Big move late lifts Eagle River’s Walsh to third-place finish at state cross country meet

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 12:40
  • Eagle River’s Emily Walsh runs up a hill during the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt (161) runs in a pack with Service’s Grace Fahrney and Wasilla’s Allison VanPelt during the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Brooklynn Gould, left, runs during the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Breanna Day (156) and Sophia Dedmore (157) run in the pack during the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Mike Day holds his daughter, Chugiak’s Breanna Day, after the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Emily Walsh, left, and Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt embrace following the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Grace Dunn (158) runs in the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Emily Walsh chases down South’s Ava Earl during the Division I girls race at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Bartlett High in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

With time running out in the Division I girls race at the state cross country meet at Bartlett, Eagle River’s Emily Walsh decided it was time to rise up. Literally.

“I just thought, ‘If I’m going to pass her it has to be now,” she said after sprinting past rival Ava Earl midway up the long, steep feature known as “Separation Hill” to earn a third-place finish Saturday at the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Cross Country Running Championships.

Walsh said she knew if she passed her fellow sophomore with a strong move she might be able to hold onto the podium finish.

“It’s all a mental game,” she said.

Walsh finished in 18 minutes, 30.4 seconds, eight seconds ahead of Earl and about 39 seconds behind winner Kendall Kramer of West Valley. Juneau’s Sadie Tuckwood was second in 18:18.

Walsh’s big move was cheered by a huge contingent of Eagle River supporters who turned up for the event despite the team having just two meet qualifiers (Nick Carl in the boys race was the other). Eagle River’s girls team suffered a huge disappointment last week by not qualifying for state, but Walsh said her teammates seemed to be cheering her everywhere on the windy, hilly, muddy Bartlett layout.

“So many people came to support me,” she said.

Wolves head coach Jacob Bera said he didn’t ask anyone to come to the races; his team just showed up.

“I think that’s just the culture we’ve built here,” he said.

Bera himself took the time to write a note on Walsh’s bib before the race to remind her of her strengths.

“Your character is unmatched, which is what I am most proud of,” wrote the ERHS coach.

After the race, Bera said the note was his way of letting Walsh know how proud he is of the work she’s put in this season.

“I just wanted to remind her of the things that make her a standout athlete and a standout person,” he said.

Walsh said the message was received.

“It kind of helped me feel good,” she said.

After the race, Walsh said she was thankful for her team, coaches and family; she said she felt fortunate to live in Eagle River and for her dad’s decision to take a job as pastor at the Church of the Wildwood in Eagle River before she was born.

“I’m so thankful that I happen to live in Eagle River,” she said.

Walsh’s performance bested her showing from last year by one spot and lowered her personal best on the Bartlett trails by 12 seconds. Bera said that’s exactly what he was hoping for.

“You could tell she was being patient and running her race,” Bera said.

Walsh’s finish was the top showing by a Chugiak-Eagle RIver girl, but it wasn’t the only fast time turned in Saturday. Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt finished 7th in 18:55.5 for the seventh-place Mustangs, followed by teammates’ Breanna Day in 15th (19:59.4), Sophia Dedmore in 21st (20:10.9), Lindsey Gerlach in 38th (20:58.3), Brooklynn Gould in 49th (21:22.7), Grace Dunn in 56th (21:52.9) and Kali Smedley in 64th (22:25.7).

Day said the course was difficult but enjoyable.

“It was muddy — but a fun muddy,” said Day, who leaped into her dad Mike’s arms shortly after crossing the finish line with a career best state finish.

Proffitt said she didn’t run her best race Saturday, but the always ebulent junior took the tough day in stride.

“There’s always next year,” said Proffitt, who was ninth last season.

Proffitt said this year’s field of top runners seemed particularly strong, with the top five finishers from last season all in contention this season.

“All the girls are so fast, it feels like everybody took a leap forward this year,” she said.

Proffitt said she had to deal with a tough final kilometer Saturday after her “rib popped out of place.”

While that sounds painful (Proffitt confirmed it was), the issue didn’t keep Proffitt from looking on the bright side anyway.

