While a majority of Alaskans were competing in the Pacific Northwest last weekend, a variety represented the 49th state in additional cross country conferences around the nation.
Leading the contingent was Academy of Art redshirt senior Audrey Rosencrans, who has continued to flourish after a decorated career at Homer High. At the PacWest Cross Country Championships, she finished 13th in a strong field, running 22 minutes flat on the 6-kilometer course in San Leandro, California.
Rosencrans was the top finisher on her team, leading the Urban Knights to a sixth-place finish out of 11 teams.
Also in the PacWest race was senior Maggie Meeds, who competes for Hawaii Pacific after starting her collegiate career at UAF. Meeds, formerly of South High, notched a 55th-place finish in 25:04 and crossed the line as the second finisher on her team. The Sharks finished seventh overall.
Further east, a handful of runners competed at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships, held in Durango, Colorado at over 6,500 feet elevation.
Sophomore Kaleb Beloy was the top Alaskan, finishing 54th in the 118-person field in 26:39 for 8 kilometers. The South Anchorage grad who competes for CSU-Pueblo was the sixth ThunderWolf across the line, while the team finished sixth out of 15 total teams.
Brady Burrough, a former teammate of Beloy, finished just six places behind in 27:02. He was the third finisher for Fort Lewis, which capped off an eighth-place team finish.
Kodiak’s Keith Osowski, who runs for Black Hills State finished in 88th place in 28:02. The Yellow Jackets finished 11th as a team.
Sebastian Szweda Mittelstadt competed in his first RMAC Championships, representing Westminster of Utah. The duo-sport athlete, formerly of Service High, started his collegiate career as a midfielder for the Blue Mountain Community College soccer team before switching to running this fall. He has made strides for Westminster achieving a personal best in 28:35 to finish 100th and crossing the line as the third scorer on his team.
On the women’s side, Anchorage’s Anna McLaughlin raced to a personal-best of 27:20 in her conference debut for Colorado Christian. The Grace Christian grad sliced more than 30 seconds off of her previous best, finishing 98th overall.
In the NAIA division, Soldotna’s Erika Arthur raced to a 16th-place finish at the Frontier Conference Championships, held in Helena, Montana. The sophomore who runs for Carroll College finished with a time of 20:47 for 5 kilometers. Her team swept the men’s and women’s titles, securing their bid to the NAIA National Championships.
For Division III, Anchorage’s Kelsey Johannes placed 65th at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, clocking 25:53. The West High grad is a two-sport athlete, competing in Nordic skiing and cross country running for St. Scholastica.
Joining Johannes in the multi-sport realm at St. Scholastica is Fairbanks’ Maggie Whitaker, who placed 118that the conference championships, running 27-flat. The West Valley grad qualified for the NCAA Championships in Nordic skiing last winter.
Also at the MIAC Championships was Arne Ellefson-Carnes, formerly of Juneau-Douglas High. The junior placed 132nd and celebrated the team title with his compatriots at St. Olaf College, after topping the 11-team competition.
At the American Rivers Conference Championships, Grant Goodman ran to a personal best of 29:07 to place 117th. The South High grad competes for Central College (Iowa), which placed fourth out of nine teams.
The NCAA Division II & III Regional Championships are set for next weekend, where teams and individuals will vie for national qualifying spots.