Kenai Central's Allie Ostrander wins Region III cross-country meet

PALMER - Saturday afternoon, Allie Ostrander did basically the same thing she's done all season. The Kenai Central freshman started fast, steadily built an almost unbelievable lead and ran uncontested for basically the entire race.


Ostrander coasted to her first career region title at the Region III Cross-Country Championships at Palmer High School's Michael Janecek Running Trails. But despite the win, something felt different for Ostrander, who missed her own course record by about 16 seconds.

"I didn't think I had as good of a race as I did a couple of weeks ago," said Ostrander, who set a Janecek Trails record with her time of 17:51 at the Palmer Invitational earlier this month. "I know this sounds really funny, but every time before my race, for my breakfast I have Wheaties, you know the breakfast of champions.

I didn't have my Wheaties today and that was really hard."

Despite missing her go-to breakfast, Ostrander still dominated, posting an 18:07. Ostrander led by 15 seconds at a half mile, 23 seconds heading into the second mile and pushed her lead to 43 seconds going into the final mile lap of the five-kilometer loop.

The win was just another highlight during a phenomenal freshman year.

"I didn't know what to expect at all," Ostrander said about her first year of high school running. "I raced in middle school and won my races, but it's so much different in high school, so much more competitive. I'm really happy with how the season's gone."

Ostrander missed her Wheaties breakfast, but whatever the Warriors ate Saturday morning did the trick.

Powered by a pair in the top four and four in the top 12, Wasilla earned its second straight Region III title and fourth in six years.

All five of Wasilla's scoring runners placed in the top 16, leaving the Warriors with a meet-low 43 points, nearly 40 fewer than runner-up Kenai.

Wasilla's run to another title also included a surprise appearance by senior standout Morgan Dampier, who missed the entire regular season with an injury.

"This one is a lot more sweet," Wasilla head coach Gary Howell said of the win. "The one thing though. It isn't the end. We want to keep that ball rolling, and carry it into next week."

Sophomore Mariah Burroughs finished third for the Warriors, clocking a time of 18:53. Freshman Peggy Mathis, another first-year surprise in Region III, was fourth at 19:11.

"She's turned out to be a really good teammate and runner," Wasilla junior Jenna Ford said of Mathis.

Ford finished eighth for the Warriors at 19:52. Dampier was 12th and senior Jessica Pahkala finished 16th.

Ford said it was especially good to have Dampier back.

"It was a big morale (boost)," Ford said. "She's a big leader on our team."

Dampier, a three-time track and field state champion who helped lead the Warriors to state titles in cross-country and track as a junior, has spent the entire season off the trail recovering from an iliotibial band injury, which leads to pain and inflammation outside of the knee.

Before Saturday she had not run with the team since Aug. 17. Since, Howell said, Dampier has made the commute to Anchorage to see a physical therapist three times each week as she tried to rehabilitate.

Howell said Dampier's return lifted the team.

"I think it was probably the single contributing factor to everybody's confidence," Howell said. "I know now much it effected our team positively."

Dampier also ran a time of 20:12, which is actually five seconds faster than her 12th-place finish at the region meet last year. Dampier ran so hard to the finish line, the senior collapsed in a state of exhaustion at the finish line as she edged Palmer's Hana Bohman.

Dampier was on the grass right next to the finish line for an extended time after the race. Friends, teammates, medical personal and even rivals circled Dampier to make sure she was OK.

Dampier was up walking within 20 minutes after her finish.

"I ran until I had nothing left. I just gave it my all," Dampier said.

There was question whether Dampier, who being recruited by Division I track and field programs, would be ready to run at all during the fall season.

"There's always doubt, but I knew in the end, I had to make a sacrifice for my team," Dampier said. "I knew that I could sacrifice my body for my team. That's what I did."

Dampier was not the only runner to fall during the race. In a scary scene, Kenai Central's Bailey Beeson collapsed and passed out at the three-kilometer mark while running in the top five.

According to Bailey's father, Jim Beeson, Bailey had passed out twice during cross-country races last season, including at the state meet. After the state meet, extensive tests were done, but no problems were found.

Beeson was taken by ambulance to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. Jim Beeson said his daughter was coherent and doing better by Saturday afternoon. She was wearing a heart monitor during the race, so Beeson said he hopes the incident can lead to finding out what the problem is, and eventually finding a solution.

The Kardinals had designs on the team title heading into the race, but Kenai Central coach D'Anna Gibson said that once Beeson collapsed, the only concern was her health.

"Our runners didn't get any coaching after three kilometers," Gibson said. "There were some tears on the trail by our runners. I'm just proud of them for finishing the race."

