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Galena’s Moos, Homer’s Daigle put on show in Division II cross-country championships

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 30, 2017
  • Published September 30, 2017

From the dominant performance by Galena's Jacob Moos to the stunning finish by Homer's Autumn Daigle to the closest team race in years — if not in history — small schools came up big Saturday at the state cross-country championships.

Alaska's Division II runners collectively produced the two fastest times, the biggest surprise and the greatest drama on the Bartlett High trails, where separate races were held for big schools and small schools.

"It's great to know they think they can separate us and we can come out on top," said Moos, who repeated as the Division II champ with a time that was 34 seconds faster than Division I winner Ti Donaldson of West Valley.

Moos ran the second-fastest time ever recorded on Bartlett's 5-kilometer course. His time of 15 minutes, 33 seconds is second only to the 15:10 registered in 2014 by Kodiak's Levi Thomet.

Daigle, a sophomore who hadn't won a race all season, staged a flabbergasting come-from-behind win in the Division II girls race. She passed leader Ruby Lindquist of Seward on the final stretch after closing a gap of about 50 meters in the final kilometer.

"I was so far behind," Daigle said.

Team championships went to a pair of Anchorage schools.

The Anchorage Christian boys, led by the 2-3 finish of senior Blake Bennett and freshman Tristian Merchant, captured their first state title since 2005 by beating Homer by seven points.

And in a result so close it had everyone double-checking their math, the Grace Christian girls used a pack mentality to triumph by a single point over Homer and Seward. Homer, the three-time defending champion, won the tiebreaker to claim the second-place trophy.

"Right now we're doing a lot of math," Grace Christian junior Grace Annett said before the team scores were announced. "People are saying, 'It's a tie.' 'It's one point.'

"It's really stressful.''

By placing its top five runners in the top 17, Grace Christian is back on top after winning six straight state titles from 2008-13.

Mazzy Jackson placed sixth to lead the Grizzlies. The team's next four finishers — 11th-place Annett, 13th-place Maddy Morgan, 14th-place Laura Ellis and 17th-place Kiah Widener — were separated by 38 seconds. The team's sixth and seventh finishers, Charlee Demientieff and Anna McLaughlin, finished four seconds apart in 21st and 22nd place.

Annett said the Grizzlies discovered the benefit of running in a pack a week earlier at the region championships and were determined to do it again at the state meet.

"It's easier to move together," she said.

Jackson broke away from her teammates early, leaving Annett to push the pace for the main pack of Grace runners.

"C'mon, we have to get this person," she would say as the group closed in on someone. "Just five quick steps to the top of this hill," she would say as the group neared the crest of a hill.

Ahead of the Grace Christian pack, serious drama unfolded.

More than halfway through the race, Daigle was a distant third to Lindquist and ACS's Tessa O'Hara.

"I could see them through the trees, but not straight ahead of me," Daigle said. "Then I started seeing Tessa going back and said, 'I can catch her.' I had no idea I could get Ruby but I could tell by the way her arms were moving and her head was moving that she was tired."

Daigle caught O'Hara on a hill but didn't catch Lindquist until the final 100 meters.

For much of the race, Daigle said, she figured she'd finish third or fourth. Then, to her utter astonishment, the race was hers for the taking.

"I was in the chute, (thinking) 'I can do it.' All the adrenalin's just pumping," she said.

"… I'm so surprised. I have no idea what's going on right now."

Grace Christian's top five runners totaled 57 points, and Homer and Seward both finished with 58. A team's sixth runner is the tiebreaker in cross country, so the Mariners prevailed by virtue of Shine Carey's 39th-place finish, which eclipsed Sophia Dow's 51st-place finish for Seward.

The second-place team trophy was another surprise for Daigle, who entered the season with modest team expectations.

"We lost four seniors out of our top five and I did not think we could get even close to winning state," she said. "I thought this year we would be awful."

The Mariners also lost coach Bill Steyer, who reinvigorated running at the school before becoming the head coach at Lane Community College in Oregon this year.

In his place is Annie Ridgely, a former middle school coach who capped her debut season as the high school coach by leading the Mariners to a pair of second-place team trophies.

The Homer boys were led by a fourth-place finish from Jacob Davis and a sixth-place finish from Luciano Fasulo. But ACS had a more potent 1-2 punch thanks to Bennett and Merchant.

Bennett ran the day's second-fastest time, a 15:47 that shaved 15 seconds off the time that carried him to third place a year ago.

The only senior on a team loaded with freshmen, Bennett said he felt like a team parent for much of the season.

