Runners from Petersburg High School’s cross county boys team pose for a photo at a course they ran for a virtual meet against Juneau schools and Wrangell. (L-R) Breiland Willis, Kieran Cabral, Valon Weathers, Wyatt Litster, and Malcolm Fry (Photo by Debby Eddy)

Petersburg’s boys cross country team finished second place in a virtual meet this past weekend. The meet had runners competing from Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain in Juneau, Petersburg and Wrangell. Petersburg boys took second place behind Juneau-Douglas and in front of Thunder Mountain.

“So it was a big schools versus small schools kind of run but our boys did very, very well in that race,” said Tommy Thompson, Petersburg’s Head Coach.

The teams ran on different courses and organizers of the virtual meet combined their times. Petersburg junior, Uriah Lucas, finished second place overall with a time of 17 minutes 19 seconds behind a Juneau-Douglas runner. Freshman Valon Weathers took 12th place and junior Chase Lister took 13th place.

The Petersburg’s boys’ team is the defending region champions. They won’t be able to compete at state as a team this year but Thompson thinks they could still earn several individual spots in the state meet.

“I think–knock on wood–we could place four, five, six young men in that top 14 from Southeast,” Thompson said.

Thompson says that’s partly because fewer runners and teams are participating in the regional meet this year. Many teams have been compromised because of COVID. The Petersburg girls team has had trouble recruiting runners this year. They’ve had just four runners and it takes five to make a team that can score points. Still Thompson says, they’ve kept their spirits up, led by senior Lydia Martin.

“They’ve been really great as far as working hard and getting better and kind of persevering the season when we don’t actually get to compete,” Thompson said. “That’s hard when all you get to do is practice. It’s like scrimmaging against yourself every week and it’s just not quite as fun or maybe inspiring or motivational as it would be if we got to go somewhere or some people got to come here. But the kids in general have just done a great job persevering.”

On the boys team, Julian Cumps is the only senior this year.