Freshman Zayla Asquith-Heinz finished 13th of 106 girls in the small schools division at the state cross-country championship meet held last weekend at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
Finishing the five-kilometer course in 20:53, Asquith-Heinz was the fastest runner from Southeast in the race. Conditions included near-freezing temperatures on an all-hills course.
Asquith-Heinz said the race start was fast, but that didn’t particularly surprise her.
"I started faster than I usually do, but I still caught up with other people. My time was about the same as at (the regional championship two weeks ago in Ketchikan)," Asquith-Heinz said.
Senior Marnie Rasmussen of Haines finished 37th in 22:46. The race’s winning time was 19:25. Grace Christian of Anchorage won the meet, followed by Sitka and Seward, respectively. Mount Edgecumbe girls placed fifth and Craig was sixth.
In the boys’ race, Zayla’s brother, senior Quinn Asquith-Heinz, finished first for Haines, placing 14th of 105 in 17:47. He was third-fastest from Southeast, behind Sitka’s Niko Friedman (3rd in 16:41) and Klawock’s Samuel Rew (17:35).
Corey Piper, a junior, placed 44th in 18:48. The winning time was 16:23.
Four runners were treated in an ambulance after the race, Piper said. "It was pretty crazy. You can go a couple years before seeing that. But the competition was pretty high."
A funnel-effect was created by a field stretched wide with runners jamming onto a narrow trail moments after the race start, Piper said. "There was just a pack of people moving through there and it was pretty quick."
Grace Christian, Anchorage Christian, and Seward took the top three places, in that order. Sitka placed fourth, Craig seventh and Mount Edgecumbe, eighth.
The race was the final high school cross-country meet for Quinn Asquith-Heinz and Rasmussen.