SoHi girls, boys take 2nd at Colony Invite

  • By Jeremiah Bartz
  • Saturday, August 15, 2015 11:59pm
  • Sports

PALMER — Typically it’s a few weeks into the season before runners flood the trails at Colony High School. But things are a little different this year. Rather than tucked into the middle of the cross-country calendar, the Colony Invitational kicked off the high school running season.

“It was a good time, good race,” Colony head coach Rhonda Knopp said. “It really gives kids an opportunity to see where they’re at.”

Knopp said Colony switched dates with Bartlett High School, which usually opened the season with its Bartlett Invite.

“We moved ours to the beginning of the season so it wouldn’t be conflicting,” Knopp said.

Saturday’s field included the Valley programs and Southcentral teams such as Grace Christian, Anchorage Christian and Glennallen. An added bonus, for the Colony girls in particular, was the chance to see Region III rival Soldotna.

“It was fantastic for Soldotna to join us. It was the first time they’ve been there,” Knopp said.

Colony, which edged Soldotna to win the Region III girls title last season, also beat the Stars on Saturday to win the Colony Invite. Colony, powered by four runners in the top 8 and five in the top 13, finished with 21 points in the girls’ team standings. Soldotna was the runner-up with 36.

Jill Bowker led Colony with a fourth-place finish and a time of 20 minutes, 9 seconds. Cathelyne Powers (20:12) was fifth, Jordyn Block (20:20) placed seventh and Elisabeth Bowker (20:52) finished eighth for the Knights. Alex Mathis (21:55) was 13th.

For the Stars, Olivia Hutchings was second at 20:00, while Kellie Arthur was ninth at 21:23.

“I was really pleased with them,” Knopp said of her girls’ team. “This happens to be one of those years when we have a strong female presence.”

Colony’s top three runners finished within 11 seconds, and the top four were only separated by 43 seconds. Knopp said it’s too early to know if that’ll be the norm for the season, but the group of veterans does have experience running together.

Palmer junior Ruby Woodings, who finished seventh in regions and 12th in state as a sophomore, placed sixth in the Colony Invite. Woodings finished with a time of 20:19.

Alison Van Pelt led the Houston Hawks with an 11th-place finish in the girls’ standings. Riley McLellan placed 24th to lead Wasilla.

The Soldotna boys also finished second, scoring 55 points to Grace Christian’s 24.

Colony senior Dakota Peterson-Thompson led Valley runners with a second-place finish in the boys’ race. Peterson-Thompson clocked a 17:27. Seward’s Hunter Kratz won the boys’ five-kilometer with a mark of 17:11.

“He had a really good first race,” Knopp said of Peterson-Thompson. “I’m happy. He’s happy. It really sets the stage for potential for the rest of the season.”

Izaak Bell led the Wasilla boys with a ninth place finish. Karl Greathouse (11th) and McKinley Larson (14th) also placed in the top 15 for the Warriors. Leif Mumma led Palmer with a 13th-place finish.

Aaron Swedberg paced the Stars by finishing third in 17:33.

Next week the Valley teams travel south to compete in the Tsalteshi Invitational in Soldotna.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at

Colony Invitational

Saturday, Colony High School

Girls team scores:

1. Colony 21, 2. Soldotna 36, 3. Grace Christian 77, 4. Wasilla 102, 5. Bethel 128.

Boys team scores:

1. Grace Christian 24, 2. Soldotna 55, 3. Wasilla 61, 4. Anchorage Christian 80, 5. Bethel 149.

Girls individual results:

1. B. Gerlach, Glen 19:11; 2. O. Hutchings, Sol 20:00; 3. E. Belsan, ACS 20:02; 4. J. Bowker, Col 20:09; 5. C. Powers, Col 20:12; 6. R. Woodings, Pal 20:19; 7. J. Block, Col 20:20; 8. E. Bowker, Col 20:52; 9. K. Arthur, Sol 21:23; 10. L. Olsen, Col 21:31; 11. A. Van Pelt, Hou 21:38; 12. M. Erickson, Sol 21:44; 13. A. Mathis, Col 21:55; 14. D. Nelson, Col 21:55; 15. H. Pothast, Sol 21:58; 16. T. O’Hara, ACS 22:09; 17. C. Demientieff, Gra 22:26; 18. E. Werner, Sol 22:36; 19. M. Morgan, Gra 22:41; 20. T. Ealum, ACS 22:43; 21. R. Berrigan, Pal 22:46; 22. S. Newton, Gra 22:49; 23. J. Markel, Gra 22:49; 24. R. McLellan, Was 22:59; 25. J. Burroughs, Was 23:00; 26. H. O’Brien, Bet 23:45; 27. A. Baxter, Pal 23:47; 28. L. Dean, Gra 23:58; 29. M. Obremski, Was 24:37; 30. C. Vasquez, Was 24:47; 31. F. Boze, Sol 24:50; 32. G. Minnick, Was 24:51; 33. E. Bingham, Pal 24:56; 34. D. Bukowski, Bet 25:07; 35. A. Wolverton, Was 25:08; 36. S. Swope, Bet 25:41; 37. A. Wade, Bet 25:53; 38. S. Poe, Bet 26:21; 39. T. Christ, Red 27:04.

Boys individual results:

1. H. Kratz, Sew 17:11; 2. D. Peterson-Thompson, Col 17:27; 3. A. Swedberg, Sol 17:33; 4. T. Fritzel, Gra 17:36; 5. Z. Young, Gra 17:39; 6. B. Bennett, ACS 17:40; 7. S. Putnam, Gra 17:47; 8. N. Snow, Gra 17:49; 9. I. Bell, Was 17:49; 10. L. Fritzel, Gra 17:54; 11. K. Greathouse, Was 17:55; 12. D. Michael, Sol 18:00; 13. L. Mumma, Pal 18:01; 14. M. Larson, Was 18:08; 15. E. Isaacson, Gra 18:19; 16. K. Vinson, Sol 18:20; 17. J. Shuler, Sol 18:23; 18. T. Stoorza, ACS 18:24; 19. S. Brewi, Sew 18:30; 20. Kal. Greathouse, Was 18:33; 21. J. Pothast, Sol 18:35; 22. H. Steiner, Was 18:39; 23. T. Zweifel, sew 18:43; 24. J. Sanford, ACS 18:49; 25. S. Quinn, ACS 18:50; 26. J. Kupferschmid, Sol 19:00; 27. S. Dorsey, Glen 19:01; 28. S. Lemay, ACS 19:12; 29. J. Knutsen, Hou 19:12; 30. T. Warhus, Was 19:21; 31. C. Rosenberg, Pal 19:26; 32. S. Deering, Col 19:27; 33. J. Taylor, Col 19:29; 34. J. Railing, ACS 19:45; 35. R. Schaezlein, Gra 19:50; 36. A. Downing, Sol 19:51; 37. I. Smolden, Hou 20:08; 38. L. Robertson, Pal 20:08; 39. T. Jackson, Hou 20:11; 40. L. Poe, Bet 20:17; 41. B. Hill, Was 20:17; 42. J. Davis, Pal 20:57; 43. S. Smith, Bet 21:32; 44. R. Daniel, Bet 21:35; 45. D. Garrison, Bet 22:19; 46. M. Hunter, Bet 22:22.

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