Region 3 cross country: Seward girls, Ingalls take titles on home course

The Seward girls cross-country team warmed up for the defense of their Division II state title by winning the Region 3/Division II title Saturday in Seward.

The Seahawks posted a dominant 19 points in winning their first region title since 2007 behind repeat individual champion Hailey Ingalls.

“It was incredibly special,” Seward head coach Rachel Dow said of the dominant effort on the home course. “We know the course really well and we’ve done a lot of different workouts on the course.

“It was definitely special running there. You could feel it.”

Also qualifying for Saturday’s state meet in Palmer were the Soldotna girls, Soldotna’s Noble Cassidy, the Homer boys, the Kenai Central boys, the Homer girls and Kenai Central’s Emilee Wilson.

The Seahawks girls had all of their scoring runners in the top six. Dow said the girls team had been running all summer, and most of them did the Mount Marathon Race.

“I wasn’t too surprised because of the way the girls had been running,” Dow said. “They were one point behind Soldotna at boroughs.

“They were getting faster and faster, and tighter and tighter, so I wasn’t surprised, but I was amazed at the score.”

Ingalls finished at 21 minutes, 10 seconds, to win her second straight region title, with Grace Christian’s Sydney Mondeel the runner-up at 21:22.

Ingalls was lost due to injury early in the track season in the spring, then didn’t run her first cross-country race this season until Aug. 26 due to injury.

Dow said she has been running with Ingalls since middle school, and the two also are neighbors, so Dow has had a close look at how hard Ingalls has had to work to make it back. The coach said the best thing is she has seen Ingalls find the joy in running again.

“It’s been huge for our team,” Dow said. “She is such an incredible runner and great leader. It’s so motivating for her teammates and really special to have her back running again.”

After Ingalls came Selah Brueckner in third, Juniper Ingalls in fourth, Maddie Haas in fifth and Katie Van Buskirk in sixth. Dow said the four are a perfect mixture of being competitive with each other, then being friends after the race.

All that has Dow feeling good headed into state.

“I think we have a really strong chance of winning,” she said. “I know anything can happen and I don’t want to underestimate the competition.

“I know Sitka’s good and you never know what Grace is going to do.”

The Grizzlies girls were second with 65 points, while Homer was third with 101 points.

Claira Booz led the Homer scorers in 10th place, while Beatrix McDonough was 13th, Jaela Marchbanks was 20th, Cassidy Carroll was 29th and Kiriakia Basargin was 31st.

The top four teams make state at Division II, and the Kenai girls just missed that by finishing fifth — four points behind Mountain City Christian Academy.

The top 15 also make state, so Kenai’s Wilson was able to earn a berth by taking 12th.

Shelby Burman led Nikiski by taking 26th.

For the Division I girls, Colony won with 33 points, while Soldotna was second with 50 points to earn a state berth. The top three teams at Division I make it to state.

Tania Boonstra paced the Stars in fourth place at 20:31, with Colony junior Ella Hopkins taking her first region title after finishing second in the meet as both a freshman and sophomore.

Also scoring for Soldotna were Kathryn DeBardelaben in sixth, Sasha Brott in 10th, Annie Burns in 13th and Kathryn Cox in 17th.

In the Division I boys race, Palmer’s Fischer Adams won at 16:17. The Colony boys won the team title with 33 points.

Soldotna finished fifth with 99, with the top three teams making state.

The top 15 individual runners also make state. Cassidy, a junior, earned his first state berth by finishing 14th in 18:03.

In the Division II boys race, Robbie Annett led Grace Christian to the boys title.

Annett ran 16:29, has only lost once this season and is undefeated against Division II competition. He enters state as the favorite.

The Grizzlies also will be favored to win the state team title. They won Saturday with 33 points, while Homer was second with 54 and Kenai also clinched a state berth by taking fourth with 83 points.

Kenai’s Greg Fallon finished just behind Annett by 16:31. Also scoring for the Kardinals were Jack Laker in 10th, Chase Laker in 21st, Zane Tews in 23rd and Logan Cartwright in 33rd.

Homer was led by Caleb Bunker in fifth, while Johannes Bynagle was ninth, Jai Badajos was 11th, Reid Rauch was 14th and Ethan Styvar was 15th.

Ridge Conant led Seward at 17th, while Eli Brigham led Nikiski in 38th.

Region 3 cross-country meet

Saturday at Seward High School


Division I

Team scores: 1. Colony, 33; 2. Wasilla, 72; 3. Kodiak, 72; 4. Palmer, 73; 5. Soldotna, 99.

Top 15 5-kilometer finishers

1. Fischer Adams, Pal, 16 minutes, 17 seconds; 2. Tobias Buchanan, 16:58; 3. Elias Litzow, Kod, 17:08; 4. Coby Marvin, 17:20; 5. Miles Grimes, 17:32; 6. Bodie Miller, 17:37; 7. Trygve Vang-Thompson, Col, 17:40; 8. Tobin Miller, 17:42; 9. Pierce McDonough, 17:46; 10. Blaze Rubeo, Was, 17:46; 11. Chandon Lutz, Col, 17:50; 12. Gabriel Carey, Was, 17:59; 13. Chase Foss, Was, 17:59; 14. Noble Cassidy, Sol, 18:03; 15. Aceton Edgerton, Was, 18:05.

