Nothing in sports is preordained, but Sonny Prosser's victory in Saturday's Cook Inlet Conference cross-country championships felt like equal parts destiny and DNA.
Prosser, a sophomore at Dimond High, continued a family tradition by winning the boys 5-kilometer race on the muddy, messy trails at Bartlett High.
His mom and dad, Maylen Prosser and Mike Gomez, were crowned CIC individual champions in 1991, when Maylen won her second straight title for Dimond and Gomez won his first of three straight titles for West.
And his uncle, the late Laird Prosser, was the last Dimond boy to claim a CIC cross-country championship, taking the title in 1994.
"It feels good to be wearing a Dimond uniform as a Prosser," 15-year-old Sonny said as he tugged his mud-specked maroon-and-gold singlet.
Tempting as it is to cue "Born to Run" as the meet's theme song, better to choose something newer. Something original. Something by 14-year-old singer/songwriter Ava Earl of South High, the winner of Saturday's girls race.
Earl, who has released two albums and was the youngest solo artist to perform on the main stage at last month's Salmonfest music festival, turned a duel with Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh into a solo act. She beat Walsh by 13 seconds with a personal-best time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds.
"Emily and I are in a lot of races together," Earl said, "so always at the beginning we're running together, and I think it psyches both of us out so we always push hard at the start. I try to get ahead of her, because if she gets ahead of me it would make me lose hope."
Walsh, another 14-year-old freshman, said she stuck with Earl until the final kilometer of the 5K race.
"I was determined to not let her put a gap (on me)," Walsh said.
The battle for team titles ended with something old and something new.
The West High boys, spurred by second-place Everett Cason and third-place Declan Dammeyer, captured their fifth straight CIC championship.
The Service High girls, led by third-place Grace Fahrney and fifth-place Tatum Witter, won their first CIC team title since 2005. The team includes one freshman — Witter — and two sophomores.
"Our team is stoked," Fahrney said.
Always a deep team, the West boys showed just how strong they are as a team when senior Luke Jager, the Eagles' top runner, faltered while battling Prosser for the lead.
Though conditions were sloppy, Prosser set a fast early pace on his way to a winning time of 16:18.
"I turned it on at the beginning," he said. "… I was gonna go out hard. I was thinking if anyone went with me, I would break them."
And that's pretty much what happened — Prosser was either in the lead or near the lead the whole race. Jager, whose running season was limited by his ski-training commitments, said he managed to stay with him for about 3 kilometers.
"He attacked and attacked and attacked, and when he did I just exploded," Jager said. "Maybe I underestimated him."
"… The first half felt like I was dictating the pace, but he made it pretty clear in the second half that he was in charge. I fell apart and I heard footsteps behind me and it was all West High (runners)."
Jager was passed by four teammates, all of whom placed in the top eight. Jager was West's fifth finisher, placing 14th.
Cason, who finished two seconds behind Prosser, said Jager's misfortune was his good fortune.
"When Luke started losing energy, that let me bridge the gap (to Prosser)," Cason said. "I passed Luke first and then I chased Sonny. I think I could have had (the win) if there was more space … a 5.1K."
The Eagles easily won the boys team title, scoring 33 points to runner-up Dimond's 64. Things were closer among the girls — Service ended its 12-year title drought by edging West by seven points, 48-55.
Cook Inlet Conference championships
Boys team scores — West 33, Dimond 64, Chugiak 86, Service 93, South 118, Eagle River 119, East 150.
