The Tsalteshi Trails were the scene of Saturday’s opening high school race of the season, and with juicy flakes of snow gently falling for much of the event, the snowpack was finally enough to host competition.
Billed as more of a glorified time trial than an official race, the varsity races were swept by a pair of seniors who look to be driving at a strong season.
Soldotna’s Sadie Fox cruised to the girls three-kilometer race win with a time of 13 minutes, 33 seconds, nearly 90 seconds ahead of her closest pursuer, Alex Bergholtz of Kenai Central. Fox’s teammates Hannah Pothast and Olivia Hutchings nabbed third and fourth, respectively, while Kenai’s Kirsten Nyquist rounded out the top five.
“I’m still kind of out of shape right now,” Fox said. “The snow’s really good right now. We haven’t been skiing on good snow, but I feel like next week should be good.”
In the boys race, Kenai’s Travis Cooper won with a time of 12:06, beating SoHi freshman John Mark Pothast by 34 seconds. Pothast’s teammate Levi Michael finished third, and Kenai teammates Jordan Theisen and James Butler rounded out the top five.
Jacob Davis finished eighth to lead the Homer boys, while Sara Wolf led the Mariners on the girls side with a seventh-place result.
Soldotna’s Josh Shuler took the win in the boys JV race, while Kenai freshman Ithaca Bergholtz claimed the win in the girls JV event.
The Lynx Loppet Invitational next weekend in Anchorage will be the next test for Peninsula teams, as most of the state’s top talent will face each other.
1. Travis Cooper, Ken, 12:06; 2. John Mark Pothast, Sol, 12:40; 3. Levi Michael, Sol, 12:48; 4. Jordan Theisen, Ken, 12:57; 5. James Butler, Ken, 12:59; 6. Koby Vinson, Sol, 13:05; 7. Karl Danielson, Ken, 13:06; 8. Jacob Davis, Hom, 13:09; 9. Liam Floyd, Ken, 13:16; 10. Daniel Shuler, Sol, 13:25; 11. Addison Downing, Sol, 13:38; 12. Hoxie Parks, Hom, 14:18; 13. Tadhg Scholz, Hom, 15:17; 14. Eric Super, Hom, 20:03.
1. Sadie Fox, Sol, 13:33; 2. Alex Bergholtz, Ken, 15:00; 3. Hannah Pothast, Sol, 15:12; 4. Olivia Hutchings, Sol, 15:14; 5. Kirsten Nyquist, Ken, 15:15; 6. Riana Boonstra, Ken, 15:16; 7. Sara Wolf, Hom, 15:17; 8. Rachel Ellert, Hom, 15:25; 9. Mikaela Salzetti, Ken, 15:26; 10. Audrey Russell, Hom, 15:30; 11. Mia Alexson, Hom, 16:08; 12. Lindsay Floyd, Ken, 16:09; 13. Kellie Arthur, Sol, 16:13; 14. Mieka Chythlook, Sol, 16:15; 15. Emily Werner, Sol, 16:23; 16. Maria Vantrease, Hom, 16:43; 17. Katie Cooper, Ken, 17:08; 18. Clair Swanson, Hom, 17:24; 19. Sage Link, Sol, 18:30.