fritzel lead Homer’s Jacob Davis and Jordan Beachy down a hill midway through the Class 1-2-3A race at the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails on Saturday. Beachy and Davis led Homer to the boys team crown.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Seward’s Hunter Kratz flies down a hill in the last kilomter of the Class 1-2-3A boys race Saturday at the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails. Kratz won the race.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Josh Shuler leads Kenai Central’s Braden Olson up a hill midway through the Class 4A boys race at the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails. Olsen took seventh and Shuler took ninth as both qualified for state.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kodiak’s Keith Osowski widens the lead on Colony’s Tracen Knopp with a little over a kilometer to go in the Class 4A boys race at the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails. Osowski would finish first, while Knopp was second.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Kenai Central’s Karl Danielson sprints past Palmer’s Connor Owens to finish 11th and earn a state berth Saturday in the Class 4A boys race in the Region III meet at Tsalteshi Trails.

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