Newcomers make a splash at season-opening cross country races

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 12:12
  • Eagle River’s Jacob Bradley runs through the tunnel beneath South Birchwood Loop en route to victory in the 3-kilometer “Battle of the Bridge” high school cross country race on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 at the Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh heads up the final hill en route to her victory in the 3-kilometer “Battle of the Bridge” high school cross country race on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 at the Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Runners head onto the course in the girls 3-kilometer “Battle of the Bridge” high school cross country running race on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 at the Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak. Eagle River freshman Emily Walsh won the race. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Max Hartke leads the field through a tunnel beneath South Birchwood Loop en route to a victory in the untimed open race at the “Battle of the Bridge” 3-kilometer cross country running races on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 at the Beach Lake Trails. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Eagle River opened the high school cross country running season by introducing some of its new recruits Friday, getting wins from transfer student Jacob Bradley and freshman Emily Walsh in a season-opening “Battle of the Bridge” dual meet against Chugiak at the Beach Lake Trails.

The Wolves took the top eight spots in the boys race, while Walsh held off a trio of Mustangs and teammate Claire Nelson in the girls’ top five spots.

A large number of each team’s runners were ineligible for the early season race due to not having enough official practices. Runners who didn’t meet the practice reqiurement took part in an unofficial community race open to all comers. In that race — with no official times kept — Chugiak junior Max Hartke and senior Emma Nelson were the first male and female runners across the line.

The races were held in a light, steady rain beneath heavy clouds and temperatures in the upper 50s.

Bradley completed the course — which featured a brutal climb just before the finish — in 10 minutes, 48 seconds to beat senior teammate Michael Maddox by 31 seconds. Freshman Karsten Senden was third in 12:08, followed by Dylan West in 12:33 and Logan Platz in 12:49. Wolves coach Jacob Bera said the addition of Bradley was a welcome surprise for a program that frequently loses athletes to military transfers.

“Usually it goes the other way,” Bera joked.

Chugiak’s top finisher was Gabriel Gullet in ninth.

The girls’ race was more competitive, with Walsh making a big splash in her high school debut by holding off Chugiak sophomore Adrianna Proffitt by six seconds. The former Gruening Middle School standout clocked 12:15 to best Proffitt and sophomore Broooklynn Gould, who was third in 13:02. Chugiak’s Brianna Day was fourth in 13:09, followed by Nelson in 13:20.

Both teams are likely to have deeper lineups when the 5-kilometer races begin next weekend. Both Chugiak teams are looking to return to state, with the Chugiak girls team coming off a Region IV championship and fourth-place finish at state in 2016, and the boys seeking to improve on their fourth-place region and eighth-place state finishes.

Eagle River’s boys and girls each finished one spot out of the state meet last year by placing fifth at regions.

Chugiak / Eagle River High School dual meet

August 11, 2017

Beach Lake Trails (Chugiak High)

3 kilometers

Boys

1) Jacob Bradley, ERHS, 10 minutes, 48 seconds; 2) Michael Maddox , ERHS, 11:19; 3) Karsten Senden , ERHS, 12:08; 4) Dylan West , ERHS, 12:33; 5) Logan Platz , ERHS, 12:49; 6) Camden Ensign , ERHS, 12:55; 7) Zachary Rinder , ERHS, 13:18; 8) Pierce McMannus , ERHS, 13:32; 9) Gabriel Gullett , CHS, 13:33; 10) Rodney Crum , CHS, 13:42;

11) James Solter , ERHS, 13:42; 12) Jack Sackerson , ERHS, 13:46; 13) Bryant Manwaring , CHS, 13:46; 14) Michael Blacar , CHS, 14:05; 15) Jacob Heavener , ERHS, 14:38; 16) Nicholas Cole , CHS, 14:49; 17) Josh Agron , ERHS, 14:50; 18) Michael Belega , CHS, 15:06; 19) Sean Gentile , ERHS, 15:54; 20) Collin Dyches , ERHS, 16:12; 21) Ethan Jennings , ERHS, 16:13; 22) Aaron Joslin , CHS, 17:18; 23) Isaac Valley , ERHS, 18:02; 24) Eric Scott , ERHS, 18:53

Girls

1) Emily Walsh , ERHS, 12:15; 2) Adrianna Proffitt , CHS, 12:21; 3) Brooklynn Gould , CHS, 13:02; 4) Brianna Day , CHS, 13:09; 5) Claire Nelson , ERHS, 13:20; 6) Lindsay Gerlach , CHS, 13:24; 7) Gwen Mueller , CHS, 13:25; 8) KayLee Manwaring , CHS, 13:40; 9) Ashley Walsh , ERHS, 13:40; 10) Kiara Sherman , ERHS, 14:00; 11) Jordan Hales , CHS, 14:20; 12) Bonnie Perkins , ERHS, 14:30; 13) Skye Brabson , ERHS, 15:04; 14) Giselle Rachels , ERHS, 15:16; 15) Tamara Brabson , ERHS, 15:28; 16) Briana Paxon , CHS, 15:29; 17) Marie Miller , ERHS, 16:20; 18) Emily Prior , ERHS, 16:31; 19) Ester Shore , CHS, 16:52; 20) Addsion Stzempka , CHS, 17:20; 21) Zoe Ruby , ERHS, 18:33; 22) Sophia McAlliser , ERHS, 18:39; 23) Elizabeth Crowther , ERHS, 18:39; 24) Kirsten Delozier , ERHS, 19:29

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