Soldotna's Ari Goldstein (826) leads a pack of runners at the start of the Kenai Peninsula Borough cross country championships Saturday at the Nikiski Community Trails. Goldstein went on to win the race.
Photo by Will Morrow
The Soldotna High School girls and Kenai Central High School boys continued their runs atop the Kenai Peninsula Borough cross country championships while a pair of runners Soldotna's Ari Goldstein and Seward's Matt Adams won their first individual borough meet titles Saturday at the Nikiski Community Trails.
While both the Stars and the Kardinals posted their third consecutive team titles, Goldstein and Adams each were running on the Community Trails course for the first time.
"I haven't run out here before, but we walked the course this morning, so I had an idea of where everything was," Goldstein said after running away from the girls field to win in 19 minutes, 19 seconds. "It went better than I thought it would. I got into a really good rhythm. I wasn't expecting to feel so good out there."
Goldstein's closest pursuer was teammate Katie Franzmann, who finished in second place with a time of 20:11. Homer's Melanie Mach was third in 21:18.
"I just tried to stay with Ari for as long as I could," Franzmann said.
Mach said she tried to get to the front of the pack, where the faster runners were battling, at the start of the race.
"I wanted to stay with them, and I ended up staying with a girl from Seward (fourth-place Denali Foldager) and took off from there," Mach said.
By the middle of the race, the leaders were strung out, but Mach said it wasn't too bad to be running by herself.
"I'd pass a group of (spectators), and hear them cheering for people behind me. That made me go faster," Mach said.
Kenai's Elena Bird, who placed fifth, explained why the Community Trails course was so challenging.
"This course is the hardest in the state. It separates the women from the girls," Bird said. "You have to run with your whole body (to get up and down the hills). It's very unique in how you run it, partly because there aren't any loops you run the whole thing once and partly because it is so difficult."
Bird said her older brother Mario, a former 1-2-3A state champion for Nikiski and now the Bulldogs' head coach, gave her the inspiration to get around the course.
"He's my biggest running role model. He's so inspirational to me. ... I was definitely dying on the last hill, and he was there cheering for me," Bird said.
Nikiski's hilly course made it difficult for any runners to stick together for too long, as Kenai's Trevor Baldwin found out in the boys race.
"I hit the 1-K (kilometer) mark, and I was planning to take off, and all of the sudden, Adams took off," Baldwin said. "He just ran a great race, perfectly executed."
Adams pulled away from Baldwin to win in a course-record time of 16:14 while Baldwin settled for second with a time of 17:47. Soldotna's Patrick Lybrand was third in 18:05.
"I was planning on a conservative start and taking off at the 2-K mark, but I was feeling good at 1-K, so I took off, and it worked," Adams said. "I thought he was behind me the whole time until I started hearing a delay between cheering."
Adams said the course wasn't as grueling as he'd expected it to be.
"There weren't that many hills that slowed you down too much," Adams said.
Seward's Matt Adams cruises to a Kenai Peninsula Borough cross country title Saturday in Nikiski.
Photo by Will Morrow
Baldwin had a tough time on the hills mentally, though, with Adams getting farther ahead and the rest of the field closing in.
"With Adams taking off, I had to push myself. It was tough," Baldwin said.
Goldstein said she also was proud of her teammates who pulled through to win the team title.
"I'm excited to come out and win the team championship. A lot of people had big races today," Goldstein said.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Cross Country Championships
Saturday at Nikiski
Team results 1. Soldotna, 42 points; 2. Seward, 64; 3. Homer, 71, 4. Kenai, 78; 5. Skyview, 82.
Individual results 1. Ari Goldstein, Sol, 19 minutes, 19 seconds; 2. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 20:11; 3. Melanie Mach, Hom, 21:18; 4. Denali Foldager, Sew, 21:31; 5. Elena Bird, Ken, 21:44; 6. Ariel Barker, Sky, 21:46; 7. Rachel McCartan, Sol, 21:50; 8. Michaela Hutchison, Sky, 21:51; 9. Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 22:15; 10. Rubye Foldager, Sew, 22:19; 11. Julie Seneff, Hom, 22:46; 12. Laura Rooper, Nik, 22:49; 13. Whitney Hitchcock, Nik, 22:50; 14. Anna Clock, Sew, 22:51; 15. Leana Purugganan, Sol, 22:52; 16. Alee Rowley, Ken, 22:55; 17. Sarah Glaser, Sew, 22:57; 18. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 23:01; 19. Katie Arsenault, Hom, 23:47; 20. Sara Arsenault, Hom, 24:03; 21. Brittany Osland, Sol, 24:21; 22. Amanda Boll, Sol, 24:24; 23. Michelle Oberg, Ken, 24:54; 24. Monica Peters, Hom, 24:57; 25. Teal Hetrick, Sew, 25:05; 26. Alicia Monnier, Sew, 25:14; 27. Sasha Anderson, Sky, 25:57; 28. Autumn St. Amand, Sew, 26:05; 29. Jaime Miller, Sky, 26:31; 30. Danielle Severson, Sol, 27:11; 31. Jessica Summer, Ken, 27:20; 32. Audrey Coon, Ken, 28:47.
Team results 1. Kenai, 42, 2. Soldotna, 51; 3. Seward, 56; 4. Homer, 85; 5. Skyview 110.
Individual results 1. Matt Adams, Sew, 16:14; 2. Trevor Baldwin, Ken, 17:47; 3. Patrick Lybrand, Sol, 18:05; 4. Eli Hutchison, Sky, 18:09; 5. Levi Sutton, Ken, 18:16; 6. Matt Blair, Sew, 18:19; 7. Caleb Chase, Sol, 18:26; 8. Rob Navarro, Sol, 18:36; 9. Jed McGlasson, Ken, 18:40; 10. Brian Chase, Sol, 18:50; 11. John McGlasson, Ken, 18:58; 12. Leif Bardarson, Sew, 19:02; 13. Walter Moore, Sew, 19:05; 14. Colin McArthur, Hom, 19:07; 15. Chris Amen, Ken, 19:12; 16. Nate Spence-Chorman, Hom, 19:13; 17. Morgan Jones, Hom, 19:25; 18. Tyler Haas, Hom, 19:26; 19. Erick Romig, Sky, 19:27; 20. Garrett Hoanin, Hom, 19:30; 21. (tie) Beto Cosio, Hom, 1932; Kris Larson, Ken, 19:32; 23. Nick Whitaker, Nik, 19:39; 24. Sean Towhy, Sol, 19:47; 25. Nate Buchanan, Sew, 19:52; 26. Kipp Dixon, Sew, 19:55; 27. Noah King, Sky, 20:06; 28. Trent Semmens, Ken, 20:07; 29. Shawn Hutto, Sol, 20:17; 30. Anton Waissenberg, Sol, 20:19; 31. Tyler Thornton, Sky, 20:30; 32. Paul Morin, Nik, 20:43; 33. Matthew Nyholm, Sky, 20:54; 34. Mike Wicker, Nik, 21:02; 35. Dale Leach, Sky, 21:04; 36. Jeremy Narlock, Nik, 21:53; 37. Taylor Karnikis, Sky, 24:06.
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