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Nome Athletes Achieve Personal Bests at State Cross Country Meet

The Nome-Beltz Nanooks won the Nome Classic Invitational cross country meet this past weekend. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.
The Nome-Beltz Nanooks won the Nome Classic Invitational cross country meet this past weekend. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

Over the weekend, Nome-Beltz High School sent three runners to the state cross country meet in Anchorage, Tobin Hobbs, Ava Earthman, and Natalie Tobuk.

Hobbs and Earthman have seen the state meet before, but Tobuk experienced it for the first time.

“It was just a great opportunity for her because she also took nearly a minute off of her time. And actually, her time puts her right in the top 20 on our all-time list”

– Nome Beltz Cross Country Coach Jeff Collins

According to Coach Collins, Tobuk followed the same race plan she had throughout the season, starting off slow and working her way through the field as the race unfolded. Tobuk started from near the back of the 67-runner pack of the division two girls and made her way into 34th place by the end.

The other NBHS runner to run a near-one-minute personal best was junior Tobin Hobbs. Coach Collins says that Hobbs improved by 49 seconds and 24 places from the state meet last year, finishing sixteenth this year.

“He actually ended up with the fastest time of all region one runners, and that goes for the 1a, 2a, and 3a races”

Lastly, Collins says that Ava Earthman was “consistent as ever,” finishing 45th in a 26.8 second personal best, even after battling sickness leading up to the meet.

Collins also took time to praise teams from around the region, with 3A smaller school teams having their own race this year.

“Great performances from kids from Saint Michael, kids from Noatak. It’s just always neat to see regional runners really come forward in these meets.”

For the Bering Strait School District boys, top runners for Gambell, Shishmaref, and Savoonga all finished in the top 25 at states. And three BSSD girls, one from Shishmaref and two from St. Michael, finished in the top 60, with both of St. Michael’s runners finishing in the top 50.

While the cross-country season may be at its end, the Nome Nanooks will be reloaded for next year, with Earthman being the only NBHS senior of this year’s three state representatives.

Photo at top: Nome-Beltz High School, photo by Laura Kraegel, KNOM (2015).

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