Junior Alyson McPhetres was the first Alaska Nanook to cross, pacing the women’s cross country team as they finished 20th at the 2012 NCAA Div. II West Regional Cross Country Championships on Saturday to close out their 2012 campaign.
No. 6 Chico State upset No. 5 Alaska Anchorage, 51-56 for the 2012 West Region Champion to snap UAA’s three-year streak. Humboldt State finished third with 120 points, while Cal State Stanislaus (154) and Seattle Pacific (157) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Nanooks combined for 463 points in 20th place out of 25 teams.
“We saw some good things today,” said Associate Head Coach Matt Dunlap. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have five good races.”
McPhetres led Alaska’s team effort, completeing the six-kilometer course in 23 minutes and 12.39 seconds for 47th place. It was a stellar performance for the three-time participant who finished 99th at the 2011 event in 24:13.
“Aly ran a really smart race,” said Dunlap. “She was conservative at the start and was able to pick people off as she went. It was encouraging to see her adapt to the conditions and change her race plan for the better.”
Junior Raphaela Sieber was next to cross for the Nanooks with a time of 23:25.94 in 57th place, while rookie Julia Ebner was 94th in 24:27.90. Rounding out the Nanooks scoring team were sophomore Kryston McPhetres (25:21.42, 128th) and freshman Sara Falconer (26:37.46, 150th).
“Julia and Krysti ran well for us today,” Dunlap said. “It was a solid race for Julia, especially as a first-year runner at her first West Region Championships. The experience she’s gained on and off the trails will help her in getting ready for the upcoming ski season.”
The younger McPhetres followed in her older sisters footsteps in improving upon her 2011 West Region performance.
“Krysti has been injured for most of the year and was our fourth-best runner today after being the seventh-best a year ago so that was a big improvement for her personally.”
Senior Megan Thompson turned in her fastest West Region performance in her third and final apperance, completing the course in 28 minutes and 15.49 seconds (166th). First-year runner Victoria Frehill was the seventh and final Nanook, crossing in 32:20.10 (169th).
The Nanooks will travel back to Fairbanks on Sunday, when 10 of the 12 student-athletes will continue to train as they make preparations for the ski season.