By KEVIN KLOTT Daily News correspondent

Published: October 3rd, 2009 11:44 PM Last Modified: October 4th, 2009 02:08 AM

PALMER -- A bizarre turn of events in Saturday's Class 4A girls state cross-country championships ended with an unlikely champion. West Valley junior Courtney Kisner pulled off an upset over Juneau-Douglas' three-time defending state champion, Leah Francis, who fell more than halfway through the race and later needed medical assistance. Kisner also held off Ivy O'Guinn, the strongest runner on the Kenai Peninsula, on the final stretch.

I didn't even see this coming, said Kisner, who won by two seconds over the Skyview senior. I was shooting for the top five.

Kisner considered cracking the top five a lofty goal, considering last season she wasn't fast enough to hang with varsity runners. She spent most of last season with the junior varsity until an ankle sprain cut her season short.

Kisner's road to recovery ended with pure bliss Saturday as she finished the five-kilometer (3.1-mile) race in 18 minutes, 58 seconds, to help West Valley win the team title and become the second Wolfpack runner to win an individual state title.

The other West Valley runner to win it was Crystal Pitney in 2005. Every year since, the title has belonged to Francis, a Juneau senior who was shooting for her fourth consecutive state title Saturday.

Francis maintained about a five-second lead over Kisner for most of the race. But late in the second lap, Kisner said Francis fell to the ground. That's when she passed the Crimson Bear runner.

Kisner didn't know why Francis fell. All she knew was Francis wasn't 100 percent when the race started.

I knew she was sick, Kisner said. I saw she was just holding on and that's when I knew I had a chance.

Francis, who was oh-so close from becoming the third girls runner in Alaska history to four-peat, got up and finished 21 st. After crossing the finish line, Francis collapsed near the timing center and needed medical assistance.

A crowd of volunteers surrounded Francis and covered her in blankets. Francis seemed to be having trouble breathing.

Leah, keep breathing, said one volunteer.

A pair Mat-Su Fire Department trucks arrived on scene and emergency medical technicians gave Francis an oxygen mask.

I hope she's okay, Kisner said.

In the boys race, Dylan Anthony kept Kodiak's winning tradition alive after capturing the 5-K in 15:41. The senior's victory gives the Bears four straight individual titles -- Trevor Dunbar won three straight from 2006-08.

The last time 4A boys program to four-peat with individual titles was Wasilla when Chris Gilbert followed Gordon Birdsall's victory in 1985 with three straight.

Marcus Dunbar, Trevor's dad and the Kodiak coach, wasn't shocked to see Anthony follow in his son's footsteps.

Dylan's been around a long time, Marcus said. He finally had some shadows get away from him.

Kodiak, however, couldn't four-peat with the team title.

The Service Cougars earned that by placing four of their seven runners in the top 15: Silas Talbot (second), Robert Walgren (third), Jani Lane (11 th) and Dane Goodman (14 th).

The team title is Service's first since 1972, long before ASAA started sanctioning events. That year the Cougars took both the Anchorage Borough and state championships.

Talbot, a junior who ran 15:48 to beat his personal-best by 20 seconds, was thrilled to help Service bring back its glory days.

We've been close the last three years, he said. But this year was our best shot.

Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska

State Cross-Country Running Championships

Saturday, Michael Janecek Running Trail, Palmer High

Class 4A

Boys

Team scores -- 1, Service 40 points. 2, Juneau-Douglas 73. 3, South 108. 4, West 127. 5, Kodiak 148. 6, Lathrop 163. 7, Palmer 170. 8, Colony 195. 9, West Valley 197. 10, Wasilla 206. 11, Chugiak 214.

Individual results (5-K) -- 1, Anthony, Dylan, Kodiak, 15:41.9. 2, Talbot, Silas, Service, 15:48.4. 3, Walgren, Robert, Service, 16:02.9. 4, Updike, Isaac, Ketchikan, 16:08.2. 5, Mangelsdorf, Wylie, Palmer, 16:09.6. 6, Thibodeau, Sage, Juneau, 16:10.0. 7, Knapp, Nathaniel, East, 16:26.1. 8, Bursell, Zachary, Juneau, 16:28.1. 9, Nugent, Pat, Lathrop, 16:29.2. 10, Treinen, Nick, West, 16:36.2. 11, Lane, Jani, Service, 16:41.2. 12, Roelle, Hans, West, 16:41.5. 13, Huffman, Mason, South Anchorage, 16:43.4. 14, Goodman, Dane, Service, 16:48.5. 15, Francis, David, Juneau, 16:49.1. 16, Hepler, Lucas, Service, 16:54.5. 17, Mullett, Pat, Chugiak, 16:57.3. 18, Grzeda, Kuba, West Valley, 16:57.7. 19, Smith, Carl, South Anchorage, 16:58.1. 20, Brewster, Brandon, South Anchorage, 17:02.6. 21, Updike, Lucas, Ketchikan, 17:05.1. 22, Davidson, Chaven, Kodiak, 17:06.0. 23, Hanson, Kyle, Lathrop, 17:06.6. 24, Wheeler, Scott, West, 17:08.9. 25, Weathall, Aaron, Service, 17:09.2.

