PANTHERS RUN WILD AT CROSS COUNTRY REGIONALS & STATE
Mickey Wilson kicks past Sitka’s Niko Friedman to victory, and Amanda Jensen strides toward the finish line at regionals.
Photos by Klas Stolpe
Wilson repeats as SE champ on stress-fractured foot
Girls take second in region, fifth in state
By JEFF BRADY
Skagway senior Mickey Wilson accomplished the unthinkable over the past two weeks. Running on a sore foot that later would be found to be a stress fracture, he won the 1A-2A-3A region title in the mud in Juneau on Sept. 26. He then took eighth in the state last weekend in Palmer.
“(Mickey) didn't practice all last week (before regionals), because he could hardly walk on the foot,” said coach Kent Fielding “It was a slow race, but he was running to win, not to set records.”
Teammate Quinn Weber was on a pace to win the event early, leading through the first 2.25 miles of the 3.2 mile event, but Wilson and Sitka’s Niko Friedman caught him. Wilson finished four seconds ahead of Friedman for his second straight region title, and Weber took third about 14 seconds back.
The Skagway boys team just missed qualifying for state. Although tied with Mt. Edgecumbe for third place, the Braves got the edge because they had one more runner than Skagway.
The Skagway girls, however, did qualify in impressive fashion. As their numbers grew with more runners toward the end of the season, the team kept climbing in the standings. At regionals, the girls finished second to Sitka.
Senior Amanda Jensen did not win, but finished a strong fourth, leading a corps of Skagway runners in the top 15: Kaitlyn Surdyk, running sick, took sixth; Emily Herbig was 12th in her first race of the year; and Rori Leaverton, battling asthma, took 14th. Elise Doland’s 48th place finish was good enough to qualify the team for state.
“I'm proud of them,” Fielding said. “Amanda qualified for state for the fourth time in four years, and Emily qualified for the third time in four years. This is Kaitlyn's second trip to state, and the first trip for Rori, Elise and Kayla (Henricksen).”
Emily Herbig runs the trails at the state meet, and Quinn Weber battles for position at state with a Valdez runner.
At the state meet in Palmer, the girl’s team “ran the best race of their lives,” Fielding said.
“We finished fifth, but if you counted only our first four runners we finished second,” he continued. “Amanda, Rori and Emily ran PRs (personal records) for the season, and Kaitlyn ran one of her best races.”
Jensen cracked the top 10 in the state for the second time in her career, equaling last year’s ninth place finish. Surdyk took 21st, Leaverton 22nd, and Herbig 32nd. Many of their times were 45 seconds to a minute faster than their times at regions (see below), he noted. Even Henricksen, although far back in 106h place, finished with her own all-time personal record, and it helped the team scoring. Doland did not run.
“It was absolutely one of the greatest performances I have ever witnessed,” Fielding said. “These girls are tough, and any indication they will stomp regions in volleyball and state in basketball. I'm glad to have had the chance to coach these girls and especially to have coached Amanda and Emily for four years.”
Hampered by injury, Wilson still took to the course in Palmer and finished eighth, one position better than last year. Weber took 13th, much better than his 29th position a year ago. Both were region champs in track last year and are looking forward to the spring season, as are several girls who have shots at region titles, Fielding said.
Wilson will have to forego wrestling, however. Doctors have told him to stay off the fractured foot for six to eight weeks. But he should be ready for basketball.
Wrestling and volleyball season previews will appear in the next issue. Their seasons are underway. The volleyball team scrimmaged Porter Creek Thursday, and the wrestling team travels to Hoonah this weekend. There will be a wrestling tournament in Skagway Oct. 23-24.
Danny Moore and Rori Leaverton finish strong in the rain and the mud at regionals.
XC Regionals in Juneau
2A/3A Boys’ Team Results:
1. Sitka 60; 2. Craig 77; 3. Mt. Edgecumbe 89; 3. Skagway 89; 5. Haines 93; 6. Wrangell 103; 7. Klawock 187; 8. Kake 226
2A/3A Boys’ Top Ten:
1. Mickey Wilson, Skagway, 17:34; 2. Niko Friedman, Sitka, 17:39; 3. Quinn Weber, Skagway, 17:50; 4. Patrick Howell, Wrangell, 18:06; 5. Quinn Asquith-Heinz, Haines, 18:25; 6. Daniel Coffey, Craig, 18:30; 7. Blake Hamilton, Haines, 18:34; 8. Ryan Baxter, Craig, 18:47; 9. James Kahler, Sitka, 18:50; 10. Stephen MacIntyre, Sitka, 18:51. Other Skagway places/times: 16. Logan Weber, 19:35; 32. Ian Klupar, 20:47; 41. Danny Moore, 21:22.
2A/3A Girls Team Results:
1. Sitka 37; 2. Skagway 79; 3. Craig 90; 4. Haines 122; 5. Wrangell 125; 6. Mt. Edgecumbe 136; 7. Yakutat 146; 8. Klawock 148
2A/3A Girls’ Top 10:
1. Kari Paustian, Sitka, 21:45; 2. Amber Nickerson, Craig, 21:56.27; 3. Bailey Brady, Sitka, 21:56.88; 4. Amanda Jenson, Skagway, 22:11; 5. Jolene Lemieux, Haines, 22:25; 6. Kaitlin Surdyk, Skagway, 22:36; 7. Jennifer MacIntyre, Sitka, 22:45.07; 8. Amy Gladsjo, Wrangell, 22:45.41; 9. Tina Esbenshade, Yakutat, 22:57; 10. Kathryn Medinger, Sitka, 23:15. Other Skagway places/times: 12. Emily Herbig, 23:18; 14. Rori Leaverton, 23:25; 48. Elise Doland, 28:10; 53. Kayla Henricksen, 29:49.
ASAA/FNBA State Meet in Palmer:
Boys – Skagway place/times: 8. Mickey Wilson, 17:07.2; 13. Quinn Weber, 17:26.9.
Girls –Team scores -- 1, Grace Christian 36. 2, Sitka 96. 3, Seward 107. 4, Monroe 119. 5, Skagway 124. 6, Dillingham 150. 7, Craig 162. 8, Anchorage Christian School 178. 9, Kotzebue 196.
Skagway place/times: 9. Amanda Jensen, 20:56.8; 21. Kaitlyn Surdyk, 21:55.9; 22. Rori Leaverton, 21:59.4; 33. Emily Herbig, 22:25.0; 107. Kayla Henricksen, 28:48.6
Complete results at www.asaa.org