"I'd corral them and make sure they knew what to do," he said. "I was always checking up on them, making sure they knew what to eat."

In return, the young runners gave Bennett extra energy.

"It's so fun because everyone's so young, so they're still excited about running," he said. "They inspired me a lot."

Bennett hung with Moos for more than half of the race, but wasn't able to respond when a confident Moos made a move near the top of a hill.

Moos cut 22 seconds off his winning time of 15:55 from last year. He became the second straight Galena runner to win back-to-back state championships, joining 2014-15 champ Kaleb Korta.

"Four in a row for Galena," Moos said. "That's more cool than two for me."

School pride is a big deal for Moos, a senior who remembers when Galena was a team of one — Korta. It became a team of two when Korta was a junior and Moos was a freshman.

This year, Galena sent a full boys team and a full girls team to the state meet after sweeping the region championships.

"It just shows that excitement's starting to build in Galena," coach Jon Korta said. "They're seeing what is possible."

Korta said the school "lucked out" by having two great runners come along at the same time. Their work ethic and talent set the tone for the rest of the team, he said.

"They are close to those guys. They know they aren't that different," Korta said. "They haven't put Jake and Kaleb on a pedestal. They'll ask me, 'What did Jake do as a freshman?'

"They know that just because you're out in the Bush without a fancy track and all those big meets, you can still do it, you know?"

ASAA/First National Bank state cross country championships

Division II girls

Team scores

1. Grace Christian 57; 2. Homer 58; 3. Seward 58; 4. Petersburg 91; 5. Galena 146; 6. Anchorage Christian 180; 7. Sitka 205; 8. Mt Edgecumbe 218; 9. Unalaska 259; 10. Nome 265; 11. Nikolaevsk 277; 12. Cordova 289; 13. Delta Junction 325.