The Kardinals still finished second at the meet and qualified for state for the second straight year.

"I'm just really hoping she's OK," Colony junior Audrey Michaelson said of Beeson. "I could tell something was bothering her. She's incredible. I just hope she's OK."

Michaelson finished as the region runner-up for the second consecutive season. All things considered, Michaelson said she's happy with her finish and time of 18:41.

"That was my goal. It's hard to set goals when the competition's so stiff," Michaelson said. "Everybody is so tough. It's so unpredictable, you never know what's going to happen."

While the run for No. 1 was uncontested, the race for spots two through five was a highlight of the championships.

During the first lap on the three-lap loop, Burroughs held was in second, holding a slight edge over Mathis. Michaelson, Beeson and Soldotna's Bree Mucha were locked in a pack.

Michaelson said at the end of the second lap she was able to pass Beeson and Mathis, and about 800 meters into the third lap she was able to catch Burroughs.

"I just decided to push ahead and go for her and try to break away," Michaelson said.

Michaelson was one of a pair of Knights to place in the top 15 and qualify for next week's state championships at Bartlett High School. Makenzie Thompson was 11th.

Wasilla, runner-up Kenai, Kodiak and Palmer were the four girls teams to qualify for the state meet. The Moose edged rival Colony by only three points.

Mucha will represent Soldotna in the state meet, thanks to her fifth-place finish. Hope Steffensen (sixth) and Taylor Ostrander (14th) also placed in the top 15 for Kenai.

In the Class 4A boys race, Skyview and Kenai were both hoping to finish in the top four, but Gibson said a solid race by Colony kept the Kards and Panthers from state berths.

Individuals qualifying for state were Skyview's Micah Hilbish at fifth, Kenai's Fox Michaud at sixth, Homer's Dan Adickes at eighth and Skyview's Sam Janorschke at 12th.

In the Class 1-2-3A races, Seward finished second behind Grace in the boys and girls races. The Seahawks will move on to state.

In the boys race, Seward's Miles Knotek finished first in 16:18, while Seward's Matthew Moore was second at 16:46.

Nikolaevsk runners make state
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.

Clarion sports editor Jeff Helminiak contributed to this report.

