Blake Klaich became the first runner in Nikolaevsk history to win a Region II individual championship Saturday at Susitna Valley Junior-Senior High School.
Klaich qualified for state by winning the five-kilometer race in 18 minutes, 28 seconds. He was seven seconds ahead of runner-up Erik Mercer of Tri-Valley. Nikolaevsk coach Steve Klaich said the two runners were together throughout the race until a grass field 150 yards from the finish. As he hit the grass field, Blake Klaich sprinted away from Mercer, earning most valuable runner honors for the region.
Eric Mametieff also qualified for state for the Warriors, finishing fifth at 20:29.
The Nikolaevsk girls, who won the sportsmanship award, had three runners compete. Kilina Klaich became the first girls runner from Nikolaevsk to qualify for state, finishing eighth in a personal-best time of 24:07.
Nianiella Dorvall, battling an ankle injury, finished 11th - just one slot out of a state berth. Dorvall ran 27:04. Hionia Kulikov was 16th for Nikolaevsk.
Blake Klaich, Kilina Klaich and Dorvall all were named to the academic team.