Individual 5K

1. Autumn Daigle, Homer 19:30; 2. Ruby Lindquist, Seward 19:35; 3. Tessa O'Hara, ACS 19:59; 4. Brooke Miller, Homer 20:09; 5. Emma Moore, Seward 20:17; 6. Mazzy Jackson, Grace Christian 20:20; 7. Lauren White, Monroe Catholic 20:29; 8. Maia Cowan, Petersburg 20:30; 9. Alex Moseley, Homer 20:37; 10. Kendra Coonrad, Petersburg 20:53; 11. Grace Annett, Grace Christian 20:59; 12. Hana Cooney, Seward 21:03; 13. Maddy Morgan, Grace Christian 21:09; 14. Laura Ellis, Grace Christian 21:13; 15. Erin Pfundt, Petersburg 21:14; 16. Sadie Lindquist, Seward 21:30; 17. Kiah Widener, Grace Christian 21:37; 18. Sienna Carey, Homer 21:45; 19. Malea Voran, Tanalian 22:05; 20. Elain Mack, King Cove 22:07; 21. Charlee Demientieff, Grace Christian 22:10; 22. Anna McLaughlin, Grace Christian 22:14; 23. Carlee Merriner, Galena 22:17; 24. Brystel Charlie, Mt Edgecumbe 22:21; 25. Ayla McNeilley, Sitka 22:30; 26. Ella Lubin, Sitka 22:33; 27. Acacia Chingliak, Akiachak 22:34; 28. Pearle Green, Galena 22:38; 29. Gloria Jacobson, Glennallen 22:43; 30. Kalista Rodriguez, Seward 22:47; 31. Vivian Condello, Galena 22:48; 32. Carolyn Hailstone, Aqqaluk 22:49; 33. Anika Witsoe, Cordova 22:51; 34. Katie Davis, Homer 22:55; 35. Ashley Fuller, ACS 23:01; 36. Lillian Borromeo, Hydaburg 23:03; 37. Julia Murph, Petersburg 23:05; 38. Melanie Chase, Petersburg 23:11; 39. Shine Carey, Homer 23:12; 40. Elizabeth Fefelov, Nikolaevsk 23:14; 41. Celeste Kriska, Galena 23:15; 42. Hailey Wilson, Unalaska 23:16; 43. Sable Zehluber, Sitka 23:17; 44. Faith Clark, Newhalen 23:18; 45. Mary Kate Parks, ACS 23:19; 46. Maura Grahek, Monroe Catholic 23:19; 47. Adrianna Charlie, Minto 23:20; 48. Dorothy Bukowski, Bethel 23:21; 49. Grace Hodges, Monroe Catholic 23:23; 50. Abigail Ruse, Delta Junction 23:33; 51. Sophia Dow, Seward 23:38; 52. Leah Amukon, Scammon Bay 23:39; 53. Laura Ekada, Mt Edgecumbe 23:40; 54. Linda Rexford, Mt Edgecumbe 23:47; 55. Elizabeth Green, Galena 23:47; 56. Starr Erikson, Nome 23:50; 57. Ria Smyke, Cordova 23:50; 58. Marirose Evenden, Haines 23:50; 59. Eva Lenhard, Petersburg 23:54; 60. Kiana Korta, Galena 23:54; 61. Areli Stringfellow, Nenana 23:57; 62. Mary Fiskeaux, Nome 24:00; 63. Sara Wolgemuth, Barrow 24:03; 64. Hannah Boron, Haines 24:06; 65. Bridget Nalam, Unalaska 24:10; 66. Harmony Davidson, Homer 24:12; 67. Haley Bartolaba, Sitka 24:24; 68. Mallory Conger, Nome 24:37; 69. Isabelle Hickman, Nikolaevsk 24:38; 70. Adam Kaganak, Scammon Bay 24:39; 71. Danielle Pasitnak, Akiachak 24:40; 72. Lindsey Beans-Polk, Bethel 24:41; 73. Reann Lincoln, Paul T Albert 24:41; 74. Alessandra Bavilla, Dillingham 24:45; 75. Emily Tedrick, ACS 24:57; 76. Wolf Star Duran, Mt Edgecumbe 24:59; 77. Justina Fefelov, Nikolaevsk 25:09; 78. Julieanne Berikoff, Unalaska 25:11; 79. Amanda Kanrilak, Paul T Albert 25:12; 80. Abigail Go, Unalaska 25:13; 81. Claire Fry, Nunamiut 25:14; 82. Carlisa Wood, ACS 25:15; 83. Amanda Titano, Cordova 25:16; 84. Ava Earthman, Nome-Beltz 25:18; 85. Alexia Bankston, Barrow 25:20; 86. Jean Krause, Dillingham 25:22; 87. Kristin Klaich, Nikolaevsk 25:25; 88. Nelliann Smith, Lewis Angapak 25:26; 89. Jaylyn Martinez, Mt Edgecumbe 25:26; 90. Kathryn Difuntorum, Unalaska 25:27; 91. Akicyn Bahnke, Nome 25:29; 92. Sophia Dupras, Lumen Christi 25:34; 93. Allanna Conwell, Kotzebue 25:36; 94. Makenzie Hofacker, ACS 25:37; 95. Caitlin Conwell, Kotzebue 25:38; 96. Rebecca Hollander, Mt Edgecumbe 25:39; 97. Alyssa Klein, Delta Junction 25:41; 98. Shiphrah Brueckner, Seward 25:43; 99. Laura Ramoth, Davis-Ramoth 25:51; 100. Laney Sheldon, Aqqaluk 25:56; 101. Roxanne Marchuk, Delta Junction 25:57; 102. Kaeli Amik, Kwigillingok 25:58; 103. Jasmine Woods, Mt Edgecumbe 26:02; 104. Kayla Booth, Kotzebue 26:05; 105. Kaitlyn Tocktoo, Nome 26:07; 106. Sadie Newton, King Cove 26:18; 107. Barbara Acovak, Chief Ivan Blunka 26:26; 108. Katelyn Johnson, Tanalian 26:29; 109. Felicia Ione, White Mountain 26:32; 110. Sydney Gray, Bethel 26:38; 111. Calia Sieh, Kotzebue 26:38; 112. Anjoli Agloinga, White Mountain 26:43; 113. Saralee Egoak, Joann Alexie 26:47; 114. Marissa Tunutmoak, Scammon Bay 26:55; 115. Kiara Kapotak, Chief Ivan Blunka 26:57; 116. Keely Harris, Delta Junction 26:58; 117. Lewanne Brower, Barrow 27:04; 118. Ji In Choi, ACS 27:08; 119. Rachel Soloman, Barrow 27:13; 120. Zofia Danielson, Sitka 27:26; 121. Bethany Grant, Galena 27:33; 122. Rita Unin, Scammon Bay 27:34; 123. Abi Fry, Nunamiut 27:37; 124. Lindsey Dushkin, Sand Point 27:40; 125. Schenia Wassilie, Akiachak 27:56; 126. Patricia Washington, St Michael 28:25; 127. Dellarae Charlie, Bethel 28:31; 128. Mary Long, Hooper Bay 28:36; 129. Sophia Klaich, Nikolaevsk 28:39; 130. Casey Stern, Sheldon Point 29:14; 131. Keesha Paul, Manokotak 29:21; 132. Daynon Medlin, Nome 29:56; 133. Zya Taylor, Cordova 30:20; 134. Megan Webb, Delta Junction 31:44; 135. Elin Hicks, Delta Junction 32:03; 136. Olivia Carroll, Cordova 33:48.

