The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Adam Hilts
For The LOG 

Seahawks host cross-country invite

 

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Seahawk varsity runner Matthew Moore slices his way to the finish line for 10th place.

With an overcast sky threatening rain, cross-country teams from 19 schools around the state gathered for the Frank Dieckgraeff Invitational meet at Seward High School’s track. Middle and high school athletes travelled long distances to compete and have fun and even experience some Seward sunshine as the Friday skies cleared near the end of the competition.

Looking out over the field full of young runners, many did last minute stretches before getting ready at the starting line. Then, Sami King, Seward high school’s athletic director and P.E. teacher, kicked off the day’s events by announcing the start of the first race. With excitement and anticipation the middle school girls headed to the starting line.

Upon a bang from the starting pistol they were off and running, applauded by teammates, friends and family. Once the last runner was out of sight the crowd dispersed, some to hang with friends others to continue cheering their friends or family at points along the track.

The 5-kilometer course ran down the field and through the woods down around the baseball fields and back up to circle the entire SHS sports field complex. The second circuit led runners back down to the baseball fields again to circle back up and drop down into the sports field from the west end.

Later in the afternoon, the varsity teams and supporters gathered at the finish line, many after completing races.

When asked what the most interesting thing to happen along their journeys so far, a couple of Seward’s cross-country team members interviewed on the field joked about “cuddling” and “Fred Meyers,” which brought grinning faces to all.

When asked if they would recommend it to their friends, Seahawk varsity runner Josephine Braun commented that “Running is great! It helps with self discipline and you’ll have a blast doing it. People are always helping one another. It’s like one big family.” Braun finished first from the Seward girls team and 21st overall.

Trevan Walker, SHS principal was asked if he thought this is going to be a good event or a great success? “With all these teams and volunteers it can only be a great success,” he replied.

Allie Ostrander, five-time Mount Marathon Girls Junior Race champion of Kenai Central High, strolled away with first place in the varsity girls competition.

Matthew Moore led the Seahawks varsity boys team with an eighth place finish in race standings led by Kodiak’s Levi Thomet.

Lyon Kopsack of Colony High School in Palmer, this year’s Mount Marathon Boys Junior Race champion, finished tenth.

The day’s races closed with a community race open to young and old, and more or less more experienced. It was all to have a good time whether racing a friend, the field of runners, or ones self.

After the event, Sami King thanked everyone involved. “Thank you to everyone who helped run the largest cross-country meet in the state last weekend and the largest meet ever hosted by Seward High!” she exclaimed.

 

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