by Tommy Wells
The foundation to what could be a Big West dynasty was put in place on Saturday by the Bethel Regional High School boys’ cross country team. Sparked by top 10 runs from four underclassmen, Bethel sprinted to the 2018 Big West Regional Championship.
Bethel, which had six runners finish in the top 15, amassed just 22 points in the 5-kilometer race on the Bethel roads and easily outdistanced Nome-Beltz and Kotzebue for the top spot in the region. Nome-Beltz finished a distant second in the boys’ team standings with 45 points.
With the victory, Bethel qualified all seven of its runners for the upcoming Class 1A-2A-3A state meet, which will be held Sept. 29 at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
Thomas Phelan highlighted Bethel’s dominance of the regional meet by racing his way to the top of the standings. The BRHS sophomore ran his way to a time of 17 minutes, 52 seconds. He edged out Nome’s Tobin Hobbs by a step at the finish line, winning by one second.
Gary Poe and Landon Smith also turned in impressive efforts. A sophomore, Poe finished third overall with a time of 18:14. Smith, one of four BRHS freshmen who will be competing at the state meet, finished just five seconds behind Smith and earned fifth.
Jamin Crow and senior Lawrence Poe also legged out top 10 marks on their home course. Crow netted a sixth-place finish with a time of 18:51. Poe crossed the finish line in a time of 19:09 and took eighth in the boys’ standings.
Peter Crow and Samuel Beans-Polk, a freshman and sophomore, also did well. Crow was 15th at 19:39, while Beans-Polk was 21st at 22:21.
Fiona Phelan and Lindsey Beans-Polk helped the BRHS girls extend Bethel’s underclassman success to the girls’ division. Both finished in the top five in their race and powered the BRHS girls to second in the final team standings.
A freshman, Phelan grabbed fourth-place in the girls’ standings with a run of 22:55. Polk, a junior, was fifth at 23:17.
Senior Kelsie Madson also legged out a top 10 performance. She finished seventh at 23:41.
Sophomore Dellarae Charlie and freshmen Cadence Cedars and Beth Hensley placed in the top 15.
Big West Conference Regional Championships
Held Sept. 22 in Bethel
Team standings – 1. Bethel 22; 2. Nome-Beltz 45; 3. Kotzebue 55.
1. Thomas Phelan, Bethel, 17:52
2. Tobin Hobbs, Nome-Beltz, 17:53
3. Gary Poe, Bethel, 18:14
4. Landon Smith, Bethel, 18:19
5. Ben Cross, Nome-Beltz, 18:44
6. Jamin Crow, Bethel, 18:51
7. David Miller, Nome-Beltz, 19:03
8. Lawrence Poe, Bethel, 19:09
9. Michael Hensley, Kotzebue, 19:21
10. Alvin Werneke, Kotzebue, 19:24
11. John Miner, Kotzebue, 19:28
12. Dohyun (Justin) Kim, Kotzebue, 19:33
13. Aiden Ivanoff, Kotzebue, 19:37
14. Aaron Motis, Nome-Beltz, 19:38
15. Peter Crow, Bethel, 19:39
16. Eli Atkins, Kotzebue, 20:15
17. Devan Otton, Nome-Beltz, 20:27
18. Peter Nelson, Kotzebue, 20:44
19. Stephan Anderson, Nome-Beltz, 21:14
20. Micah Moore, Nome-Beltz, 21:27
21. Samuel Beans-Polk, Bethel, 22:21
Team standings – 1. Nome-Beltz 34; 2. Bethel 43, 3. Kotzebue 49
1. Bethany Daniel, Nome-Beltz, 22:11
2. Zaida Baldwin, Kotzebue, 22:36
3. Starr Erikson, Nome-Beltz , 22:38
4. Fiona Phelan, Bethel, 22:55
5. Lindsey Beans-Polk, Bethel, 23:17
6. Leah Hatch, Kotzebue, 23:29
7. Kelsie Madson, Bethel, 23:41
8. Kaila Short, Kotzebue, 23:58
9. Mallory Conger, Nome-Beltz, 23:59
10. Alicyn Bahnke, Nome-Beltz, 24:02
11. Ava Earthman, Nome-Beltz, 24:10
12. Katelyn Tocktoo, Nome-Beltz, 24:30
13. Dellarae Charlie, Bethel, 24:42
14. Cadence Cedars, Bethel, 24:55
15. Beth Hensley, Bethel, 25:03
16. Alanna Conwell, Kotzebue, 25:13
17. Grace Gallahorn, Kotzebue, 25:21
18. Marissa Black, Bethel, 25:25
19. Daynon Medlin, Nome-Beltz, 27:41
20. Emily Hoke, Kotzebue, 28:10
21. Ally Martin, Kotzebue, 29:41