26, Norvell, Tal, Juneau, 17:11.3. 27, Crawford, Dylan, Colony, 17:13.7. 28, Schlemme, Lucas, Service, 17:14.6. 29, Bunton, Andre, Juneau, 17:18.0. 30, Minturn, Mason, Palmer, 17:19.0. 31, Babos, Alex, Chugiak, 17:19.2. 32, Novak, Jack, South Anchorage, 17:19.5. 33, Whipple, Jacob, Palmer, 17:19.8. 34, Bishop, Andrew, West Valley, 17:20.8. 35, Seims, Tux, Homer, 17:21.9. 36, Enloe, Tanner, Colony, 17:22.7. 37, Martin, Jared, South Anchorage, 17:23.2. 38, Derman-Harri, Jon, West, 17:24.4. 39, Ford, Drew, Wasilla, 17:27.6. 40, Lee, Alden, Wasilla, 17:28.8. 41, Zelenkov, Eric, Chugiak, 17:29.7. 42, Dewilde, Gavin, North Pole, 17:30.3. 43, Kornkven, Ryer, Lathrop, 17:30.8. 44, Christiansen, Cole, Kodiak, 17:31.9. 45, Leder, James, West Valley, 17:32.1. 46, Reimer, Alex, Colony, 17:34.7. 47, Christensen, Jaron, Wasilla, 17:35.3. 48, Salus, Jake, Kodiak, 17:37.1. 49, Johnston, Michael, Wasilla, 17:39.6. 50, Knopp, Schyler, Colony, 17:40.3.

51, Nymeyer, Caleb, Kodiak, 17:41.8. 52, Temple, Steven, Lathrop, 17:43.9. 53, Mahlen, Forrest, South Anchorage, 17:45.7. 54, Ripley, Noah, Wasilla, 17:46.2. 55, Mayo, Wyatt, West Valley, 17:46.9. 56, Castellini, Luke, Lathrop, 17:49.5. 57, Osiensky, Chris, Palmer, 17:49.7. 58, Wangberg, Blake, Colony, 17:52.5. 59, Odegaard, Alex, West, 17:52.8. 60, Gilbert, Micheal, Kodiak, 17:53.4. 61, Pahkala, Josh, Wasilla, 17:53.8. 62, La France, Pierz, Palmer, 17:56.5. 63, Woodby, Robin, Juneau, 17:59.9. 64, Nixon-Helms, Dylan, Lathrop, 18:00.2. 65, Bridwell, Carl, West Valley, 18:00.8. 66, Patrick, Ian, West Valley, 18:01.1. 67, Noon, Peter, West Valley, 18:01.4. 68, Fogle, Jordan, Kodiak, 18:01.9. 69, Peltier, Wyatt, Palmer, 18:03.9. 70, Volk, Casey, Chugiak, 18:05.4. 71, Day, Joe, Palmer, 18:10.6. 72, Thompson, Keith, Wasilla, 18:10.8. 73, Miller, Jesse, Juneau, 18:13.8. 74, Stroble, Brian, Chugiak, 18:18.0. 75, Liotta, Neil, West, 18:18.7.

76, Wilkinson, Kipp, Lathrop, 18:35.5. 77, Maxwell, Dan, West, 18:35.8. 78, Kveseth, Chris, Chugiak, 18:38.2. 79, Brewer, Kenneth, Chugiak, 18:39.9. 80, Gumminger, Nathan, Colony, 18:55.3. 81, Munter, Scott, South Anchorage, 19:15.5. 82, Conway, Kenny, Colony, 19:16.7. 83, Lervick, Keagan, Ketchikan, 19:38.4.

Girls

Team scores -- 1, West Valley 63. 2, South 74. 3, Colony 128. 4, Kodiak 128. 5, Wasilla 137. 6, West 154. 7, Service 169. 8, Juneau-Douglas 191. 9, Chugiak 196. 10, Lathrop 203. 11, Soldotna 214.

