Asquith-Heinz 26th at state's top meet
Haines High School junior Zayla Asquith-Heinz finished 26th at the girls’ cross-country championship in Anchorage last weekend, posting a time of 21:42 in her third state appearance.
“Zayla’s race was particularly impressive; she moved up four places in the last half-mile or so,” said coach Tara Bicknell. “Someone she finished next to actually started crawling on her hands and knees after she crossed the finish line.”
Briahna Gerlach of Glennallen was the winner among small-school entrants (1A, 2A and 3A). Her time of 18:34 topped the field of 108 runners at Bartlett High School.
Grace Christian won the overall, team race, followed by Homer, Petersburg, Delta Junction, Mount Edgecumbe and Craig.
Asquith-Heinz earned a spot at state with a sixth-place finish at the Sept. 28 regional competition in Sitka. “I kind of expected to qualify, but I wasn’t completely sure.”
She improved on her 32nd-place finish at state in 2012. Asquith-Heinz finished 13th as a freshman. She said compared to other meets, at state “there are a lot more people, and all the people that are there are a lot more serious.”
Haines junior Keegan Sundberg, who was fifth at the Sitka regional, also earned a spot at state, but didn’t make the trip.
“The two who qualified for state were remarkable to watch throughout their regional races,” Bicknell said. “They started on the verge of the qualifying top 15 and picked off runners ahead of them, one by one, until they were in the top few.”
Daniel Serventi of Grace Christian was the boys’ small schools state champion in 16:20. Grace Christian also took the team title, ahead of Anchorage Christian, Homer, Seward and Sitka. Mount Edgecumbe was seventh and Wrangell, ninth.
Sundberg ran at state last year when the Haines boys qualified as a team. This year, he trailed the regional champion, David Wilcox of Sitka, by less than 30 seconds.
The state meet concluded Bicknell’s first season coaching the Glacier Bears.