Region III runners tackle hills

O’Quinn wins Class 4A race

Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2006


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  Skyview's Ivy O'Guinn rounds a curve with a commanding lead as she makes her way to a first-place finish in the class 4A girls race Saturday at the Region III cross country championships at Nikiski High School. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Skyview's Ivy O'Guinn rounds a curve with a commanding lead as she makes her way to a first-place finish in the class 4A girls race Saturday at the Region III cross country championships at Nikiski High School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Skyview’s Ivy O’Guinn started ahead and stayed ahead at the Region III cross country championships Saturday in Nikiski.

“The trails are pretty narrow at the beginning. We thought we needed to start pretty far ahead so we didn’t get boxed in,” O’Guinn said after winning the girls Class 4A race.

O’Guinn was able to maintain the pace she set early on Nikiski’s challenging, hilly, 5-kilometer course, and won her first region title with a time of 20 minutes, 16 seconds — 1:01 faster than runner-up Abby Reed of Kodiak.

Also Saturday, Seward’s Denali Foldager won the girls 3A race to lead the Seahawks to a team title, Anchorage Christian’s Mike Miller took the boys 3A race as the Lions won a team title, and Trevor Dunbar led a deep Kodiak squad to the boys 4A title.

“It was pretty tough, but I like hills a lot,” O’Guinn said of the course.

O’Guinn, freshman, said running out in front of the pack pushed her to go harder over the challenging terrain.


Class 4A boys climb a hill colored by fall leaves near the start of the Region III cross country championships Saturday at Nikiski High School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

“I think I pushed more, because I don’t like to get passed. I’d hear (Reed) behind me every now and then, and I’d pick it up every time I’d hear someone cheer.”

The win qualifies O’Guinn for next week’s state championship meet, hosted by Skyview on Tsalteshi Trails, and she’ll have plenty of company for training this week. Teammate Ariel Barker earned a spot by virtue of her top-15 finish — she was 14th with a time of 22:10 — and the Skyview boys earned a trip to state with their third-place team finish.

Also qualifying for the state meet in the girls 4A race was Soldotna freshman Kailey Mucha, who was seventh.

“Those hills killed me, but it was fun,” Mucha said. “I wanted to make it to state, and I think I did. I was just finishing as hard as I could, and I just wanted to go and have fun. I had a blast. I had so much fun, and I’m really happy with what I got.”

“I figured if I just pushed myself as hard as I could, I’d be OK and help my team qualify for state,” said Skyview’s Erick Romig.

Romig said he came down with a cold Friday that prevented him from meeting all of his individual goals, but he was pleased with his ninth-place finish and thrilled to see the Panthers make it to the state meet.

“I think we ran very well. On the whole, we all placed pretty close. One of our runners, Mike Moerlein, stayed with me and pushed me through the race. It helps a lot when your team is running around you and pushing you,” Romig said.

Moerlein finished 10th for the Panthers, Scott Begins was 20th, Tommy Honer was 21st and Johnny Cook was 23rd. Lucas Thein and Keith Clancy were 26th and 27th, respectively.


Skyview's Erick Romig, right, follows Colonys Mason Wick to a ninth-place finish Saturday as Romig's teammate Mike Moerlein comes in 10th.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Dunbar said Saturday’s region race was a good tune-up for next week’s state meet.

“I’d say this (course) is harder than Skyview. There’s more hills. It’s preparing us to think Skyview is easy when you run this,” Dunbar said.

Because of the hills, Dunbar said his strategy was to stick with his teammates over the first two-thirds of the race, then push hard over the final mile.

“We still ran hard — it’s just a different kind of running hard,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar won in 16:50 while teammate Cory Pena was second in 17:16.

“Our team is rockin’ and rollin’ right now,” Dunbar said. “I don’t see any reason, unless there’s some kind of disaster, we can’t win next week.”

The Seward girls also appear to be in top form for next week. Denali Foldager passed Anchorage Christian’s Nychele Fischetti in the last mile, then caught her sister Rubye on a hill to win the individual title with a time of 20:57.

“I thought I was going to be third,” Denali Foldager said. “Nychele and Rubye were duking it out. I kept working the uphills and running the downhills. ... I thought we could’ve walked faster up those hills — it was insane — but it wasn’t muddy.”

Rubye Foldager was second in 21:02, Seward’s Allison Barnwell was fifth in 21:54, Sara Glaser was seventh in 22:06 and Kendra Oldow was 12th in 23:24.

