Daigle, Moseley lead Lady M's to win in Seward
SEWARD - Autumn Daigle headed into the Frank Dieckgraeff Invitational on Friday looking to prove to herself that only a week after fighting off strep, she could match Seward's Ruby Lindquist step for step on the course country course.
Consider that mission accomplished.
The Homer High School standout turned more than a few heads over a muddy five-kilometer course by running shoulder-to-shoulder with Lindquist, one of the state's top runners, for the first 4,000 meters. Lindquist managed to pull away on the race's final uphill climb and sprinted to a 13-second victory.
Daigle wasn't disappointed with Lindquist's ability to pull away late. A hard practice the day before, combined with the lingering effects of her illness, taxed her energy and prevented her from pushing harder.
"I had strep throat last week so I'm still getting over that," she said after sprinting across the finish line. "It (the lingering effects) doesn't impact my breathing much, but it kind of hurt a bit during the race. Overall, I was proud I got to work that hard and run with someone with my almost exact speed. It was nice to have someone push me."
Daigle — and teammate Alex Moseley — pushed Lindquist for much of the first 4,000 meters. The three broke from the pack early on and sprinted through a light rain with little separation for much of the course. Daigle and Lindquist ran stride-for-stride through the final stretch and the trees before beginning the final uphill climb that circled around the high school football field before descending to the finish line.
Lindquist decided to test Daigle's energy from there and powered into the climb.
"I was thinking about doing that, but I didn't know if it was going to work," said Lindquist, who finished the race in a time of 19 minutes, 53 seconds. "We pushed each other the whole way."
Despite Lindquist's late surge, Daigle said she was excited by her performance.
"I thought it went pretty good," she said. "I was just hoping to get a good race out of it and not let her get into my head before state because she is like my biggest competition."
Daigle finished the race in a time of 20:06.
Moseley was the only other runner to turn in a sub-21 effort on the trail. She captured third with a time of 20:52.
Brooke Miller and Sienna Carey added to Homer's domination of the top five. Miller finished fifth overall with a time of 21:32, while Carey checked in at No. 7 with a time of 22:31. Harmony Davidson rounded out the HHS scoring with an 11th-place mark of 24:14.
As a team, Homer finished with 28 points and breezed to the team championship. Soldotna finished a distant second in the standings with 46 points. Seward placed third.
Anahi Ochoa and Ellie Syth also competed in the race. Ochoa finished 18th in the standings with a time of 29:09. Syth was 19th at 30:08.