Division II boys

Team scores

1. Anchorage Christian 60; 2. Homer 67; 3. Grace Christian 75 ;4. Sitka 84; 5. Seward 96; 6. Bethel 195; 7. Unalaska 229; 8. Glennallen 230; 9. Petersburg 236; 10. Haines 244; 11. Nome 270; 12. Galena 296; 13. Hutchison 341; 14. Cordova 410.

Individual 5K

1. Jacob Moos, Galena 15:33; 2. Blake Bennett, ACS 15:47; 3. Tristian Merchant, ACS 16:30; 4. Jacob Davis, Homer 16:42; 5. Callen Davis, Tanalian 16:46; 6. Luciano Fasulo, Homer 16:46; 7. Luke Fritzel, Grace Christian 16:46; 8. Neil Lindquist, Seward 16:55; 9. Dominic Baciocco, Sitka 17:03; 10. William Parks, ACS 17:12; 11. Gabe Martin, Grace Christian 17:18; 12. Joe Pate, Sitka 17:20; 13. Skyler McIntyre, SItka 17:20; 14. Jordan Beachy, Homer 17:22; 15. Taylor Davis, Tanalian 17:30; 16. Max Pfeiffenberger, Seward 17:33; 17. Tabor Buxton, SItka 17:37; 18. Zen Petrosius, Seward 17:38; 19. Vincent Coverdell, Grace Christian 17:39; 20. Denver Waclawski, Homer 17:43; 21. Erik Jones, Grace Christian 17:45; 22. Danny Brady, Skagway 17:49; 23. Siyel Galindo-George, Haines 17:50; 24. Joshua Davis, ACS 17:53; 25. Jaden Van Dyke, Seward 17:54; 26. Paul Kopp, Grace Christian 17:55; 27. Mathew Hunter, Bethel 17:55; 28. Kaleb Smith, ACS 17:56; 29. Caden Gerlach, Glennallen 17:59; 30. Bill Rich, Homer 18:02; 31. Amos Sage, Napaaqtugmiut 18:02; 32. Blaine Henning, Unalaska 18:02; 33. Cole Dull, Dillingham 18:05; 34. Kael Gerlach, Glennallen 18:07; 35. Trevor Wilson, Unalaska 18:08; 36. Tobin Karlberg, Grace Christian 18:09; 37. Andrew Stringfellow, Nenana 18:10; 38. Tolin Eddy, Petersburg 18:11; 39. Coleson Voran, Tanalian 18:12; 40. Diesel Geerdts, Bethel 18:14; 41. Thomas Phelan, Bethel 18:17; 42. Gabriel Silas, Monroe Catholic 18:19; 43. Harrison Moore, Nome 18:20; 44. Jamie Yi, Nome 18:21; 45. Trey Ingalls, Seward 18:21; 46. Derek Bartlett, SItka 18:21; 47. Andrew Marker, Craig 18:23; 48. Clayton Beachy, Homer 18:26; 49. Eugene Alexie, Kuskokwin LA 18:31; 50. Brennan Skeek, Petersburg 18:32; 51. Kormac Kesey, Hutchison 18:32; 52. Levi Gionet, Grace Christian 18:32; 53. Henry Simmonds, Unalaska 18:39; 54. Kole Sperl, Petersburg 18:39; 55. David Kokrine, Effie Kokrine 18:39; 56. Sean Dorsey, Glennallen 18:40; 57. Kirby Faverty, Haines 18:40; 58. Kincaid Parsons, SItka 18:44; 59. Zachary Trail, Nikolaevsk 18:45; 60. Hunter Desoto-Finn, ACS 18:45; 61. Lawrence Poe, Bethel 18:49; 62. Robert Sheldon, Napaaqtugmiut 18:52; 63. Brendan McMurray, Seward 18:54; 64. Samuel Calvert, Dillingham 18:55; 65. Dexyer Lowe, Homer 18:56; 66. Mark Davis, Haines 18:57; 67. Samuel Koster, Seward 18:57; 68. Al Lane, Nenana 19:00; 69. Chris Williams, Dillingham 19:01; 70. Aengus Bancroft, Glennallen 19:02; 71. Jamin Crow, Bethel 19:04; 72. Ethan Tukrook, Kali 19:04; 73. Michael Pereat, Unalaska 19:05; 74. Koren Sperl, Petersburg 19:05; 75. Michael Hopson, Barrow 