Home running meet Friday at Dalton City
Rookie Zayla Asquith-Heinz again outran all girls from small schools at Saturday’s cross-country meet in Wrangell, propelling the Glacier Bear girls to their second, second-place finish in as many meets.
Residents have a chance to see the girls’ and boys’ cross-country squads at a home meet beginning 2 p.m. Friday at Dalton City in the fairgrounds. Race volunteers should gather at 1 p.m.
In a downpour on a flat trail, Asquith-Heinz, 14, posted a time of 21:59 for five kilometers, a performance that puts her only a few footsteps behind J.J. Lende’s searing freshman start in 2004.
Coach Liam Cassidy said Asquith-Heinz has her own style. "She starts running, gets into a groove and just passes people."
Cassidy said Saturday’s highlights included a strong pack finish by mid-squad runners, improved times and cheering by the Haines volleyball team, who also competed at Wrangell. "Glacier Bear fever was running rampant in Wrangell this weekend."
Senior Marnie Rasmussen, Haines’ second runner, placed sixth among small-school runners, shaving 23 seconds off her time last week to finish in 23:33. Other improvements included senior Elena Horner’s 80-second improvement and sophomore Isobel Smith’s improvement of nearly two minutes.
Finishing behind Rasmussen was a four-girl pack including sophomore Serena Badgley (24:59), senior Jackie St. Clair (25:01), junior Jess Giddings (25:04), and Horner (25:07).
The close finishes were an example of team running coaches like to see. "They push each other along. A pack like that is much more likely to speed each other up than to slow each other down," Cassidy said.
Sophomore Tia Heywood finished seventh for Haines (27:08) and Smith was eighth (30:02).
With 95 points, the Haines girls finished 33 points behind Sitka, winner among small schools. Other small school finishes included Mount Edgecumbe (117) and Wrangell (152).
Aquith-Heinz said her goal is to break 21 minutes. She said she’d also like to catch the three, large-school runners who have finished in front of her this season, but said "that’s shooting pretty far."
She said she didn’t really run much during the summer, though running track last year helped. "My family’s really active. We’re always in pretty good shape."
Zayla’s brother, senior Quinn Asquith-Heinz, led the Haines boys to a second-place finish among small schools, with a 19-minute run that was second-fastest in 3A. Sitka, with 66 points, far outpaced the Haines squad’s 152. Finishing behind Haines were Wrangell, Mount Edgecumbe, Petersburg and Metlakatla.
Junior Corey Piper finished second for Haines and sixth among small-school runners in 19:24. Other Haines finishers included junior Patrick Henderson (19:32), sophomore Isaac Wing (20:58), junior Brandon Bachman (22:09), sophomore Chevy Fowler (24:31) and senior Brandon Haxton (28:16).
The meet was the first race for Haxton and Fowler.
Cassidy said the season is still early and there’s room for improvement on both squads. "I get the feeling we’re gaining momentum, especially on the girls’ side."
Cassidy needs adult volunteers for Friday’s meet. To help out, phone 303-0751.