Wolves conclude State season with promising future
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Senior Robbie Marshall competes in the state cross country meet in Anchorage. Marshall finished his high school running career at the meet Saturday.
The Wrangell High School boys’ cross country team finished out the season in Anchorage with performances at or near their personal bests.
Sophomore Bryce Gerald led the pack for Wrangell at 17:53, eight seconds off his personal best at Juneau in mid-September. That was good enough for 27th among the small-schools runners.
Gerald can look forward to a promising career for the remaining two years of high school running, said Coach Monty Buness.
“He’s only the third kid I’ve ever had who’s run below eighteen at the State meet,” he said. “He knocked off 13 places and almost a full minute off his time. I don’t have any doubt in my mind when he’s a senior, he’ll be in the top ten. At this point in the game, he’s one of the best sophomores I’ve ever had.”
Behind him, senior Robbie Marshall turned in a time of 18:21, six seconds behind his personal best at the Region V Championship meet in Sitka. That was good enough for 40th place among the small schools. While Marshall’s high school running career is probably over, he has more opportunities for athletic endeavor, Buness said.
“All of these guys are already moving on to other things,” he said.
Sophomore Bryce Gerald kicks in toward the finish at the state meet Saturday in Anchorage. Gerald turned in a 17:53 time to close out the season.
Irrespective of the clock, the Wolves front-runners pushed their own envelopes, Buness added.
“These top two performers improved against their regional competition,” Buness said. “They improved against their competition. Everywhere I look I see bright spots for those guys. They really tore it up.”
The remaining students showed their inexperience at a blistering state meet, with top small schools finishers coming within seconds of times below the 16-minute mark, according to the meet’s unofficial results. Darren Shilts turned in a time of 19:52, Dawson Miller marked 20:45, and Amos Comstock ran a 21:21. Sam Prysunka recorded a 22:11.
“I think if these kids come back out again next year, we should be right in the hunt for the next couple of year,” he said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”