19:07; 76. Balin Parton, Kake 19:10; 77. Tobias Robinson, ACS 19:10; 78. Aaron Rose, Nome 19:12; 79. Joe Uttereyuk, Scammon Bay 19:13; 80. Hahlen Behnken-Barkhau, SItka 19:15; 81. Nathaniel Walsh, Monroe Catholic 19:18; 82. Edward Atcherian, Chevak 19:20; 83. Tobin Hobbs, Nome 19:21; 84. Carver Culbeck, Haines 19:22; 85. Thomas Durkin, Petersburg 19:25; 86. Bryce Knudsen, Kake 19:26; 87. Joachim Gumlickpuk, Chief Ivan Blunka 19:26; 88. Patrick Cunningham, Haines 19:28; 89. Gage Frohnapfel, Cordova 19:28; 90. Odin Jacobson, Haines 19:29; 91. Esua Weyiouanna, Barrow 19:30; 92. Jacob Edgerley, Hutchison 19:39; 93. Joshua Boyscout, Chevak 19:40; 94. Daniel Kopp, Galena 19:40; 95. Mathias Capp, Hutchison 19:41; 96. Carson Crager, Haines 19:41; 97. Thomas Dyment, Bethel 19:46; 98. Talon Shaishnikoff, Unalaska 19:46; 99. Joey Kniseley, Unalakleet 19:49; 100. Eric Tinker, Akula Elitnaurvik 19:55; 101. Brandon Milne, Galena 19:56; 102. Samual Lazurus, Kotzebue 19:56; 103. Eli Atkins, Kotzebue 19:58; 104. Braden Dallmann, Aniak 20:00; 105. CJ Leonguerrero, Ben Eielson 20:03; 106. John Riddle, Galena 20:04; 107. Chris Garcia, Unalaska 20:09; 108. Casey Konukpeok, Chief Ivan Blunka 20:09; 109. Thomas Warren, Delta Junction 20:11; 110. Edward Kokeok, Shishmaref 20:12; 111. Nicholas Charles, Akiachak 20:13; 112. Tom Tunutmoak, Scammon Bay 20:21; 113. Austin Lane, Kali 20:24; 114. Jonathan Dorsey, Glennallen 20:24; 115. Ray Daniel, Bethel 20:26; 116. Peter Nelson, Kotzebue 20:30; 117. Luke Alexie, Ignatius Beans 20:32; 118. Seth Wain, Hutchison 20:33; 119. Mikal Nelson, Barrow 20:36; 120. harvey Levi, George Morgan 20:36; 121. Aaron Motis, Nome 20:38; 122. Paul Huntington, Galena 20:39; 123. Seth Grant, Ben Eielson 20:44; 124. Tommy Bast, Monroe Catholic 20:47; 125. Joshuah Wolfe, Napaaqtugmiut 20:47; 126. Preston Alexie, Kuinerrarmiut Elitna 20:48; 127. Noah Sullivan, Petersburg 20:49; 128. Zeb Khan, Ben Eielson 20:50; 129. William Evon, Kwigillingok 20:56; 130. Ben Wray, Cordova 20:58; 131. Brian Aichele, King Cove 20:59; 132. Justin Custer, Shungnak 21:05; 133. Isiah Mongoyak, Barrow 21:06; 134. Virgil Sam, Galena 21:12; 135. Chase Nay, Nunamiut 21:15; 136. Ryder Gunderson, Sand Point 21:26; 137. Jacob Brouillette, Aniguiin 21:39; 138. Keegan St. Amand, Glennallen 21:55; 139. William Deaton, Cordova 21:57; 140. Alexander Greene, Hutchison 22:11; 141. Julian Cumps, Petersburg 22:13; 142. Ethan Beckett, Cordova 22:13; 143. Koby Wightman, Galena 22:16; 144. Braydyn Brandell, King Cove 22:26; 145. Gage Crawford, Cordova 23:05; 146. Eoghan Hernandez, Cordova 23:08; 147. Hayden Williams, Cordova 25:00.

Autumn Daigle of Homer crosses the finish line with a time of 19:30 to win the girls Division II cross country title. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)
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