FAIRBANKS-Yesterday afternoon Birch Hill was the location of the Region VI high school cross country skiing championships. The opening day featured boys and girls individual races. The boys raced a 10K and the girls a 7K.
West Valley had a Wolfpack of five as the early frontrunners in the three lap event. Joe Bue of West Valley led much of the way to start out. Sam King of Lathrop worked his way into the bunch as starting climbing after the halfway point of the race.
King was in third place by the final lap and it came down to an intense sprint in the home stretch. King went to the limit and just 1.1 seconds faster than West Valley's Benjamin Koenig. Bue finished in third coming in five seconds later. King, the srnior, finished in 30:38.5 to win the Region VI boys individual 10K title.
In the girls race, which was two laps, West Valley's Jenna Difolco was pushed early by the field. Lathrop's Jade Hajdukovich and Jewel Hediger of West Valley were on her heels for the first lap. But Difolco pushed back and increased the distance between herself and her closest competitors in the second lap.
Hediger would overtake Hajdukovich as Hajdukovich lost steam as the race went on.
Difolco would not lose any power as she races away with the Region VI individual girls 7K title. The freshman crossed the finish line in 27:20 which was 28 seconds ahead of Hediger as West Valley went 1-2. Hajdukovich finished in third with a 28:17.5 time.