Other Soldotna finishers

17. Elijah Jedlicki, Sol, 18:06; 19. James Innes, Sol, 18:21; 24. Tom Schwartz, 18:47; 25. Isaiah Dickson, Sol, 18:54; 31. Finnley Loop, Sol, 19:16; 32. Wesley Johnson, Sol, 19:19.

Division II

Team scores: 1. Grace Christian, 33; 2. Homer, 54; 3. Mountain City Christian Academy, 65; 4. Kenai Central, 83; 5. Redington, 140.

Top 15 5-kilometer finishers

1. Robbie Annett, Gra, 16:29; 2. Greg Fallon, Ken, 16:31; 3. Simon Nelson, 16:35; 4. Colton Merriner, Gra, 17:11; 5. Caleb Bunker, Hom, 17:38; 6. Lukas Underhile, MC, 17:52; 7. Clint Kopp, MC, 17:53; 8. Preston Kopp, MC, 17:53; 9. Johannes Bynagle, Hom, 17:54; 10. Jack Laker, Ken, 18:00; 11. Jai Badajos, Hom, 18:06; 12. Andrew Pounds, Gra, 18:16; 13. Aodhan Nakada, Gra, 18:17; 14. Reid Rauch, Hom, 18:26; 15. Ethan Styvar, Hom, 18:27.

Other peninsula finishers

16. Tait Ostrom, Hom, 18:37; 17. Ridge Conant, Sew, 18:42; 19. Jody Goodrich, Hom, 19:04; 21. Chase Laker, Ken, 19:32; 23. Zane Tews, Ken, 19:37; 30. Olin Liljemark, Sew, 20:07; 32. Alex Fink, Sew, 20:44; 33. Logan Cartwright, Ken, 21:04; 35. Martin Fink, Sew, 21:07; 36. William Roberts, Ken, 21:14; 37. Robert Carson, Ken, 22:18; 38. Eli Brigham, Nik, 22:51; 39. Kyler Allen, Nik, 23:00; 40. Jackson Hooper, Nik, 24:37; 42. Kaleb Allen, Nik, 27:47.


Division I

Team scores: 1. Colony, 33; 2. Soldotna, 50; 3. Palmer, 85; 4. Wasilla, 95; 5. Kodiak, 108.

Top 15 5-kilometer finishers

1. Ella Hopkins, Col, 19:51; 2. Morgan Ainsworth, Col, 19:59; 3. Hailee Giacobbe, Was, 20:01; 4. Tania Boonstra, Sol, 20:31; 5. Rachel Danz, Col, 20:57; 6. Kathryn DeBardelaben, Sol, 21:16; 7. Karley Tichenor, Pal, 21:20; 8. Abigail Harver, Kod, 21:27; 9. Kinley Bruno, Was, 21:31; 10. Sasha Brott, Sol, 21:32; 11. Elliot Sensabaugh, Col, 21:35; 12. Alder Deal, Pal, 21:38; 13. Annie Burns, Sol, 21:44; 14. Elsie LeCount, Col, 21:48; 15. Molly VanTassel, Col, 21:50.

Other Soldotna finishers

17. Kathryn Cox, Sol, 23:07; 18. Delanie Wagers, Sol, 23:17; 21. Kylie Dickson, Sol, 24:10.

Division II

Team scores: 1. Seward, 19; 2. Grace Christian, 65; 3. Homer, 101; 4. Mountain City Christian Academy, 108; 5. Kenai Central, 112; 6. Redington, 122.

Top 15 5-kilometer individual finishers

1. Hailey Ingalls, Sew, 21:10; 2. Sydney Mondeel, Gra, 21:22; 3. Selah Brueckner, Sew, 21:47; 4. Juniper Ingalls, Sew, 21:53; 5. Maddie Haas, Sew, 21:53; 6. Katie Van Buskirk, Sew, 21:54; 7. Tagan Rinner, Gra, 22:07; 8. Indigo Leslie, Sew, 22:09; 9. Mya Campbell, Red, 22:12; 10. Claira Booz, Hom, 22:13; 11. Saydi Cardoso, Red, 22:16; 12. Emilee Wilson, Ken, 22:29; 13. Beatrix McDonough, Hom, 22:37; 14. Peyton Marks, MC, 22:44; 15. Faith Mondeel, Gra, 22:47.

Other peninsula finishers

16. Ruby Davis, Ken, 22:54; 17. Stella Dow, Sew, 22:55; 20. Jaela Marchbanks, Hom, 23:06; 24. Emily Moss, Ken, 23:58; 26. Shelby Burman, Nik, 24:28; 28. Teresa Fallon, Ken, 24:33; 29. Cassidy Carroll, Hom, 24:46; 31. Kiriakia Basargin, Hom, 25:34; 33. McKenna Black, Hom, 25:53; 34. Dianna Wright, Ken, 26:25; 35. Mya Taylor, Ken, 26:26; 38. Lucia Carson, Ken, 27:12.

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