Northwest Review - Week Three

         Allie Ostrander of Kenai blazed her way into the record books and on to the national scene yesterday, when she blitzed the field in the Skyview Invitational.    Her time was a stunning 17:53 on a course where Jenette Northey held the record at 18:43.   Northey of Service, who depending on what state rulebook you use, placed  either  second or first last year at State, came home in second yesterday with a time of 18:46.   

      One of the questions that may be asked after yesterday is where does that put her in Alaskan history?  At this point it is a bit hard to say but no one  has run even close to that time at the state meet with Leah Francis (18:39 in 2007) and Kris Smith (18:40 in 2002) leading the way.   My records show that Leah Francis won the Concordia Adidas Classic in 2006 with a time of 17:42.  That is a course record and as far as I can tell the all-time state record.   The next best time oddly enough appears to be the 18:17 clocked by Northey on the Concordia course last fall of 18:17.   Of course no matter where the time falls in the state record book, the time is of national note and we look forward to her taking a shot at the Foot Locker National Championship in December.

      Ostrander certainly was not the whole story that day for Northey’s  time of 18:46 is the third fastest time on the course (she has #2 & 3).   West Anchorage freshman Lydia Blanchet, who placed second to Northey last week at Bartlett, continued her stellar running with a third place effort of 19:08.   That time makes her the 7th fastest girl on the course.   Sarah Freistone of Dimond claimed fourth at Skyview with19:11 topping Rachelle Roelle of West, who ran 19:14.   Chugiak’s Samantha Hartke garnered sixth ahead of Grace Graham of East Anchorage, while Hope Steffinsen of Kenai, Maria Burroughs of Wasilla and Stephanie Kirk of South Anchorage rounded out the top ten.   Bailey Beeson of Kenai ran 19:32 to place eleventh.   Other runners of note were Jenna Ford, who placed 18th and Kailey Wilson of Kenney Lake ran 19:54 and finished 21st.

    West Anchorage came out on top in the team battle with the West girls topping Kenai 78 to 87.  Wasilla’s 98 was good for third and they were followed by Grace Christian & South Anchorage.   Service was the best of the boys’ team, as they defeated Kodiak 72 to 103.   Palmer placed third with 108 points & Grace & Chugiak followed.

      Cole Christiansen of Kodiak made his own statement, when he claimed victory and his time of 16:07 is one of the best in the state.   Skyview marks his second invitational triumph of the season, as he also won the Twilight.   That mark of 16:07 makes him the seventh fastest guy to ever run the race with Marcus Dunbar of Kodiak at the pinnacle.   Interestingly enough that list also includes Sam Salus and Dylan Anthony of Kodiak, so coach Marcus Dunbar has another premier runner.   Max Romey, who was second last weekend behind Kyle Hanson at Bartlett, came in second once again with a fine 16:17.  Romey just edged Miles Knotek of Seward as both were clocked in 16:19 and Mason Minturn of Palmer took fourth.   Palmer’s Chris Osiensky (16:33) secured fifth and was followed into the chute by Levi Thomas & Jordan Fogle of Kodiak, Lucas Hepler of Service, John Farr of East and Brandon King of Eagle.  Others of note were Garth Schulz of Service (11th) and John Klein, the defending 3A champion, of Service (14th).

   A secondary question about Ostrander might be where did she come from & what has she done prior to this?   That unfortunately is a good one and even what class she is a part of is unclear, although the guess is that she is a freshman.    Oddly enough, when the Ketchikan Dailey News previewed the Kenai team on August 11, there was no mention of her.  

This is actually at least Allie’s second race of the season, for she won the Homer Invitational by a good two minutes.    Regardless she is on the scene now, and if she keeps running like this, it will be interesting.


                                                                Interior Invitational


      The Birch Hill course in Fairbanks hosted the Interior Invitational, which featured teams from that area.   Before we list the times it should be noted that the course is on a par with European courses and features obstacles to jump.    That said times are not as important as place but Megan Edic of Lathrop ended up the winner with a time of 19:42.   Edic had placed fourth at last week’s Bartlett Invitational.  Audrey Michaelson of Colony improved on last week’s sixth place Bartlett finish by earning second yesterday & also had a version of 19:42.  Brooke Lizotte of Lathrop took third in the race with a time of 20:17, which was superior to her time on the easier Bartlett course, which certainly shows improvement.   Bailey Meier of Colony placed fourth ahead of Makenzie Thompson, who was also from Colony.  Mickey Murtiff of Ben Eielson, Megan Kubischef of Lathrop & Brittney Anderson of Colony earned sixth through eighth respectively, while Kelly Schmitz of North Pole scored with ninth.   Schmitz had placed third earlier at the All School’s Invitational behind winner Eliza Rorabaugh of West Valley, who did not run on Saturday.

       In the boys’ race Kyle Hanson of Lathrop, who won at Bartlett, won for the second week in a row.  His time of 16:37 topped Andrey Ionashku of Delta Junction by eight seconds.  It marks Andrey’s second silver medal this fall, as he placed second to Kuba Grzeda of West Valley, who apparently did not run yesterday, at the All School’s Invitational.   Grzeda has the fastest time in the state thus far, so absence was notable.  Ryan Kornkven of Lathrop earned third in 17:23, which put him four seconds in front of Eric Hoefler of West Valley.   Colony’s Brandon Schafer took fifth and Luke Castellini led a trio of Lathrop runners (Keegan Rankin & Kade Fitzgerald being the others), who secured a team victory with the streak.  Jonathan Koenig and Bobby Signor, both of WV followed in ninth and tenth. 

     The Lathrop boys’ team easily topped West Valley 24 to 58.   Colony top the gals’ scoring with a low of 31 points to edge Lathrop, which had 34.  West Valley was a distant third with 93 points.      Next Saturday the major action will be at the Colony Invitational.