Petersburg Pilot -

Petersburg girls win cross country region title

 


The Petersburg High School cross country teams took part in the Region V meet last weekend in Sitka, and the girls team ran away with the team championship. The girls will send seven runners to state in Anchorage this weekend, and they’ll be joined by one member of the boys team.

“The girls did awesome,” coach Debby Eddy said. “They were incredible, they ran like a pack.”

Kayleigh Eddy put up a personal record (PR) barely edging out teammate Shyla Cook for second place. Less than 30 seconds after Cook crossed the finish line, Melanie Chase finished in fourth. Erin Pfundt came in fifth, giving the Viking girls four runners in the top five.

Cook and Chase also put up their best times so far. Junior Julia Murph rounded out the scoring for the girls team with a 10th place finish. Coach Eddy said Murph and the Sitka course haven’t always seen eye to eye, but that all changed last weekend.

“This particular year, she conquered it,” coach Eddy said. “She ran it hard, she ran it fast, and she ran it with a lot of mental strength.”

Meghyn Parker earned a top 20 finish, and Eva Lenhard recorded a PR along with her 30th place finish. Coach Eddy said the weekend felt like a success because every member of the girls team felt good about how they raced.

Heading into the state meet, coach Tom Thompson said the girls team taking third place is “very realistic.”

“If every girl hit the time we truly think they are capable of, we could finish higher,” he said. “It’s hard to get them to fully believe.”

For the boys team, not qualifying for state as a squad was a letdown because it was a goal coming into the regional meet. However, they worked hard and have a lot to show for it, coach Eddy said.

“From a coach’s perspective, it was a great weekend for the boys,” she said. “They ran their hearts out, every single one of them.”

The Viking boys came in fourth, for the second consecutive year, just missing out on a trip to state by one spot. Nathaniel Lenhard will be the lone athlete running for the boys in Anchorage this weekend, after finishing 12th and setting a new PR. Lenhard will be looking to run a sub-18 minute race and finish in the top 30, according to Thompson.

The boys were up against tough company, with the Sitka Wolves firmly positioned as the favorite going into the weekend. Sitka’s scoring runners took first, second, fourth, fifth and eighth place. They were followed in the team scoring by Mt. Edgecumbe and Skagway.

“It was very competitive for the boys,” coach Eddy said. “Their average was about 19 minutes, all the boys together, so as a team they ran as fast as they’ve ever run before.”

Freshman Kole Sperl beat sophomore Tolin Eddy to the finish line, by six seconds. The Vikings placed 22nd and 24th, and teammates Thomas Durkin and Koren Sperl completed their races next.

For Kole Sperl, the finish set a new PR. Durkin’s effort set a PR as well, taking a minute off his previous best time. Fellow freshman Noah Sullivan also set a PR in his final race of the season. And in his last race as a Viking, senior Daniel Holmberg earned a top 50 finish, with a time just under 21 minutes.

The boys have a bright future, with Lenhard and Holmberg being the only seniors on the squad. Next year, the boys will be loaded with junior and sophomore talent.

“They want to do a good job, they work hard in practice,” coach Eddy said. “They are very coachable boys, so that makes it a lot easier and it’s exciting for next year.”

 

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