Photo courtesy of Orin Pierson and the Petersburg Pilot.
Ila Nettleton overtakes a Mount Edgecumbe opponent at the Jack Eddy Invitational cross country meet in Petersburg on Sept. 10.

The Davis brothers – senior Luke and freshman J.C. – led the Glacier Bears men at cross-country meets last weekend in Palmer and Petersburg.

Sophomore Ari’el Godinez-Long and senior Grace Long-Godinez finished in the top third of 150 runners at Palmer’s George Plumley Cross-Country Invitational, where Haines competitors faced Alaska’s fastest runners from its largest schools.

In Petersburg, seniors Averi Getchell and Sal Chapell led the Glacier Bear girls.

Coach Jason Baumgartner allowed seniors on the team to choose which meet to run in, which proved an eye-opener for Eric Gillham.

Gillham typically runs toward the middle of the pack, but he opted for the more competitive meet in Palmer, where three times around a course called “the roller-coaster” proved intimidating.

“After the second time around, I thought, ‘Omigod. I don’t want to do this again,'” Gillham said this week. “It was definitely a jump for me. But it was fun to get a larger meet under my belt.” Gillham finished 147th of 180 runners in 21:14.

Haines’ top men’s team runner Luke Davis said the continual curves in the Palmer course made it difficult for him to know where he was in the pack and the all-hills trail made pacing difficult. He said he started too fast. Davis finished 25th of 180 runners in 17:52, off his best time for a 5K.

Godinez-Long finished the Palmer course in 20:34, a few seconds behind her time of 20:31 in the state championship last year. She placed 13th of 150 runners. “There were more people to pace with than (in meets) in our region, so that was nice. I was going for 20:30, so it lined up pretty close to what I was expecting.”

Sister Grace Long-Godinez placed 44th with a time of 22:26.

Grace said elbows were flying in the scrum at Palmer. “It was more competitive than I thought it would be. I kept saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I didn’t get the results I wanted but it was great practice for state.”

In the women’s race at Petersburg, senior Getchell placed sixth in 22:59, notching a personal best. “Averi was all smiles at the finish and that was fun to watch,” coach Baumgartner said. Classmate Chapell turned in one of her best performances, finishing eighth in 23:14.

Fifty-six women runners from around Southeast competed in Petersburg. Glacier Bear results included: 6) senior Averi Getchell, 22:59, 8) senior Sal Chapell, 23:14; 30) sophomore Ila Nettleton, 26:28; 44) sophomore Ashlyn Ganey, 28:06

Freshman JC Davis finished 22nd of 71 runners in the Petersburg men’s race in 19:56. He finished a hair’s breadth in front of classmate Colton Combs, who said he passed many runners along the course.

Haines men’s official results included: 22) JC Davis, 19:56:50; 23) Colton Combs, 19:56:84; 27) sophomore Hayden Jimenez, 20:15:14; 28) senior Phoenix Jacobson, 20:15:48; 35) sophomore Collin Aldassy, 20:52; 43) sophomore TJ Smith, 21:47; 49) sophomore Alex Weerasinghe, 22:12; 60) senior Jacob Weerasinghe, 24:41.

The Haines men finished fourth in the meet, four points behind division competitor Petersburg. Sitka and Thunder Mountain notched first and second, respectively.

Full varsity teams from Haines will run this weekend in Ketchikan.