Story last updated at 1:10 p.m. Thursday, September 19, 2002

Three-second edge gives Garroutte borough title
by Chris Bernard
Staff Writer

Despite a mud-slickened course, Homer cross-country runner Monte Garroutte crossed the line in a winning time of 17 minutes, 22 seconds, while his teammates ran to a fourth-place finish last weekend at the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District championships in Seward.

"We knew he was going to be right up there," said Homer Coach Daryl Farrens. "All season, he's been going back and forth with the kid he beat (Kenai's Mick Boyle). We were kind of expecting Monte to win, though."

It was a close finish, with Garroutte beating Boyle (17:25) by just three seconds. Boyle's teammate Trevor Baldwin finished third in 17:34.

Homer's Ivan Heimbuch finished in the top 20 in 19:06, a personal best, and freshman Morgan Jones shaved more than a minute off his best time to finish 22nd in 19:08.

"Morgan was our fifth-place finisher, and then all of a sudden he's our third-place finisher," Farrens said. "He's a mudder. The course was terrible."

Dylan Anderson (20:10) and Travis Hines (20:26) finished 27th and 30th, respectively.

As a team, the girls fared better, claiming rights to the second-place trophy. Aleta Phelps finished in third, in 20:04, and Melanie Mach in 9th in 21:22. Freshmen teammates Megan Mahan and Hannah Harrison finished in 22:13 and 22:30, earning 13th- and 17th-place berths, and senior Rose Sinhuber ran a 22:40 race for 18th place.

Skyview's Marci Mohler took first with a time of 18:58, followed by Jessica Weimer, of Soldotna, in 19:29.

"It's the first time the girls' team has gone out in front of Kenai when Kenai was at full strength in two or three years," Farrens said. "They're in the hunt for a state berth right now."

Soldotna won the overall title for the girls with 25 points to Homer's 60. Kenai was third with 67, and Seward, Skyview, Nikiski and Ninilchik rounded out the roster.

For the boys, Kenai finished first with 40 points, and Soldotna and Seward followed with 48 and 64 points, respectively. Homer had 100 points, followed by Skyview, Ninilchik and Nikiski.

The Region III meet is scheduled for next weekend at Skyview High School, and the state meet is the following weekend in Palmer.

Chris Bernard can be reached at cbernard@homernews.com.

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