by Tommy Wells
Fiona Phelan and Bethe Hensley both raced their way to top 30 performances on Saturday and helped the Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors sprint to a fourth-place finish at the West Valley Invitational in Fairbanks. The BRHS girls had all five runners finish in the top 35 spots and rolled up 87 points.
West Valley, backed by a winning run of senior Kendall Kramer, captured the top spot in the varsity girls’ standings with 29 points. Monroe Catholic and North Pole finished second and third, respectively.
Kramer finished the race with a time of 11 minutes, 48 seconds.
Phelan led all Bethel runners by completing the course in a time of 16:30. Her time was good enough to place her 24th overall. Hensley checked in two spots later, nailing down 26th with a time of 17:06.
All five BRHS runners were sophomores.
Cadence Cedars also legged out a top 30 run. She turned in a time of 17:27 and finished 28th overall.
Marissa Black and Katherine Small rounded out the Lady Warriors’ efforts. Black placed 32nd with a time of 17:41. Small was 34th at 18:11.
Bethel had three runners compete in the varsity boys’ race, including Thomas Phelan, who powered his way to a top 15 mark.
Phelan, a junior, sprinted to a time of 12:15 and placed 15th in the boys’ standings.
West Valley’s Jack Cater won the varsity boys’ title with a time of 11:14.
Joshua Putikka and Gary Poe also legged out strong efforts for the Warriors. A junior, Putikka was 29th at 13:17, while Poe was 55th at 14:40.
Bethel freshman Tyler Laraux highlighted the Warriors’ efforts in the freshman race. He finished fourth overall with a time of 13:16.
West Valley’s Shane Fisher won the freshman race at 11:26.
The BRHS cross country teams will return to action on Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Tsalteshi Invite in Soldotna.