“Makes you tougher,” she said.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected]

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Cross Country Running Championships

Saturday, Bartlett High

5 kilometers

Division I girls

Team scores – 1) Juneau 71, 2) Service 77, 3) West Valley 95, 4) South 96, 5) West 98, 6) Chugiak 110, 7) Palmer 172, 8) Soldotna 203, 9) Colony 232, 10) Lathrop 268.

1. Kendall Kramer, West Valley 17:52; 2. Sadie Tuckwood, Juneau Douglas 18:18; 3. Emily Walsh, Eagle River 18:31; 4. Ava Earl, South 18:39; 5. Allison VanPelt, Wasilla 18:51; 6. Katey Houser, Palmer 18:51; 7. Adrianna Proffitt, Chugiak 18:56; 8. Grace Fahrney, Service 19:08; 9. Tatum Witter, Service 19:22; 10. Aubrey LeClaire, West 19:26; 11. Naomi Bailey, West Valley 19:43; 12. Anna Iverson, Juneau Douglas 19:45; 13. Kylie Judd, Dimond 19:54; 14. Lucy Young, South 19:54; 15. Breanna Day, Chugiak 20:00; 16. Jordan Strausbaugh, Soldotna 20:00; 17. Katherine McKenna, Juneau Douglas 20:00; 18. Natalie Hood, West 20:04; 19. Maggie Druckenmiller, West Valley 20:06; 20. Nowelle Spencer, Service 20:09; 21. Sophia Dedmore, Chugiak 20:11; 22. Clare Howard, Service 20:16; 23. Abigail Robinson, South 20:20; 24. Elizabeth Novakovich, South 20:20; 25. Trinity Jackson, Juneau Douglas 20:21; 26. Annika Schwartz, Juneau Douglas 20:22; 27. Lily Slatonbarker, West 20:24; 28. Mary Reinbold, Dimond 20:27; 29. Ryann Dorris, West 20:28; 30. Payton Smith, West 20:33; 31. Lydia Ortiz, Palmer 20:36; 32. Kiah Dihle, Thunder Mountain 20:41; 33. Garvey Tobin, Service 20:43; 34. Sophie Wright, Palmer 20:44; 35. Ivy Eski, West 20:52; 36. Zoey Chang, Service 20:53; 37. Sam Starks, West Valley 20:57; 38. Lindsey Gerlach, Chugiak 20:59; 39. Hannah Yi, West 21:03; 40. Lydia Bushey, Colony 21:03; 41. Erika Arthur, Soldotna 21:09; 42. Gloria Bailey, West Valley 21:10; 43. Malina Fagan, Kodiak 21:16; 44. Hannah Deer, Thunder Mountain 21:16; 45. Sofia Spaic, Colony 21:19; 46. Emma Jerome, West Valley 21:19; 47. Abigail Haas, Lathrop 21:19; 48. Lindsey Western, South 21:21; 49. Brooklyn Gould, Chugiak 21:23; 50. Clare Hanneman, Lathrop 21:29; 51. Emma Axelsson, West Valley 21:40; 52. McKenna McNutt, Juneau Douglas 21:43; 53. Tanis Lorring, Soldotna 21:44; 54. Morgan Elerding, Ketchikan 21:45; 55. Nataya Lee, South 21:51; 56. Grace Dunn, Chugiak 21:53; 57. Monica Bustillos, Colony 21:57; 58. Abby Novak, Colony 22:00; 59. Jasmin Holst, Juneau Douglas 22:00; 60. Rahab Porter, Lathrop 22:04; 61. Ellie Burns, Soldotna 22:06; 62. Zoe Cupp, Palmer 22:15; 63. Cameron Blackwell, Soldotna 22:24; 64. Kali Smedley, Chugiak 22:26; 65. Julia Thomas, South 22:26; 66. Sophia Nowers, Palmer 22:28; 67. Ruby McCue, Ketchikan 22:32; 68. Jordan Ruffner, Soldotna 22:33; 69. Alyssa Miles, Colony 22:42; 70. Ana Arreola, Palmer 22:54; 71. Nina Kalytiak, Palmer 22:56; 72. Claire Smith, Colony 22:59; 73. Nicole Bell, Colony 23:27; 74. Ryann Canna Denison, Soldotna 23:39; 75. Tjarn Bross, Lathrop 23:48; 76. River Wiseman, Lathrop 24:00; 77. Shalom Neff, Lathrop 24:08; 78. Amber Elkenberry, Lathrop 25:45.

