Boys cross country team finishes first at regionals; Harrison wins top spot

The Wrangell High School boys cross country team came home from an eventful weekend in Sitka, taking many top spots at Southeast regionals.

Once again, sophomore Daniel Harrison led his team, only this time he powered through to take first place out of 56 runners with a time of 16:50, nine seconds faster than senior Luke Davis of Haines.

“Daniel had an incredible race,” said head coach Kayla Rooney. “He did exactly what we have been working on this season, pacing himself with other runners that we’ve been competing with every weekend and pushing at the end.”

Rooney said the runners gave it their all during the meet and it paid off. Wrangell as a team finished first, outpacing Haines, Petersburg, Kake, Craig, Klawock and Skagway.

Senior Elias Decker came in third with a time of 17:23; senior Devlyn Campbell placed fifth at 17:37; senior Ethan Blatchley placed sixth at 17:42; freshman Boomchain Loucks was eighth at 17:55; freshman Ian Nelson came in 12th at 18:42; and senior Randy Churchill was 16th at 19:10.

On the girls team, junior Mia Wiederspohn was the only runner, finishing in the middle of the pack in 16th place out of 32 runners. Her time was 25:11. Teammate Miranda Ridgeway is out with an injury. Ariel Godinez-Long and Grace Long, both of Haines, finished in first and second place, respectively.

Wiederspohn fell short of qualifying for the state competition, which Rooney said is disappointing.

“She (Mia) worked really hard the last couple weeks to prepare for this race, and just missed it,” Rooney said. “But she did get a personal record, cutting off another minute and a half from her last race time, which is incredible and I’m very proud of the work she put in.”

A Wrangell fire truck ride was held Monday after school to honor the athletes and their achievements.

The team has a weekend off coming up and select runners are debating whether to participate in a trip to Milo McIver State Park, Oregon, to compete in the Lewis & Clark Cross Country Invitational on Oct. 15. The runners would be part of a Southeast club team comprised of the best runners from the region.


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