Athletes of the Week: Chugiak girls cross country place 1-5, a perfect score in imperfect conditions

Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 11:24 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The weather at Kincaid Park threw all it had at hundreds of high school cross country runners competing at the Big 8 Cross Country Invite Saturday with a constant downpour of rain, poor footing and wind gusts up to 40-50 miles per hour.

While braving the course and completing the race was impressive enough for all of the athletes involved, what the Chugiak girls program accomplished is in the sports rarities of making a hole-in-one in golf, bowling a 300 or throwing a perfect game in baseball.

The Mustangs took placements 1-5 for the elusive perfect score of 15 points.

Junior Alliyah Fields led the Mustangs charge with a time of 19 minutes, 58 seconds, closely followed by teammates Skyler Belmear (20:08), Hannah Bodkin (20:12), Hannah Shaha (20:14) and Emily Moore (20:23), all finishing within 25 seconds of each other, while sophomore Petra Knox (20:29) placed seventh.

”It was amazing,” Chugiak coach Brian Kruchoski said. “They pull through every time. Look what we’re going through and they did it again. They’re awesome. Awesome group to work with.”

The two-time defending cross country state champions lost some senior star power from last year, but are on pace for another strong season after a perfect score in some of the worst conditions they’ve experienced in a meet that featured all of the large schools in the Anchorage area.

Full results from the Big 8 Invite can be found here.