“We just really care about our team,” Denali Foldager said.

Miller moved to the front of the pack at the start of the boys 3A race and began to shed his closest pursuers, working hard on the hills, about a mile into the race.

“I was praying I’d have the strength to keep on going through,” Miller said.

Region III Cross Country Championships

Saturday at Nikiski


Class 3A team results — 1. Seward, 25; 2. Anchorage Christian, 44; 3. Grace Christian, 51; 4. Houston, 116.

Class 3A top 15 — 1. Denali Foldager, Sew, 20 minutes, 57 seconds; 2. Rubye Foldager, Sew, 21:02; 3. Nychele Fischetti, ACS, 21:15; 4. Maggie Miller, ACS, 21:21; 5. Allison Barnwell, Sew, 21:54; 6. Camy Dengel, Val, 21:58; 7. Sara Glaser, Sew, 22:06; 8. Marjorie Dupea, Gra, 22:08; 9. Julie Ann Loughlin, Gra, 22:33; 10. Rachel Lucia, Gra, 22:43; 11. Rebecca Lehe, ACS, 23:20; 12. Kendra Oldow, Sew, 23:24; 13. Sally Volstad, ACS, 23:32; 14. Justine Smith, Gra, 23:52; 15. Sarah Cresap, Gra, 23:55.

Other peninsula finishers — 17. Tekla Backlund, Sew, 24:11; 27. Juno Prochazka, Sew, 26:55.

Class 4A team results — 1. Wasilla, 43; 2. Kodiak, 50; 3. Colony, 73; 4. Skyview, 80; 5. Palmer, 144; 6. Homer, 162; 7. Soldotna, 170; 8. Kenai, 221.

Class 4A top 15 — 1. Ivy O’Guinn, Sky, 20:16; 2. Abby Reed, Kod, 21:17; 3. Kati Bialka, Was, 21:20; 4. Kyla Young, Kod, 21:24; 5. Johanna Doner, Col, 21:30; 6. Heidi Doner, Col, 21:31; 7. Kailey Mucha, Sol, 21:49; 8. Brooke Nelson, Was, 21:50; 9. Elle Fuller, Was, 21:51; 10. Kendra Nelson, Was, 21:54; 11. Jenna Reuter, Kod, 21:57; 12. Jaquie Lutz, Pal, 22:02; 13. Jessica Gross, Was, 22:05; 14. Ariel Barker, Sky, 22:10; 15. Cloe Ivanoff, Kod, 22:16.

Other peninsula finishers — 17. Kalee Alsworth, Ken, 22:30; 19. Marquee Lucas, Sky, 22:37; 22. Amanda Millay, Sky, 22:50; 23. Maggie McCarron, Hom, 22:52; 24. Michaela Hutchison, Sky, 22:56; 28. Amanda Smith, Sol, 23:13; 31. Claire Laukitis, Hom, 23:27; 32. Frannie Bursch, Hom, 23:31; 35. Kirsten Vantrease, Hom, 23:54; 37. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 24:24; 39. Jenna Jensen, Sol, 24:33; 41. Katie Arsenault, Hom, 24:35; 42. Mallory Millay, 24:37; 43. Teal Laukitis, Hom, 24:38; 44. Brittney Wyatt, Hom, 24:39; 47. Sarah Walton, Sol, 26:07; 48. Maya Johnson, Ken, 26:39; 49. Hannah Chase, Sol, 27:59; 50. Jordan Schneider, Sol, 29:58; 51. Tana Alsworth, Ken, 31:46; 52. Jennifer Sassi, Ken, 31:47; 53. Jasper Dix, Ken, 32:00; 54. Emily Smola, Sol, 32:14.


3A team results — 1. Anchorage Christian, 29; 2. Grace Christian, 34; 3. Valdez, 85; 4. Seward, 90; 5. Nikiski, 154; 6. Houston, 155.

Class 3A top 15 — 1. Michael Miller, ACS, 17:09; 2. Leif Karlberg, Gra, 17:48; 3. Hollis Troxel, ACS, 18:03; 4. Carlos Arias, ACS, 18:13; 5. Dan Linnell, Gra, 18:36; 6. Travis Price, Sew, 18:38; 7. Josh Baker, ACS, 18:45; 8. Jacob Kirk, Gra, 18:46; 9. Drew Edwards, Gra, 18:47; 10. Ryan Cox, Gra, 18:49; 11. Matt Nyholm, Sew, 18:57; 12. Josh Merioles, Val, 19:02; 13. Jordan Topangco, Val, 19:03; 14. Kevin Coriano, ACS, 10:07; 15. George Ilutsik, Gra, 19:10.