Division II girls

Team scores – 1) Kenai Central 36, 2) Grace Christian 63, 3) Homer 75, 4) Monroe Catholic 121, 5) Petersburg 171, 6) Galena 178, 7) Anchorage Christian 197, 8) Sitka 209, 9) Nome 225, 10) Bethel 272, 11) Nenana 285, 12) Haines 292, 13) Cordova 327.

1. Jaycie Calvert, Kenai Central 19:22; 2. Autumn Daigle, Homer 19:46; 3. Katie Bast, Monroe Catholic 19:51; 4. Mazzy Jackson, Grace Christian 19:51; 5. Logan Satathite, Kenai Central 19:54; 6. Brooke Satathite, Kenai Central 19:55; 7. Lauren White, Monroe Catholic 20:08; 8. Leah Fallon, Kenai Central 20:23; 9. Brooke Miller, Homer 20:36; 10. Kendra Conrad, Petersburg 20:42; 11. Maia Cowan, Petersburg 20:50; 12. Grace Hodges, Monroe Catholic 20:53; 13. Sophia Coverdell, Grace Christian 21:03; 14. Grace Annett, Grace Christian 21:04; 15. Laura Ellis, Grace Christian 21:05; 16. Summer Foster, Kenai Central 21:17; 17. Reagan Lash, Grace Christian 21:19; 18. Kaylin Anderson, Homer 21:27; 19. Fiona Hatton, Homer 21:39; 20. Jasmine Lake, Nenana 21:43; 21. Carlee Merriner, Galena 21:43; 22. Abigail Ruse, Delta Junction 21:48; 23. Malea Voran, Port Alsworth 21:55; 24. Anika Witsoe, Cordova 21:56; 25. Bethany Daniel, Nome-Beltz 22:06; 26. Liana Carney, Wrangell 22:10; 27. Michaella Schaffer, Grace Christian 22:11; 28. Lillian Borromeo, Hydaburg 22:14; 29. Pearle Green, Galena 22:17; 30. Nia Calvert, Kenai Central 22:22; 31. Madeline Newman, King Cove 22:23; 32. Faith Clark, Newhalen 22:24; 33. Kara Super, Homer 22:24; 34. Tawny Smith, Sitka 22:25; 35. Katia Holmes, Homer 22:27; 36. Brystel Charlie, Mt Edgecumbe 22:31; 37. Caroline Bohlman, ACS 22:33; 38. Melanie Chase, Petersburg 22:36; 39. Vivian Condello, Galena 22:42; 40. Emily Tedrick, ACS 22:43; 41. Starr Erickson, Nome-Beltz 22:44; 42. Shelbie Naylor, Kenai Central 22:50; 43. Elaina Mack, King Cove 22:52; 44. Sienna Carey, Homer 22:54; 45. Jeannie Cook, Monroe Catholic 23:04; 46. Jolie Lucas, Ben Eielson 23:04; 47. Fiona Phelan, Bethel 23:09; 48. Zaida Baldwin, Kotzebue 23:10; 49. Audrey Saiz, Sitka 23:10; 50. Leah Hatch, Kotzebue 23:15; 51. Hannah Boron, Haines 23:16; 52. Addie Poulson, Sitka 23:30; 53. Ella Lubin, Sitka 23:35; 54. Miah Wolfe, Noatak 23:40; 55. Destiny Reimers, ACS 23:44; 56. Anna McLaughlin, Grace Christian 23:49; 57. Mary Kate Parks, ACS 23:56; 58. Kelsey Smallwood, ACS 23:57; 59. Lindsey Beans-Polk, Bethel 24:02; 60. Kaila Short, Kotzebue 24:15; 61. Leah Amukon, Scammon Bay 24:15; 62. Claire Fry, Anaktuvuk Pass 24:16; 63. Marirose Evenden, Haines 24:19; 64. Elizabeth Green, Galena 24:21; 65. Adrianna Charlie, Minto 24:25; 66. Ashley