Intense competition gathered at Anvil Mountain on Saturday (Sep. 16) for the annual Nome-Beltz X/C Invite, which occurs mid-September every year. More than one hundred contestants competed in the 5K on the sunny Saturday afternoon.
Twelve schools competing in the Invite represented the Bering Strait communities of Nome, Kotzebue, White Mountain, Shishmaref, Gambell, Savoonga, Shaktoolik, Unalakleet, St. Michael, Golovin, Koyuk, and Teller. The race had a total of 125 competitors, 30 of which were Nanooks.
A post from the Nome-Beltz High School Activities Facebook page published that six Nanooks received their fastest times of the season, and 18 beat their personal record times. The weekend prior, 25 students had beat their previous record times of the X/C season
Nanooks scored high on the leaderboards after competing in the race. Keegan Musich won first place in the middle school boys category (21:51), and Orson Hoogendorn placed first in the high school boys (18:12). As for the middle school girls race, Kiyler West placed second (23:59), and Lauren Kingstrom took second place as well against the high school girls (21:34).
The Nome-Beltz X/C team tested their speeds in a time trial earlier this season (Aug. 10) over a 5K distance. The time trial times were recorded, and are compared throughout student’s race times throughout the season.
Two students made significant improvements to their race times, cutting several minutes off of their time trial.
Jonathon Smith improved his time by over three minutes (22:08), making him the most improved of the Nome-Beltz highschoolers. Smith’s improvement earned him his seasonal best time.
Lizzie Payenna improved her time by over 14 minutes (28:30), earning the title of the most improved Nome-Beltz middle schooler, and achieving a personal record time.
The Nome-Beltz X/C team is traveling to Anchorage next weekend to compete in the annual Chugiak “Smokin’ Stampede” race before advancing to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) State Championships. At the time of publishing, 22 highschools were registered for ‘Smokin’ Stampede’. Updates for the race can be found on their Facebook page, and are posted online.
Photo at top: The Nome-Beltz Nanooks won the Nome Classic Invitational cross country meet this past weekend. Laura Kraegel, KNOM.