Other peninsula finishers — 19. Alex Cloward, Sew, 19:45; 21. Mark Chase, Sew, 19:57; 24. Kevin Talens, Sew, 20:14; 25. Thomas Wheeler, Nik, 20:18; 26. Bryan Bakk, Nik, 20:39; 28. Aaron Sarka, Sew, 21:09; 30. Christopher Richter, Nik, 21:31; 31. Andy Cloward, Sew, 21:34; 35. Aaron Bakk, Nik, 23:39; 38. Chris Skura, Nik, 27:55.

Class 4A team results — 1. Kodiak, 25; 2. Colony, 45; 3. Skyview, 83; 4. Wasilla, 103; 5. Palmer, 148; 6. Kenai, 170; 7. Homer, 175; 8. Soldotna, 231.

Class 4A top 15 — 1. Trevor Dunbar, Kod, 16:50; 2. Cory Pena, Kod, 17:16; 3. Jimmy Sliwa, Was, 17:18; 4. Lucas Fried, Kod, 17:21; 5. Antone Zagars, Col, 17:39; 6. Cody Huggins, Col, 17:44; 7. Sam Salus, Kod, 17:46; 8. Mason Wick, Col, 17:50; 9. Erick Romig, Sky, 17:52; 10. Mike Moerlein, Sky, 17:57; 11. Miles Dunbar, Kod, 18:01; 12. Nick Whitmore, Col, 18:02; 13. John Pahkala, Was, 18:04; 14. Ryan Van Gorder, Col, 18:09; 15. Jordan Foster, Kod, 18:19.

Other peninsula finishers — 20. Scott Begins, Sky, 18:46; 21. tommy Honer, Sky, 18:49; 23. Johnny Cook, Sky, 18:54; 25. Levi Sutton, Ken, 19:05; 26. Lucas Thein, Sky, 19:06; 27. Keith Clancy, Sky, 19:09; 28. Garrett Hoanin, Hom, 19:10; 29. Barry Norwell, Ken, 19:11; 31. Corey Rainey, Ken, 19:36; 32. Tyler Haas, Hom, 19:45; 34. Ben Hawkins, Hom, 20:00; 36. Garrett McCarthy, Hom, 20:04; 39. Bradley Maples, Sol, 20:12; 42. Brad Denesen, Ken, 20:29; 43. Joey Aho, Ken, 20:29; 44. Jacob Ghormley, Sol, 20:48; 45. Patrick Schneider, Hom, 20:48; 46. Ben Daigle, Hom, 20:51; 48. Aaron Julien, Sol, 21:09; 49. Brett Vadla, Sol, 21:18; 50. Simeon Daigle, Hom, 21:25; 51. Stryker McLane, Sol, 21:38; 52. Brett Ciufo, Sol, 21:39; 53. Thomas Hammelman, Ken, 21:41; 54. Eddie French, Sol, 24:08.

Cook Inlet girls, boys headed to state

The Cook Inlet Academy girls and boys cross country teams are headed to next week’s state championships after strong showings at the Region II meet at Susitna Valley High School in Talkeetna Saturday.

In the girls race, Holly Kopp took first with a time of 19 minutes, 44 seconds, to lead the Eagles to a team title. Brooke Forsi was third in 20:56, Sadie Arneson was fourth in 21:32, Amy Smithwick was eighth in 22:18, and Janine Ray was 10th in 22:48.

Jenna Grant of Ninilchik was 24th with a time of 28:14.

The Cook Inlet boys finished second to Heritage Christian. Josh Holly was second in 17:09, Lars Arneson was sixth in 17:42, John Forsi was ninth in 17:59, Chuck Kopp was 15th in 18:40, and Scott Litchfield was 16th in 18:48.

Ninilchik’s Jefferson Klapak was 13th in 18:32. Jonathan Klapak was 26th in 20:43, William Anderson was 32nd in 21:24, Chris Smith was 33rd in 22:09, Landon Davis was 36th in 27:34, and Joseph Cooper was 37th in 31:23.

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