Fuller, ACS 24:28; 67. Acacia Chingliak, Akiachak 24:28; 68. Kristen Jackson, Kiana 24:29; 69. Taryn Trigler, Ben Eielson 24:33; 70. Tillie Titus, Scammon Bay 24:35; 71. Meadow Phelps, Bristol Bay 24:36; 72. Isabelle Hickman, Nikolaevsk 24:36; 73. Celest Kriska, Galena 24:36; 74. Eva Lenhard, Petersburg 24:38; 75. Abi Fry, Anaktuvuk Pass 24:40; 76. Caitlin Brower, Barrow 24:42; 77. Katelyn Wadsworth, Valdez 24:47; 78. Kenai Holien, Klawock 24:47; 79. Ava Earthman, Nome-Beltz 24:47; 80. Alicyn Bahnke, Nome-Beltz 24:48; 81. Kyla Smith, ACS 24:51; 82. Sara Wolgemuth, Barrow 24:51; 83. Kelsie Madson, Bethel 24:58; 84. Haley Boron, Haines 25:00; 85. Lewanne Brower, Barrow 25:03; 86. Angie Samash, Nenana 25:07; 87. Haley Bartolaba, Sitka 25:10; 88. Mistelle Titus, Tri-Valley 25:12; 89. Cadence Cedars, Bethel 25:15; 90. Mallory Conger, Nome-Beltz 25:15; 91. Thresa Savo, Dillingham 25:18; 92. Maura Grahek, Monroe Catholic 25:28; 93. Areli Stringfellow, Nenana 25:35; 94. Charity Boyscout-Homer, Chevak 25:37; 95. Amee Hamberger, Cordova 25:39; 96. Olivia Wilcox, Sitka 25:42; 97. Jean Krause, Dillingham 25:44; 98. Katelyn Tocktoo, Nome-Beltz 25:45; 99. Rose Lake, Hooper Bay 25:46; 100. Reann Lincoln, Paul T Albert 25:48; 101. Amanda Kanrilak, Paul T Albert 25:59; 102. Jacquelyn Berlin, Buckland 26:08; 103. Annie Christensen, Petersburg 26:11; 104. Kathryn Difuntorum, Unalaska 26:15; 105. Sharon Hansen, Nenana 26:16; 106. Bethany Grant, Galena 26:18; 107. Sophia Dupras, Lumen Christi 26:19; 108. Keely Harris, Delta Junction 26:22; 109. Sable Scotton, Galena 26:23; 110. Tanisha Gust, New Stuyahok 26:24; 111. Felicia Ione, White Mountain 26:27; 112. Dellarae Charlie, Bethel 26:29; 113. Lydia Andriesen, Haines 26:34; 114. Elsa Tinker, Dick R Kiunya 26:42; 115. Keitha Phillip, Akiachak 26:46; 116. Leesa Murph, Petersburg 26:47; 117. Lydia Martin, Petersburg 26:54; 118. Adam Kaganek, Scammon Bay 27:10; 119. LouAnn Niksik, St. Michael 27:19; 120. Kaley Nelson, Barrow 27:31; 121. Cayla Calver, King Cove 27:37; 122. Shayna Evan, Dick R Kiunya 27:56; 123. Hannah Getchell, Haines 27:56; 124. Abigail Landrum, Nenana 28:03; 125. Daynon Medlin, Nome-Beltz 28:13; 126. Stephanie Lane, Point Lay Kali 28:27; 127. Kendra Kaptoak, Dillingham 28:33; 128. Barbara Acovak, New Stuyahok 28:34; 129. Nelliann Smith, Lewis Angapak 28:44; 130. Yzella Miramontes, Haines 29:09; 131. Jessica Wray, Cordova 29:57; 132. Zya Taylor, Cordova 30:33; 133. Kiley Wnek, Monroe Catholic 31:53; 134. Schenia Wassilie, Akiachak 31:58; 135. Olivia Carroll, Cordova 36:58.

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