1. Santiago Prosser, Dimond 16:18; 2. Everett Cason, West; 16:20; 3. Declan Dammeyer, West; 16:26; 4. Nick Carl, Eagle River 16:27; 5. Max Hartke, Chugiak 16:30; 6. Ethan Davis, West; 16:34; 7. Cameron Sheldon, Dimond 16:43; 8. Daniel Bausch, West; 16:47; 9. Alexander Maurer, Service 16:48; 10. Jacob Bradley, Eagle River 16:51; 11. Zephan Ozturgut, East; 16:57; 12. Kaleb Beloy, South; 16:58; 13. Sebastian Szweda Mitte, Service 17:01; 14. Luke Jager, West; 17:01; 15. Niko Latva-Kiskol, Dimond 17:03; 16. Michael Earnhart, Chugiak 17:05; 17. Mason Keffalos, South; 17:07; 18. Dallin Gardiner, Dimond 17:10; 19. Max Beiergrohsle, Chugiak 17:12; 20. Liam Baez-Terry, Chugiak 17:16; 21. Carter Gladwill, Eagle River 17:17; 22. Dakota Rygh, Service 17:18; 23. Fred Rygh, Dimond 17:20; 24. Davin Turney, Service 17:27; 25. Jacob Belanger, Service 17:28; 26. Miles Dennis, Chugiak 17:30; 27. Luke Howe, East; 17:30; 28. Zanden Mcmullen, South; 17:32; 29. George Cvancara, Dimond 17:32; 30. Bryston Monrean, South; 17:32; 31. Seth Chamberlain, South; 17:39; 32. Hyrum Nelson, Chugiak 17:42; 33. Jacob Lestina, Chugiak 17:48; 34. Alex Schuerch, East; 17:50; 35. Jaylon Miller, East; 17:51; 36. Bryce Pintner, Dimond 17:54; 37. Sebastian Reed, West; 17:57; 38. Mitchell Guyer, Service 17:59; 39. Jason Hlasny, Service 18:07; 40. Michael Maddox, Eagle River 18:16; 41. Spencer Putnam, South; 18:20; 42. Simon Keffalos, South; 18:25; 43. Beck Haywood, East; 18:29; 44. Alex Carl, Eagle River 18:34; 45. Ahmed Salih, East; 18:45; 46. Brycen Lynch, West; 18:46; 47. Tucker Lien, Eagle River 18:56; 48. Caleb Robles, Eagle River 19:36; 49. Orion Roach, East; 19:52; ; 9/23/2017; 3:05PM
Girls team scores — Service 48, West 55, Eagle River 80, Chugiak 92, South 112, Dimond 118.
1. Ava Earl, South; 18:57; 2. Emily Walsh, Eagle River 19:10; 3. Grace Fahrney, Service 19:17; 4. Adrianna Proffitt, Chugiak 19:37; 5. Tatum Witter, Service 19:43; 6. Aubrey LeClair, West; 20:04; 7. Quincy Donley, West; 20:18; 8. Leola Atkinson, Bartlett 20:18; 9. Maggie Meeds, South; 20:23; 10. Caitlin Gohr, Service 20:26; 11. Kylie Judd, Dimond 20:38; 12. Ivy Eski, West; 20:44; 13. Ryann Dorris, West; 20:48; 14. Kiara Sherman, Eagle River 20:52; 15. Claire Nelson, Eagle River 20:53; 16. Garvey Tobin, Service 21:02; 17. Clare Howard, Service 21:09; 18. Sophia Cvancara, Dimond 21:13; 19. Emma Nelson, Chugiak 21:16; 20. Lily Slatonbarker, West; 21:16; 21. Randi Von Wichman, Service 21:18; 22. Breanna Day, Chugiak 21:19; 23. KayLee Manwaring, Chugiak 21:19; 24. Mary Goodwin, Eagle River 21:22; 25. Maddy Maurer, Service 21:22; 26. Maria Cvancara, Dimond 21:26; 27. Lucca Duke, West; 21:29; 28. Lindsey Gerlach, Chugiak 21:31; 29. Ashley Walsh, Eagle River 21:40; 30. Haille Rogers, Dimond 21:43; 31. Myah Smith, Eagle River 21:44; 32. Bonnie Perkins, Eagle River 21:47; 33. Samantha Cole, Chugiak 21:58; 34. Roxanna Reynolds, South; 22:13; 35. Maya Syren, South; 22:16; 36. Kelsey Johannes, West; 22:22; 37. Sadie Oswald, South; 22:28; 38. Mary Reinbold, Dimond 22:31; 39. Quincy Smith, Dimond 22:34; 40. Brynn Kruchoski, Chugiak 22:37; 41. Lindsey Western, South; 22:55; 42. Margeaux Bailey, East; 23:22; 43. Kaley Fleming, Dimond 23:45; 44. Lucy Young, South; 24:34
Past CIC Champions
Year Boys Girls
