Warriors race to Big West championship, advance to state meet

by Tommy Wells

Landon Smith and Jamin Crow were among the first runners to stride across the finish line on Saturday afternoon in Nome. And, as a result, they were among the first to know the Bethel Regional High School Warriors had accomplished a bit of history.

Bethel had four runners finish in the top 10 positions and then held on to claim a thrilling win at the Big West Cross Country Championships. The Warriors edged out rival Kotzebue by a single point, 27-28, in the final standings to win the regional crown and earn a berth in the upcoming state cross country meet.

Barrow finished a distant third in the boys’ team standings with 78 points.

Smith and Crow paced the Warriors’ efforts on the 5-kilometer trail, which was held behind Nome’s high school. Smith powered his way to second in the individual standings with a time of 18 minutes, 29 seconds. His time was just 10 seconds off the winning pace set by Nome’s Tobin Hobbs.

Crow secured third in the race with a time of 18:52.

Joshua Putikka and Thomas Phelan also finished in the top 10. Putikka was sixth overall with a run of 19:50. Phelan was 10th at 20:24.

Peter Crow, the Warriors’ fifth-fastest finisher delivered the deciding blow for the Warriors. He sprinted to an 11th-place finish by turning in a run of 20:30. Crow finished just 5 seconds ahead of Kotzebue’s fifth finisher, Eli Atkins.

With the victory, Bethel qualified each member of its boys’ team for the state’s Division II cross country meet, which will be held on Oct. 5 at Bartlett High School. Joining Bethel at the meet will be the top eight finishers in the final standings not from Bethel.

In the girls’ race, the Bethel girls turned in a solid outing and finished second in the team standings. The BRHS girls, keyed by a stellar run from senior Lindsey Beans-Polk, scored 44 points in the meet and placed just six points behind regional champion Kotzebue.

Polk raced her way to third in the girls’ standings with a time of 23:55. Kotzebue’s Laveah Makisi and Kaila Short finished first and second, respectively.

Fiona Phelan and Beth Hensley gave the Lady Warriors a trio of top 10 runners. Phelan took sixth at 24:38. Hensley was seventh at 24:40.

Big West X/C Regional Championships

Held Sept. 28 in Nome


Team totals

1. Kotzebue 36

2. Bethel 44

3. Nome-Beltz 46

Individual results

1. Laveah Makisi, Kotzebue 22:51

2. Kaila Short, Kotzebue 23:38

3. Lindsey Beans-Polk, Bethel 23:55

4. Ava Earthman, Nome-Beltz 24:02

5. Caitlyn Brower, Barrow 24:16

6. Fiona Phelan, Bethel 24:38

7. Beth Hensley, Bethel 24:40

8. Natallie Tobuk, Nome-Beltz 24:42

9. Mallory Conger, Nome-Beltz 24:46

10. Della Medlin, Nome-Beltz 25:03

11. Zaida Baldwin, Kotzebue 25:32

12. Shaylah Schaeffer, Kotzebue 25:34

13. Jessica McCall, Kotzebue 25:40

14. Grace Gallahorn, Kotzebue 25:44

15. Heidi Ritzinger, Barrow 25:51

16. Cadence Cedars, Bethel 26:35

17. Rachel Solomon, Barrow 27:24

18. Trinty Miner, Kotzebue 27:58

19. Marissa Black, Bethel 28:25

20. Gabrielle Fredericks, Bethel 28:26

21. Georgianna Ustaszewski, Nome-Beltz 29:03

22. Alqaq Small, Bethel 29:05

23. Katie Smith, Nome-Beltz 31:04


Team totals

1. Bethel 27

2. Kotzebue 28

3. Barrow 78

Individual results

1. Tobin Hobbs, Nome 18:14

2. Landon Smith, Bethel 18:29

3. Jamin Crow, Bethel  18:52

4. Aiden Ivanoff, Kotzebue 19:03

5. Alvin Werneke, Kotzebue 19:34

6. Joshua Putikka, Bethel 19:50

7. Peter Nelson, Kotzebue 19:56

8. Ezra Jones, Kotzebue 20:13

9. Coltrane Chase, Kotzebue 20:14

10. Thomas Phelan, Bethel 20:24

11. Peter Crow, Bethel 20:30

12. Eli Atkins, Kotzebue 20:35

13. Isiah Mongoyak, Barrow 20:42

14. Trenton Nazuruk, Kotzebue 20:49

15. Tyler Laraux, Bethel 20:52

16. Micah Moore, Nome 21:23

17. Esau Weyiouanna, Barrow 21:30

18. Mikal Nelson, Barrow 21:41

19. Skye Weyiouanna, Barrow 21:43

20. Mark Ahsoak, Barrow 21:49

21. Kyler Rexford, Barrow 22:11

22. Paris Hebel, Nome 22:12

23. Kameron Rexford, Barrow 22:23

24. Terrell Jimmy, Bethel 22:24

25. Elden Cross, Nome 23:26