It’s a monster weekend in the world of Kodiak High sports, and it starts with the cross country team hosting the Region III Championships Saturday at Bear Valley Golf Course.
Saturday will mark the third time Bear Valley has hosted the regional race. Kodiak hosted the event in 2005 and 2014. The Bears host the meet every eight years.
Kodiak coach Ashley Mortenson said 12 schools and more than 200 Division I and II runners would be on The Rock this weekend. On top of that, a middle school race will kick off Saturday’s lineup of seven races. The middle school boys’ race begins the festivities at 8:45 a.m.
“We are really excited that our middle schoolers get to take part in the excitement,” Mortenson said. “If you think about it, none of those middle schoolers will ever get to have regions at home.”
Kodiak’s varsity boys will appear in the Division I race at noon, while the girls will run in the Division I race at 12:45 p.m.
Last year’s regional race was canceled due to the pandemic. Kodiak’s 2021 season has gone off without a hitch.
“There has been a sense of holding our breath and waiting for something to come up, and so far, it is looking like everything is great,” Mortenson said. “The school is still very supportive of the meet, and I’m feeling like we can celebrate. This is going to happen.”
The top three teams and the top 15 individual finishers not on a top-three team advance to next week’s state championship meet.
A complete preview of the meet will appear in Friday’s Daily Mirror.
Kodiak’s up-and-down season finishes Friday against Kenai at Joe Floyd Track and Field. The nonconference game kicks at 5 p.m.
Kodiak enters with an 0-5 record, while Kenai is 1-4.
Kodiak and Kenai were both in the Northern Lights Conference until this season when the Bears were moved to the Railbelt Conference and Kenai dropped to Division III.
After a sparkling performance at the West Spiketacular, Kodiak returns to Northern Lights Conference action with matches at Colony Friday and Saturday.
The Bears dropped their first two conference games of the season to Wasilla, then rebounded to finish tied for fifth in the gold bracket of the West Spiketacular.
Kodiak gets its biggest test of the season at the two-day Bartlett Invitational that begins Friday in Anchorage.
Kodiak’s boys, led by a stellar lineup, have not lost a meet this season. They will face some of the top teams in the state this weekend.