2017 West Service
2016 West Chugiak
2015 West Chugiak
2014 West West
2013 West West
2012 Service West
2011 Service West
2010 Service South
2009 Service South
2008 Service West
2007 Service West
2006 South West
2005 South Service
2004 Dimond East
2003 Chugiak Service
2002 Dimond East
2001 Dimond Chugiak
2000 Chugiak East
1999 Dimond East
1998 Dimond East
1997 Dimond East
1996 Dimond Dimond
1995 Service Service
1994 Service Chugiak
1993 Dimond Service
1992 Dimond Chugiak
1991 Dimond Chugiak
1990 Bartlett Chugiak
1989 Bartlett Service
1988 Bartlett Service
1987 Dimond Bartlett
1986 Chugiak Bartlett
1985 Dimond West
1984 Dimond Bartlett
1983 Dimond Bartlett
1982 Bartlett West
1981 Bartlett Dimond
1980 Dimond Dimond
1979 Dimond Dimond
1978 Dimond Dimond
1977 Dimond Service
1976 Dimond Service
1975 Dimond Service
1974 Dimond Service
1973 Dimond Service
1972 Service Dimond
Past CIC individual champions
Year Boys Girls
2017 Sonny Prosser, Dimond Ava Earl, South
2016 Gus Schumacher, Service Molly Gellert, West
2015 Ty Jordan, Chugiak Morgan Lash, South
2014 Ty Jordan, Chugiak Morgan Lash, South
2013 Ty Jordan, Chugiak Morgan Lash, South
2012 John Farr, East Rachel Roelle, West
2011 Max Romey, Service Lydia Blanchet, West
2010 Silas Talbot, Service Jenette Northey, Dimond
2009 Jani Lane, Service Amelia Hennessy, Dimond
2008 Aaron Fletcher, South Esther Kennedy, Service
2007 Aaron Fletcher, South Letitia Luch, West
2006 Aaron Fletcher, South Shoshana Keegan, West
2005 David Bondi, South Shoshana Keegan, West
2004 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak Kendra Kennedy, Service
2003 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak Katelyn Stearns, East
2002 Jesse Cherry, Chugiak Kris Smith, West
2001 Ted O'Reilly, Service Kris Smith, West
2000 Sean McMahon, East Kikkan Randall, East
1999 Seth Chappel, East Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1998 Seth Chappel, East Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1997 John Angst, West Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1996 John Angst, West Darcy Dugan, Dimond
1995 Jim Settle, West Kate Galbraith, Service
1994 Laird Prosser, Dimond Kate Galbraith, Service
1993 Miguel Gomez, West Cynthia Morman, Chugiak
1992 Miguel Gomez, West Kaarin Knudson, Dimond
1991 Miguel Gomez, West Maylen Prosser, Dimond
1990 Jake Bartholomy, Bartlett Maylen Prosser, Dimond
1989 Jake Bartholomy, Bartlett Jenny Schlife, Service
1988 Richard Lee, Chugiak Shannon Hanson, Chugiak
1987 David Morris, Chugiak Nina Kemppel, West
1986 Rob Carter, Bartlett Cheri Jones, Bartlett
1985 Brad Carmen, Dimond Nina Kemppel, West
1984 Doug Herron, Bartlett Nina Kemppel, West
1983 Doug Herron, Bartlett Julie Reisenger, West
1982 Doug Herron, Bartlett Julie Reisenger, West
1981 Bill Locke, West Robin Wright, East
1980 Grant Walker, Dimond Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1979 Mike Graham, Bartlett Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1978 Gregg Cress, Dimond Dede Hathhorn, Dimond
1977 Rick McGuire, Service Betsy Haines, East
1976 Joe Kronk, Bartlett Betsy Haines, East
1975 Robin Rader, East Betsy Haines, East
1974 Don Clary, East Allison Rudd, Service
1973 Don Clary, East Michelle Trembley, Service
1972 Don Clary, East Ann Thomas, Dimond