She commented to the Anchorage Press, "When I got to the last hill, I wasn't sure I could do it. Then I kicked it in and cruised down the hill. I'm glad the race ended how it did."
Jordan Songergaard ran an impressive race as well, earning a medal for his 9th place finish in a field of 120 of the State's best runners. Sondergaard improved his State time by over a minute from last year, ending with a personal record time of 17:24. He ran a strategic race, choosing to pace himself in the top 14 runners before moving ahead to claim a much-coveted place in the Top Ten medal winners.
Freshman Gloria Jacobsen ran an extremely strong race as well, her time of 21:31 a minute faster than her time on the same course at the beginning of the season. She placed in the top 20% overall and beat competitors who had outpaced her all season.
Sean Dorsey, also a freshman, ran his strongest race of the year with a time of 20:03. Bartlett High School is known for having the toughest cross-country course in the State with its many long hills, and Dorsey's time was just two seconds from his time on a flat course.
Gerlach's win marks the 6th consecutive Cross-country individual State Title for the Copper River School District. Kailey Wilson won State titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Arlen Mossgrove in 2012 and Briahna Gerlach in 2013 and 2014. With former Glennallen runners Arlen Mossgrove and Kendall Maslen currently on track and cross-country scholarships in college, this winning streak marks an exciting time for Glennallen runners.
Gerlach also holds a distinctive record in the two-mile for track, her 10:37 time recorded at the Brian Young Invitational earning her the 2nd fastest time ever for a high school girl runner in Alaska. Kenai's Allie Ostrander (ranked 2nd in the Nation for girls' high school Cross-country) holds the record for her two-mile time of 10:16.
Congratulations Panther Cross-country team! Glennallen Cross-country high school and junior high runners have been a pleasure for me and Coach Jacobsen to coach, not only because they are fast but because they are humorous, hard-working kids. We are excited about the past season records and looking forward to a bright future with Glennallen's many upcoming talented younger runners.