Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Freshmen run strong for Bears


A good showing at last weekend’s Juneau Invite race has the Haines cross-country team in good spirits as it prepares for the Region V Cross-Country Championships in Sitka this Saturday.

Freshman Marirose Evenden finished 22nd overall in Juneau with a time of 23:27. When the 4A schools - Alaska’s largest - were removed from the standings, Evenden’s time was good enough for 10th place.

Evenden said she is doing her best not to give in to the pressure and expectations of qualifying for the state cross-country championships to be held in Anchorage on Oct. 1.

“Making it to state sounds cool but I feel like there’s a lot of pressure. Everyone keeps talking about it and making a big deal of it,” Evenden said. “During the last race, I was just thinking about not letting the other people run away from me. And then I finished 10th and now I just have to not get caught up in it. But, I think it would be a really cool experience to go to state.”

On the boys’ side, senior Jacob Stigen and freshman Siyel Galindo-George paced the team. Stigen placed 35th overall with a time of 19:36 and Galindo-George finished 36th with a time of 19:39. When the 4A runners are factored out, both of those times are within 20 seconds of the current leaders.

Consequently, the two are hopeful about their chances of qualifying for the state contest. Stigen, who has struggled with conditioning early in the season due to some personal travel conflicts, is confident he’s coming on strong at just the right moment.

“I’m feeling good, feeling ready for regionals. I’m not going to give in to the pain at regionals and go all the way,” said Stigen. “I need to cut about 20 or so seconds to be in the top 15 to qualify for state and I think I can probably do it.”

Assistant coaches Alixanne Goodman and Chandler Kemp spoke about the positivity surrounding the team. “Some of the kids have really surprised with their attitude. It seems each week they exceed their own expectations and that’s been really great,” said Goodman.

“It’s been really fun,” Kemp said. “At both meets people have come up and had huge performances that I didn’t expect to and that’s really cool to see. It’s just been really fun. Everyday I look forward to it. And every week it’s fun to see them get faster.”

The boys traveling to the Region V meet are seniors Charlie Bower, Ketch Jacobson and Jacob Stigen, sophomore Patrick Cunningham, and freshmen Dylan Chapell, Kirby Faverty and Siyel Galindo-George.

The girls’ team will be seniors Madeline Andriesen and Jordan Stigen, junior Tulsi Zahnow, and freshmen Kiana Donat and Marirose Evenden.

The top 15 finishers from the region will go on to compete at the 1A, 2A and 3A state cross-country championships in Anchorage on Oct. 1.


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