Kyle Mulvihill bears down toward the finish line in Palmer. Klas Stolpe, Petersburg Pilot

Tough State race for Kyle Mulvihill
Ketterman improves standing among SE runners

Skagway runners Kyle Mulvihill and Candi Ketterman finished 18th and 61st respectively in the boys and girls races at the ASAA/First National Bank Cross-Country Championships in Palmer Sept. 28.
For Mulvihill, the two-time Southeast region 1A-2A-3A champion, finishing out of the top 10 was a disappointing finale to a great season, but Ketterman improved by moving up three spots among Southeast runners.
Mulvihill may have tensed up under the pressure, and also was running with new spikes.
Coach Gary Trozzo said the preparation was fine, but when they arrived at the venue, Mulvihill was having trouble breathing.
By the time the race started, he was back in form, staying with the lead pack in fourth place after the first loop around the hilly course.
“We felt if he could get up to third, then he could challenge for the lead,” Trozzo said.
But on the second loop, Mulvihill had dropped to eighth.
“He couldn’t breathe and he cramped up,” Trozzo said. “It happens sometimes.”
Still he “gutted out” an 18th place finish, but Mulvihill was upset, knowing he could have finished much higher, Trozzo said. Mulvihill’s time of 18:13.83 was his slowest of the season - he even finished behind another Southeast 2A-3A runner for the first time this year. Kyle James of Mt. Edgecumbe was 15th with a time of 17:48.77.
Mulvihill, who finished ninth in the state last year, did not want to talk to media about the run, but his coach hopes it will be a learning experience.
Trozzo said Mulvihill should be able to three-peat in the region and do better at State.
“He still has one more year,” Trozzo said. “He needs to continue to train in the off-season.”
Ketterman also can only move up. Trozzo said she had an excellent run at State with a time of 23:35.40.
“Her times in Juneau and Palmer were consistent,” Trozzo said. “And even though she was 61st out of 96 runners, she was actually fifth overall from Southeast.”
At regionals in Juneau, she had finished eighth.
“She was real strong at the end, even though she was a little nervous at the beginning,” he said.
Susitna Valley won the girls 1A-2A-3A team title and Whitney Anderson of Seward was the individual champion with a time of 18:47. The highest SE runner was Autumn Streuli of Petersburg in 10th with a time of 21:05:.62.
Valdez won the boys 1A-2A-3A team title and its lead runner, David Tamura, was the individual champion with a time of 16:42:67, just four seconds ahead of Tomas Paniataaq of Nome-Beltz.
Juneau’s boys won the 4A title.
Looking ahead to next year, Trozzo said he will have a lean boys team, but the girls, if they improve, could be strong.
“We have two or three girls who could be right there in the top 10,” he said.
Mulvihill will be the leader of a small boys contingent, but he should continue to bring home the heavy hardware.

Coach Jensen, right, fires a serve across the net to SHS volleyball team members Christiana Heynen, Tiffanie Potter, Candi Ketterman, Savannah Ames, Audrey Neitzer, and Brandy Wilson (not pictured: Leah Moore) during a practice last week. JB

New coach, new rules
Volleyball region tourney here in November

The SHS volleyball team is facing a new season with a new coach and a new kind of game.
New coach Becky Jensen has six girls out for volleyball, just enough to have a team. In her first workout with all six on Sept. 29 following the end of the cross-country season, she said they appear to be an excellent unit.
“We’ve got a good team,” she said. “We just need to get our fundamentals down – passing and setting – and get back into shape.”
Jensen knows volleyball – she played all four years in high school – and is constantly pointing out things to girls in practice. During setting
drills she makes sure the girls are ready to receive the ball, just as in a
game situation. When they are serving, she wants them to make sure they throw the ball high enough to get a good hit.
Serving will be a huge part of the game, which is changing a lot this year.
High school volleyball across the country has switched to an international scoring system. Gone is the point system where you only scored when you served and won the point. Under the new “rally” scoring, a point is awarded whenever a ball hits the floor – it doesn’t matter who serves – and the games go to 26 instead of 15.
“I think it will be a fast-paced game,” Jensen said.
Another change is that “net serves” that go over will continue to be in play, instead of going back for a re-serve.
“What will hurt us are the net serves,” she said. “We are not used to playing it off the net.”
And it is hard to coach how to react to a ball that plays off the net differently every time. But Jensen noted that all the other teams have to get used to the new rules too.
On the squad are junior Savannah Ames, sophomores Audrey Neitzer, Tiffanie Potter and Candi Ketterman, and freshmen Brandy Wilson and Leah Moore. Another freshman, Christiana Heynen, was practicing with the team but is leaving for the winter.
All are excellent athletes, so Jensen’s job is to fine tune their skills and hope for no injuries.
“Once we get everything down, we’ve got an exciting team,” Jensen said.
The girls will have a huge test early in the season. They go to Sitka for a tournament this weekend, and on their way home play at defending region champ Hoonah Oct. 13-14.
Skagway fans won’t get a chance to see them play until the Region V 2A Tournament, which will be here on Nov. 17-18.

Coach Coughran demonstrates a takedown move on Aaron Kilburn as varsity wrestlers Kevin Wang, Thomas Knorr, Michelle Harris and Crystal Ketterman observe (not pictured: Ryan Forester). JB

Girls lead Panther wrestling team

Skagway will be taking five wrestlers to its first meet of the season this weekend in Petersburg.
Two veteran female wrestlers will be called on to lead the Panthers this year, said Coach Josh Coughran. Junior Crystal Ketterman has a legitimate shot at going to State meet, Coughran said, and sophomore Michelle Harris also has a good chance at placing high in the region.
“Crystal and Michelle worked hard last year, and they are training hard and practicing hard,” Coughran said.
New to the squad are “our big guy,” senior Thomas Knorr, sophomore exchange student Kevin Wang from Taiwan, and freshman Ryan Forester. Neither has wrestled before and are being taught a lot of technique, which they are picking up fast, Coughran said. Another freshman, Shawn Landers, has practiced with the team, and could rejoin after returning from vacation.
Assisting in practices are SHS alumnus Chris Shockley and eighth grader Aaron Kilburn.
The team members will know how they stand in the region after the Petersburg meet, which will have most of the region’s 2A-3A teams, Coughran said.
As yet, no home matches are scheduled, but Coughran is working on getting Hoonah and Tok here some time in November. – JB