Individual results (5-K) -- 1, Kisner, Courtney, West Valley, 18:58.4. 2, O'Guinn, Ivy, Skyview, 19:00.1. 3, Bick, Susan, Bartlett, 19:08.6. 4, Mucha, Bree, Soldotna, 19:12.5. 5, Rorabaugh, Marisa, West Valley, 19:13.0. 6, Ford, Jenna, Wasilla, 19:13.4. 7, Edic, Megan, Lathrop, 19:15.4. 8, Ivanoff, Chloe, Kodiak, 19:16.7. 9, Hennessy, Amelia, Dimond, 19:18.2. 10, Boyer, Hannah, West Valley, 19:20.4. 11, Minge, Emma, South Anchorage, 19:26.8. 12, Vania, Merielle, South Anchorage, 19:36.0. 13, Northey, Jenette, Service, 19:37.0. 14, Michaelson, Audrey, Colony, 19:42.6. 15, Yanoshek, Kelly, South Anchorage, 19:42.9. 16, Dampier, Morgan, Wasilla, 19:46.2. 17, Kirk, Stephanie, South Anchorage, 19:47.8. 18, Bethea, Jaymi, Kodiak, 19:48.9. 19, Stewart, Sydney, Colony, 19:50.8. 20, Smith, Melanie, Soldotna, 19:51.4. 21, Francis, Leah, Juneau, 19:53.4. 22, Liotta, Annie, West, 19:54.0. 23, Hutchins, Alyssa, Colony, 19:55.0. 24, Ng, Sarah, Kodiak, 19:58.1. 25, PcPhetres, Kryston, Chugiak, 19:58.4.

26, Roelle, Rachel, West, 20:00.2. 27, Smith, Allie, Kodiak, 20:04.9. 28, Rorabaugh, Eliza, West Valley, 20:05.3. 29, Ord, Annika, Juneau, 20:07.0. 30, Wright, Jessica, North Pole, 20:08.4. 31, Callahan, Molly, West Valley, 20:13.5. 32, Whiteman, Jamie, West, 20:19.7. 33, McPhetres, Alyson, Chugiak, 20:25.0. 34, Ostrander, Taylor, Kenai, 20:27.5. 35, Nelson, Brooke, Wasilla, 20:28.7. 36, Yeaton, Jessica, South Anchorage, 20:30.6. 37, Gerik, Danielle, West, 20:31.4. 38, Mahlen, Tsaina, South Anchorage, 20:32.9. 39, Muller-Stubb, Krystal, Service, 20:33.3. 40, Browning, Sidney, Juneau, 20:34.1. 41, Miner, Robin, Service, 20:39.5. 42, Culver, Katie, South Anchorage, 20:41.6. 43, Lange, Katherine, Chugiak, 20:45.3. 44, Stone, Sydney, Lathrop, 20:46.7. 45, Thompson, Mackenzie, Colony, 20:49.2. 46, Stewart, Taylor, Colony, 20:49.9. 47, Hutchinson, Hannah, Skyview, 20:50.4. 48, Schmitz, Christi, North Pole, 20:50.9. 49, Kelly, Alison, Wasilla, 20:52.4. 50, Fitzgerald, Kimberly, Lathrop, 20:52.8.

51, Okeson, Alex, Service, 20:54.5. 52, Smith, Sadie, Service, 20:56.0. 53, Xavier, Hannah, Service, 20:56.8. 54, Laughlin, Liza, Colony, 21:02.2. 55, Schleich, Cori, Wasilla, 21:06.6. 56, Skan, Melissa, Juneau, 21:07.7. 57, Greaves, Shelayne, Ketchikan, 21:08.0. 58, Hamlin, Mikayla, Lathrop, 21:11.3. 59, Samaniego, Andre, Chugiak, 21:19.1. 60, Haering, Celia, West, 21:19.4. 61, Clump, Keri, Wasilla, 21:26.1. 62, Phillips, Jill, West Valley, 21:26.6. 63, Johnson, Chrysa, West, 21:26.9. 64, Roth, Jordan, Chugiak, 21:27.2. 65, Halloran, Madison, Service, 21:27.7. 66, Lundberg, Krista, Chugiak, 21:28.1. 67, Wieping-Brown, Sophie, West, 21:34.6. 68, Merkes, Meranda, Soldotna, 21:39.1. 69, Jahn, Abby, Colony, 21:39.7. 70, Delos Santos, Annalise, Kodiak, 21:52.2. 71, Burger-Pothier, Lillian, Juneau, 21:56.2. 72, Ottoson-McKeen, Alice, Juneau, 21:59.2. 73, Whisenhant, Elizabeth, West Valley, 22:00.0. 74, Ruckhaus, Thea, Lathrop, 22:09.6. 75, Skjold, Kailee, Soldotna, 22:10.2.

76, Jensen, Jenna, Soldotna, 22:11.4. 77, Wyatt, Shannon, Soldotna, 22:13.3. 78, Ernest, Selma, Kodiak, 22:19.6. 79, Barnett, McKenzie, Kodiak, 22:21.2. 80, Brisco, Aubrey, Juneau, 22:23.8. 81, Clock, Jasmine, Soldotna, 22:27.2. 82, Famham, Nicole, Lathrop, 22:31.9. 83, Fore, Rachel, Chugiak, 22:39.3. 84, Stevens, Madelyn, Lathrop, 23:05.6.