Sitka High’s Anna Prussian takes second-place in the girls Division II race with a time of 19:50. (ASAA photo)

The Sitka High Wolves finished fourth out of eight teams, in the tightly-contested state Cross Country meet held at Bartlett High School in Anchorage over the weekend.

Wolves’ standout Dominic Biacocco ran a blistering 16:32 over the 5-kilometer course — but it wasn’t enough for the state championship.

“Well that put him at second,” said Garland Kennedy, Daily Sitka Sentinel Sports editor. “The first-place spot went to Tristan Merchant of Anchorage Christian who ran an astounding 15:27, that’s about a 5:10 split for the mile.”

The overall boys team championship for small schools went to the Haines Glacier Bears, who apparently fielded a ringer: An actual black bear was seen on the course just as  Merchant ran by. Prior to the event, the Sitka team was surprised by a bull moose during their warmup.

Kennedy says all turned out well.

“No people were injured, and no animals were injured. But they were there spectating,” he said.

The Sitka Lady Wolves came in 6th place out of nine teams at the state meet, led by Anna Prussian’s 19:50, which made her the second-place girl. Mia Anderson was the top finisher for the Mt. Edgecumbe Lady Braves, who took six runners to state.

Kennedy says things did not go exactly as planned for the boys running for the  Braves.

“Their lead boy was Dayton Hoblet who ran 18:41,” he said. “Of course since Sitka won the Region V tournament, that meant that Mt. Edgecumbe only sent its very fast runners — not a complete scoring team. The trail was pretty slick when they were running it, and LLoydy Aojack — Mt. Edgecumbe’s normal fastest runner — actually rolled his ankle. He did complete the course, but that put a damper on his time.”

Kennedy says that Mt. Edgecumbe coach Josh Arnold believes his team will strengthen as it matures next season.

Daily Sentinel Sports editor Garland Kennedy is two months into his first professional assignment as a journalist. He joins KCAW’s Robert Woolsey for the Morning Interview each Tuesday morning. At this early stage in his career, everything Kennedy does is a milestone.

KCAW – This is one sport put to bed… What’s next?

Kennedy – The season’s over and I’m really sad. I really enjoyed covering Cross Country, it’s been a great season.

KCAW – And you are a runner yourself?

Kennedy – I am.

KCAW – And it must be different looking back as a journalism professional covering these sports.

Kennedy – It is. Nothing makes me feel slow quite like watching some of these high schoolers run. They really are fast.

When Kennedy returns to the Morning Interview next Tuesday he’ll have results from the ACS Volleyball tournament in Anchorage.