Kalie Thomas at Juneau. PHOTO BY JEFF BRADY

Season ends with team-wide improvement

By DAN FOX
EDITOR

Skagway’s cross-country runners have another season behind them. With his first year coaching Skagway’s team under his belt, coach Kenton Gilmartin expressed optimism for the 2018 cross-country season.

“I can’t wait for next year, because the league is very nervous about us,” Gilmartin said.

Skagway’s runners started the season strong, with several making large jumps in placements from the first cross-country meet to the second.
In an earlier story, Gilmartin had spoken of the possibility of getting three students to the Alaska School Activities Association State Championship meet in Anchorage. While only Danny Brady ended up fulfilling that prediction – Wyatt Belisle just missed qualifying for state by one place and a half a second – Gilmartin said he was pleased with the amount of growth and improvement shown by the athletes.

Every one of the Skagway runners except Brady had made a personal record prior to the state meet.

Brady then beat his own best time, making a new personal record of 17:49 at the state meet.

“About time,” Brady said about his performance at state. Brady said he didn’t think too much about the state race ahead of time, but when he got out on the course and began running, Brady said he was feeling pretty good. He ended up passing Siyel George, the fastest runner from Haines High, crossing the finish line a single second faster.

Gilmartin said that the Anchorage course is notorious, and considered one of the most difficult in the season, due to all of its hills.

“Most of the courses in Southeast Alaska are very flat, even though we are in the mountains,” Gilmartin said.

Gilmartin said Brady made 22nd overall at state, and got third place in Skagway’s division.

The team’s improvement over this season gives Gilmartin a good feeling for next year. Skagway will only be graduating one boy and two girls from its cross-country team.

“The team is only getting better,” Gilmartin said. “The top three runners are returning.”

Gilmartin said he couldn’t be happier with the performances put in by his freshmen runners Silas Myers, Gavin Goebel and Kalie Thomas.

“Silas and Gavin in particular were knocking minutes off their time throughout the entire season,” Gilmartin said.

As a coach, Gilmartin said that regardless of if the team comes in first or last, it is good to see improvement from each individual runner.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my team, they gave it their all, they put a real amazing effort in,” Gilmartin said. “Getting a nice respectable finish in the season and having your whole team improve, you can’t ask for much more than that as a coach.”

Results from the Sitka Invitational, the Region V Championships and state are below:

Sitka Invitational

Boys

14th • Danny Brady • 18:22

21st • Wyatt Belisle • 18:32

56th • Silas Myers • 20:04

61st • Steaven McKnight • 20:23

72nd • Gavin Goebel • 20:53

105th • Christopher Dormido • 22:27

Girls

48th • Madison Cox • 25:12

85th Mocha Lahrman • 28:18

90th • Eliza Myers • 29:07

94th • Kara Whitehead • 29:42

101st • Jessica Whitehead • 30:23

Region V Championships

Boys

14th • Danny Brady • 18:21

16th • Wyatt Belisle • 18:30

38th • Silas Myers • 19:50

40th • Steaven McKnight • 20:01

50th • Gavin Goebel • 20:59

63rd • Christopher Dormido • 22:31

Girls

35th • Madison Cox • 25:20

50th • Kara Whitehead • 29:17

51st • Jessica Whitehead • 29:45

52nd • Mocha Lahrman • 30:52

53rd • Eliza Myers • 30:57

54th • Kalie Thomas • 32:24

State Championships

22nd • Danny Brady • 17:49