Seward's Matt Adams passes fans on his way to a 16:38 win in the boys 1-2-3A race.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Sometimes, said Seward High School cross country coach Dan Marshall, the magic just happens.
The Seahawks certainly had a magical day at the state cross country championships Saturday as Rubye Foldager and Denali Foldager finished first and second in the 1-2-3A race to lead the Seward girls to a second-place finish, and Matt Adams ran away with the boys 1-2-3A race to lead the Seahawks to the top of the team standings.
"We prepare for this every year. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't," said Marshall. "For our girls to land in second place is huge. We expected our boys to be in the hunt, but we just wanted our girls to have fun. They ran their minds out."
Adams crossed the finish line 43 seconds ahead of second-place Carlos Arias of Anchorage Christian, completing the slick Tsalteshi Trails 5-kilometer circuit in 16 minutes, 38 seconds.
Cook Inlet Academy's Brian Beeson was third in 17:28, edging Seward's Matthew Blair by five seconds.
"It's my senior race. You've got to go out and give it everything you've got," Beeson said.
While Adams slipped into the lead just after the pack crested the first hill and ran away from the field, Beeson found himself running in fourth place halfway through the race, the same position in which he finished the race last season. Beeson pushed himself up to third on the second lap, though, and was pleased with his finish.
"I just wanted to stay with the pack and let Adams go, then burn as much as I could on the second lap, and pass as many people as I could," Beeson said. "I was trying for second, but I definitely didn't want to be fourth again. I gave it everything I had and ended up third -- I'm happy with that."
Adams said he didn't feel any butterflies as he prepared to run for his first state title -- a feat he said has been his top goal this season -- but he did feel an adrenaline rush about five minutes before the starter's gun went off.
"Matt Adams just flat did the leg work," Marshall said. "Combined with his talent and heart -- I haven't seen a kid run with the passion he has. He's special."
Adams said Seward's success was the result of hard work and talent. His teammates bore that sentiment out as Walter Moore, David Apperson and Leif Bardarson finished 13th, 14th and 15th, beating out runners from ACS and Valdez to secure the team title for the Seahawks.
Rubye Foldager also took the lead early in the race while twin sister Denali moved into second, just ahead of Grace Christian's Casey Martinez. Rubye won in 19:45 with Denali crossing the line eight seconds later.
"I spent a lot of time this year trying to get them to back off. They're freshmen, and we don't like to run our freshmen hard," Marshall said. "But at this particular race, we let them do whatever they want."
Marshall that before the race, they told what they wanted was to finish first and second.
"This is the awesomest feeling," Rubye Foldager said after the race. "We got in (Friday) night, walked the trail and had a quick, light practice. We went to dinner at a really nice restaurant, then stayed up all night, I was so excited about the race."
Foldager said the race strategy was to let Martinez, the Region III/1-2-3A champion, lead early.
Cook Inlet Academy's Brian Beeson sprints through the rain to a third place in the 1-2-3A race.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
"She was nowhere in sight, so me and Denali ended up first. We didn't go out too fast -- it was a perfect race," Foldager said, adding that her sibling also is her biggest rival. "We both wanted this really bad. I'm glad she got second."
Also in the girls 1-2-3A race, Nikiski's Laura Rooper finished 24th, Whitney Hitchcock was 30th and Ninilchik's Kendra Moerlein was 31st.
Moerlein said her goal for the race was to beat a runner that had beaten her, something she accomplished in what her coach, Penny Vadla, called "her best race yet."
Rooper said she ran her personal best time for the Tsalteshi course, despite hitting a slippery spot early in the race.
"My teammate (Hitchcock) said, 'Watch out for that on the next lap,'" Rooper said.
Hitchcock said it wasn't her best race, but was still pleased with how she ended her senior season.
"I could imagine a better day, but all in all, it was a good way to finish up," she said.
The Seahawks were second in the team competition to Grace Christian, which placed four runners in the top 20. The Cook Inlet Academy girls, making their team debut at the state championships, was ninth overall, led by Brooke Forsi's 20th-place finish.
First National Bank Alaska/Alaska School Activities Association 2004 State Cross Country Running Championships
Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails
1-2-3A standings -- 1. Grace Christian, 57; 2. Seward, 80; 3. Susitna Valley, 87; 4. Haines, 120; 5. Delta Junction, 127; 6. Anchorage Christian, 156; 7. Bethel, 168; 8. Craig, 172; 9. Cook Inlet Academy, 203; 10. Kotzebue, 214.
Top 15 individual 1-2-3A finishers -- 1. Rubye Foldager, Sew, 19 minutes, 45 seconds; 2. Denali Foldager, Sew, 19:53; 3. Casey Martinez, Gra, 20:18; 4. Maggie Embick, Val, 20:21; 5. Sarah Martinez, Gra, 20:35; 6. Krystal Moore, SV, 20:51; 7. JJ Lende, Hai, 21:00; 8. Nychele Fischetti, ACS, 21:01; 9. Barbara Towarak, Una, 21:20; 10. Tillie Kaiser, Bet, 21:30; 11. Kayti Kreppel, SV, 21:42; 12. Christine Hansen, Hai, 21:44; 13. Katrina Davis, Gra, 21:47; 14. Halidie Wilt, Una, 21:53; 15. Anna Clock, Sew, 21:56.
Other peninsula finishers -- 20. Brooke Forsi, CIA, 22:11; 24. Laura Rooper, Nik, 22:27; 29. Sarah Glaser, Sew, 22:37; 30. Whitney Hitchcock, Nik, 22:41; 31. Kendra Moerlein, Nin, 22:45; 41. Tana Alsworth, CIA, 23:32; 61. Sara Woods, CIA, 24:18; 69. Teal Hetrick, Sew, 24:35; 77. Alicia Monnier, Sew, 24:53; 80. Melissa Johnson, Sew, 25:11; 84. Sharon Lindow, CIA, 26:03; 95. Kaitlon White, CIA, 30:16.
1-2-3A team standings -- 1. Seward, 47; 2. Valdez, 62; 3. Anchorage Christian, 71; 4. Chevak, 152; 5. Susitna Valley, 173; 6. Delta Junction, 177; 7. Kake, 186; 8. Wrangell, 188; 9. Cook Inlet Academy, 196; 10. Kotzebue, 211.
Top 15 individual 1-2-3A finishers -- 1. Matt Adams, Sew, 16:38; 2. Carlos Arias, ACS, 17:21; 3. Brian Beeson, CIA, 17:28; 4. Matthew Blair, Sew, 17:33; 5. Mike Howell, Wra, 18:03; 6. Auston Ellis, Val, 18:04; 7. Boone Howard, SV, 18:05; 8. Jareth Boyscout, Che, 18:09; 9. Adam Kuchin, Val, 18:18; 10. Ian Stewart, Val, 18:19; 11. Hollis Troxel, ACS, 18:20; 12. Cameron Bynum, Del, 18:21; 13. Walter Moore, Sew, 18:22; 14. David Apperson, 18:31; 15. Leif Bardarson, Sew, 18:31.
Other peninsula finishers -- 35. Nate Buchanan, Sew, 19:14; 36. Kipp Dixon, Sew, 19:16; 42. Ryan Fowler, CIA, 19:20; 58. John Forsi, CIA, 19:50; 87. Marcus Brown, CIA, 21:15; 95. Mark Beeson, CIA, 22:23; 96. Zach Cialek, 22:50; 97. Hunter Clark, CIA, 23:16.
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