Kodiak’s Micah Fields and Palmer’s Fischer Adams have staged a few epic battles throughout the two-month cross country season.
The two superstars added to their rivalry at Saturday’s Division I State Cross Country Championships at Bartlett High School.
Usually the third time’s a charm, but unfortunately for Fields, Adams bested Kodiak’s top runner for the third time this season and second time in as many weeks.
Adams nicked Fields at the line by .3 seconds, finishing third in a 5-kilometer time of 16 minutes, 37.2 seconds. Fields was fourth with a personal-best time of 16:37.5.
Fields’ performance was Kodiak’s best at a state meet since Keith Osowski placed third in 2016.
“It was a strong finish for him and really a good showing of his skills and his talents,” Kodiak coach Ashley Mortenson said. “Obviously, it would have been really nice, and he would have been pretty happy, to have beaten Fischer Adams rather than to be barely outshined at the line by him.”
On a muddy course, Mortenson said Fields was running ahead of Adams until the final 30 meters. The same thing happened at the Region III Championships at Bear Valley Golf Course when Fields, leading for the entire race, was outkicked by Adams to finish second.
“It was a really good race. It is neat to see everybody running their best race and seeing what happens. That is the beauty of a state meet,” Mortenson said.
West Valley’s Daniel Abramowicz, who won at Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park in August, breezed to the individual title with a time of 16:12.0. Dimond’s Jared Gardiner was second in 16:29.9.
Adams and Fields will not rumble on the track as the Palmer runner spends his spring playing soccer.
“He might change his mind yet. We will see,” Mortenson said. “We Will have to see if there will be a rematch.”
With two runners in the top 20, Kodiak’s boys picked up a fifth-place finish — their best showing since finishing third in 2015.
Sophomore Max Robinson was 18th in 17:16.5, while freshman Miles Grimes — Kodiak’s top junior varsity runner at regions — was 39th in 17:53.7.
“He has proven to be a quick study of the sport of high school cross country. He has made that jump from middle school to high school seamlessly in some ways,” Mortenson said.
Elias Litzow placed 50th (18:13.6), David Castro 52nd (18:16.4), Joseph Hathaway 59th (18:23.4) and Nicholas Hecth 72nd (19:13.9).
Kodiak ended with 145 points to finish behind West Valley (72), West Anchorage (81), Service (89) and Dimond (101). Region III champion Colony was seventh (175) and Palmer eighth (186).
“The boys were definitely thrilled to beat Colony this week,” Mortenson said. “It was a great showing by a young team.”
Freshmen Ayla Baker and sophomore Cassidy Foster paced the Kodiak girls to a 10th place showing.
Baker placed 35th with a time of 21:11.3 and Foster was 42nd in 21:49.1.
“We are thrilled that we were able to finish second at regions and make it back there (to state) as a team to continue establishing ourselves as one of the top teams in the state,” Mortenson said. “As we move forward and build on that, with the majority of the underclassmen on the team, we are hoping that continues to be a tradition.”
Senior Naomi Griffin was 53rd (22:18.9), sophomore Abigail Harver was 68th (23:17.4), sophomore Hannah McCarthy was 79th (25:43.2), freshman Oceana Brockman was 80th (26:04.7) and junior Sara Scott was 81st (28:08.0).
Kodiak ended with 244 points. Chugiak, which raced in Kodiak a few weeks ago, won with 42 points. South was second with 68.
South’s Robyn Miller grabbed the individual win in 19:10.6, followed by Chugiak’s Campbell Peterson in 19:27.9.
“One of the fun things about cross country is that the athletes really cheer for each other. Our girls team was not in a team championship battle, but the Chugiak girls were. Having had them out here, getting to know them and making some friends, they were cheering for them,” Mortenson said.
1. West Valley, 71; 2. West Anchorage, 81; 3. Service, 89; 4. Diamond, 101; 5. Kodiak, 145; 6. South Anchorage, 156; 7. Colony, 173; 8. Palmer, 186; 9. Juneau, 194; Lathrop, 220.
1. Daniel Abramowicz, WV, 16:12; 2. Jared Gardiner, Dim, 16:29.9; 3. Fischer Adams, Pal, 16:37.2; 4. Micah Fields, Kod, 16:37.5; 5. Shane Fisher, WV, 16:50.3.
18. Max Robinson, 17:16.5; 39. Miles Grimes, 17:53.7; 50. Elias Litzow, 18:13.6; 52. David Castro, 18:16.4; 59. Joseph Hathaway, 18:23.4; 72. Nicholas Hecht, 19:13.9.
1. Chugiak, 42; 2. South, 68; 3. Juneau, 90; 4. West, 106; 5. West Valley, 136; 6. Colony, 145; 7. Service, 172; 8. Lathrop, 211; 9. Soldotna, 234; 10. Kodiak, 244.
1. Robyn Miller, Sou, 19:10.6; 2. Campbell Peterson, Chu, 19:27.9; 3. Kiah Dihle, T.M., 19:40.0; 4. Elliana Zock, Sou, 19:43.9; 5. Katey Houser, Pal, 19:49.3.
35. Ayla Baker, 21:11.3; 42. Cassidy Foster, 21:49.1; 53. Naomi Griffin, 22:18.9; 68. Abigail Harver, 23:17.4; 79. Hannah McCarthy, 25:43.2; 80. Oceana Brockman, 26:04.07; 81. Sara Scott, 28:08.