The Kodiak boys, right, start the Division I state cross country race Saturday at Bartlett High School. 

Kodiak cross country capped its season at the Division I state championship meet Saturday at Bartlett High School. 

Senior Braxton Gruner led the way for the Bears, placing 11th in the boys’ race with a 5-kilometer time of 16 minutes, 47.9 seconds. 

“Braxton ran a great race. It was such a reflection of the confidence he has built over the last three years,” Kodiak coach Ashley Mortenson said. “He went out with the front group of 10 guys. It was great to see him hanging up there.” 

Connor Marbrey placed 25th (17:15.9) and Colt Hubert was 28th (17:20.9) to give Kodiak three runners inside the top 30. 

The Bears finished seventh as a team with 169 points — two places higher than a year ago. 

“Getting back to the state meet was our focus last year; this year, it was really nice to be able to focus on performing at the state meet,” Mortenson said. “We had several guys returning who had been there last year, and they were able to go out so much more confidently.”

Jerrod Bolten placed 68th (18:16.3), Riley Birbilas was 70th (18:18.9) and David Castro was 77th (18:54.8). 

Dimond’s Santiago Prosser claimed victory in 15:14.4, while the Lynx easily grabbed the team title with 36 points. 

Kodiak — the Region III champion — finished ahead of conference foes Colony (ninth) and Soldotna (10th). 

“It was a good season. The competition was tough. We were hoping to finish higher than seventh, but we are still proud of everything that we accomplished,” Mortenson said. 

The Kodiak girls, in their first state meet since 2011, placed 10th. 

Freshman Elizabeth Parnell scored a 42nd-place finish with a time of 20:44.6, while sophomore Naomi Griffin was 47th in 20:50.2. 

“Elizabeth and Naomi, being rookies at the state meet, handled the situation really well. Both of them walked away from the experience feeling like they can do better next year,” Mortenson said. 

Hallee Blair was 62nd (21:42.3), Malina Fagan was 66th (21:52.0), Carly Glover was 74th (22:36.4), Francie Eufemio was 77th (23:23.3) and Katie Parnell was 78th (23:35.5). 

Mortenson said it was meaningful for senior captains Glover and Parnell — both four-year runners — to finish at the state team with their teammates. The Bears qualified for their first state meet since 2011 by placing third at the Region III Championships. 

“The ladies team really appreciated the opportunity to be there,” Mortenson said. 

West Valley’s Kendall Kramer won her third consecutive individual title with a time of 17:38.3. South Anchorage edged West Valley for the team title by three points.  



Division I 


Team — 1. Dimond, 36; 2. Chugiak, 74; 3. West Valley, 83; 4. Juneau-Douglas, 99; 5. Service, 114; 6. West Anchorage, 142; 7. Kodiak, 169; 8. Lathrop, 215; 9. Colony, 251; 10. Soldotna, 289. 

Top 10 — 1. Santiago Prosser, Dim, 15 minutes, 14.4 seconds; 2. Alexander Maurer, Ser, 15:37.6; 3. Hyrum Nelson, Chu, 15:53.6; 4. Noah Hoefer, Dim, 16:13.6; 5. Dallin Gardiner, Dim, 16:21.9; 6. Kaleb Beloy, Sou, 16:31.7; 7. Isaac Dammeyer, West, 16:34.6; 8. Michael Earnhart, Chu, 16:40.9; 9. Finn Morley, Jun, 16:45.9; 10. Daniel Abramowicz, WV, 16:46.0. 

Kodiak results

11. Braxton Gruner, 16:47.9; 25. Connor Marbrey, 17:15.9; 28. Colt Hubert, 17:20.3; 68. Jerrod Bolton, 18:16.3; 70. Riley Birbilas, 18:18.9; 77. David Castro, 18:54.8. 



Team — 1. South, 56; 2. West Valley, 59; 3. Juneau, 67; 4. Service, 84; 5. Chugiak, 124; 6. Eagle River, 149; 7. Soldotna, 225; 8. Lathrop, 231; 9. Colony, 239; 10. Kodiak, 247. 

Top 10 — 1. Kendall Kramer, WV, 17:38.3; 2. Sadie Tuckwood, Jun, 18:13.0; 3. Naomi Bailey, WV, 18:45.1; 4. Eva Earl, Sou, 19:00.9; 5. Maggie Druckenmiller, WV, 19:01.6; 6. Lucy Young, Sou, 19:03.0; 7. Nowelle Spencer, Ser, 19:08.5; 8. Kiah Dihle, Jun, 19:10.1; 9. Tatum Witter, Ser, 19:11.8; 10. Emily Walsh, ER, 19:14.2. 

Kodiak results

42. Elizabeth Parnell, 20:44.6; 47. Naomi Griffin, 20:50.2; 62. Hallee Blair, 21:42.3; 66. Malina Fagan, 21:52.0; 74. Carly Glover, 22:36.4; 77. Francie Eufemio, 23:23.3; 78. Katie Parnell, 23:35.5. 

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