Runners open season strong in Juneau
The Haines High School cross-country teams opened their season Saturday, Aug. 27, in Juneau, with siblings Quinn and Zayla Asquith-Heinz leading the way.
Freshman Zayla Asquith-Heinz made her high school debut as the top female 3A runner at the meet. Her time of 22:23 earned fourth place and trailed only runners from 4A Juneau-Douglas and Ketchikan in covering the 3.1-mile route.
"It was a nice, hilly course," said coach Liam Cassidy. "It’s designed to imitate the cross-country ski courses that we run on when we go to state, up around Anchorage. Even though it rained a lot in Juneau this week, the course was in really good shape."
Senior Quinn Asquith-Heinz placed seventh overall in the male division, with a time of 18:46.
The girls finished fourth as a team, behind Juneau-Douglas, Sitka and Ketchikan and ahead of Craig, Thunder Mountain, Wrangell, a second Ketchikan squad, and Mount Edgecumbe. Ketchikan edged Haines by one point for third place.
"It was a very good first race," Cassidy said. "They really functioned well as a team. Some people who hadn’t been in a whole lot of cross-country running races did very well. I think we’re only going to get better."
Haines competitors included senior Marnie Rasmussen (16th), sophomore Serena Badgley (25th), junior Jess Giddings (27th), senior Jackie St. Clair (28th), senior Elena Horner (40th), junior Tia Heywood (46th) and sophomore Isobel Smith (59th).
"It was a good mix between our returning runners showing some good improvement over the last year, and the emergence of some new runners to our team," Cassidy said.
Junior Corey Piper was 13th for the boys, followed by sophomore Isaac Wing (49th) and junior Brandon Bachman (65th).
The boys were short of fielding a full team. Cassidy said he expects sophomore Chevy Fowler, junior Patrick Henderson and senior Brandon Haxton to join the Glacier Bears in Wrangell for a meet this weekend, and senior Maggie Daly is set to return for the girls.
"This year, it’s a reasonable goal for us to get both teams to state," Cassidy said.
The Juneau event also featured a citizens’ race that drew Haines entrants Julia Heinz and assistant coach Lilly Boron.
The Glacier Bears will host a 1 p.m. meet Friday, Sept. 9, starting at the Southeast Alaska State Fairgrounds. Volunteers are needed to serve as timers and course marshals, Cassidy said. He can be reached at 303-0751 for more information.