Region III Cross Country Championships
Saturday at Palmer
Class 4A
Team scores: 1. Kodiak, 37; 2. Palmer, 87; 3. Colony, 90; 4. Wasilla, 92; 5. Kenai Central, 113; 6. Skyview, 129; 7. Homer, 179; 8. Soldotna, 209; 9. Houston, 256.
Individual five-kilometer results
1, Christiansen, Cole, Kod, 16:07.19. 2, Minturn, Mason, Pal, 16:19.27. 3, Thomet, Levi, Kod, 16:41.60. 4, Ripley, Noah, Was, 16:46.27. 5, Hilbish, Micah, Sky, 16:46.51. 6, Machaud, Fox, Ken, 16:54.32. 7, Fried, Levi, Kod, 16:59.71. 8, Adickes, Dan, Hom, 17:01.83. 9, Schafer, Brandon, Col, 17:05.13. 10, Pahkala, Joshua, Was, 17:10.13.
Other peninsula finishers
12, Janorschke, Sam, Sky, 17:16.12. 16, Jensen, Dillon, Sol, 17:24.33. 19, Theisen, Jordan, Ken, 17:28.26. 20, Theisen, Jonah, Ken, 17:29.31. 28, Viekstrom, Jonas, Sol, 17:55.74. 31, Sparks, Bud, Sky, 18:02.72. 33, Mole, Nate, Ken, 18:12.25. 35, Atchley, Evan, Ken, 18:13.47. 36, Mccarron, Connor, Hom, 18:17.89. 38, Bullerdick, Matt, Sky, 18:25.88. 40, Ochoa, Pedro, Hom, 18:30.25. 41, Springer, Alex, Ken, 18:31.51. 43, Musgrave, Brenner, Sky, 18:37.31. 44, Worsfold, Jake, Hom, 18:40.74. 46, Mole, Andrew, Ken, 18:46.62. 48, Cooper, Kade, Sky, 18:55.27. 49, Musgrave, Cajewl, Sky, 19:04.99. 51, Beachy, Brandon, Hom, 19:17.12. 54, Hubbard, Jory, Sol, 19:57.64. 55, Green, Darien, Sol,
19:58.24. 56, Diehl, Colton, Sol, 20:14.01. 57, Walsworth, John, Hom, 20:28.24. 58, Lewis, Daniel, Sol, 20:41.88. 60, Brown, Drew, Hom, 25:01.72.
Class 1-2-3A
Team scores: 1. Grace Christian, 29; 2. Seward, 55; 3. Anchorage Christian Schools, 69; 4. Valdez, 95; 5. Cordova, 141.
Individual five-kilometer results
1, Knotek, Miles, Sew, 16:18.55. 2, Moore, Matthew, Sew, 16:46.36. 3, Klein, John, Gra, 16:53.55. 4, Monzon, Austin, ACS, 17:15.99. 5, Serventi, Daniel, Gra, 17:20.42. 6, Isaacs, Ivan David, Gra, 17:26.03. 7, Hatter, Matt, Gra, 17:28.81. 8, Karlberg, Hans, Gra, 17:30.97. 9, Mossgrove, Arlen, Gle, 17:34.79. 10, Thomas, Josh, Gra, 17:48.88.
Other peninsula finishers
12, Marshall, Michael, Sew, 17:54.45. 20, Marshall, Jacob, Sew, 18:27.99. 23, Berry, Tannen, Sew, 18:39.75. 24, Moore, Brandon, Sew, 18:51.29. 27, Gillespie, Dylan, Sew, 19:26.34. 36, Shoemaker, Ty, Nik, 21:46.46. 37, Ribbens, Daniel, Nik, 22:01.94.
Class 4A
Team scores: 1. Wasilla, 43; 2. Kenai Central, 82; 3. Kodiak, 84; 4. Palmer, 103; 5. Colony, 106; 6. Soldotna, 133; 7. Homer, 162; 8. Skyview, 215.
Individual five-kilometer results
1, Ostrander, Allie, Ken, 18:07.64. 2, Michaelson, Audrey, Col, 18:41.56. 3, Burroughs, Mariah, Was, 18:53.65. 4, Mathis, Peggy, Was, 19:11.36. 5, Mucha, Bree, Sol, 19:27.32. 6, Steffensen, Hope, Ken, 19:39.55. 7, Horn, Adriane, Kod, 19:44.17. 8, Ford, Jenna, Was, 19:52.12. 9, Jorgenson, Ellen, Pal, 20:00.78. 10, McCormick, Danielle, Sol, 20:05.54.
Other peninsula finishers
14, Ostrander, Taylor, Ken, 20:16.93. 17, Schmitter-Schrier, Noelle, Ken, 20:34.91. 26, Hutchison, Hannah, Sky, 21:40.17. 27, Soistman, Cassidy, Hom, 21:41.77. 28, Jantzi, Pam, Hom, 21:47.82. 32, Seneff, Rebecca, Hom, 22:13.05. 33, Fox, Sadie, Sol, 22:18.95. 35, Miller, Alaine, Hom, 22:44.22. 38, Merkes, Maranda, Sol, 23:01.56. 39, Winter, Chelsea, Sky, 23:01.83. 40, Mastolier, Valerie, Homer, 23:06.77. 43, Peters, Mattea, Hom, 23:31.63. 44, Kiefer, Carolyn, Ken, 23:49.27. 45, Turner, Mariah, Hom, 23:54.53. 46, Schindler, Beverly, Ken, 24:30.39. 47, Bramante, Juliet, Sol,
25:46.44. 48, Valenzuela, Mary, Sol, 26:19.90. 49, Fisher, Kaylee, Sky, 27:18.00. 50, Holben, Shelbe, Sky, 28:15.13. 51, Farrington, Allison, Sky, 28:57.48.
Class 1-2-3A
Team scores:
1. Grace Christian, 15; 2. Seward, 52; 3. Anchorage Christian Schools, 73.
Individual five-kilometer results
1, Arnold, Elle, Gra, 19:39.17. 2, Hamberger, Sara, Cor, 19:48.12. 3, Davis, BethAnne, Gra, 19:51.61. 4, Trujillo, Claire, Gra, 20:00.99. 5, Applegate, Cheyenne, Gra, 20:10.74. 6, Trujillo, Anna, Grace Christ, 20:18.27. 7, Davis, Jodi, Gra, 20:59.30. 8, Pfeifienberger, Alice, Sew, 20:59.56. 9, Dyer, Laura, Sew, 21:37.09. 10, Johnston, Rachel, Gra, 21:45.27.
Other peninsula finishers
12, Barnwell, Isabel, Sew, 22:42.07. 16, Braun, Josephine, Sew, 23:44.46. 19, Berry, Meg, Sew, 24:46.02. 20, Herbert, Maggie, Sew, 25:34.19.



Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:44

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