Boonstra, Briscoe top Peninsula finishers on first day of State Skiing

The first races of the state Nordic ski meet were held at Kincaid Park on Thursday, as both boys and girls competed in an interval start classic race.

The top finishing skiers from the Kenai Peninsula were Soldotna’s Tania Boonstra and Homer’s Garret Briscoe.

Boonstra came in at 16th in the girls five-kilometer event with a time of 21 minutes and 17.9 seconds — only two minutes behind first-place finisher Emily Erickson of Dimond, who cleared at 18:53.0.

“Everyone skied really well,” Soldotna coach Isaac Erhardt said. “They all went out there and skied hard.”

For Division II, which includes Homer, Kenai, Seward and Valdez, the top three girls were Kenai’s Emily Moss and Homer’s Daisy Walker and Eryn Field.

“We had some good races,” Kenai Central coach Brad Nyquist said.

Briscoe was the 29th overall in the boys 7.5K at 26:15.0, but was the first finisher for the boys in Division II. Rounding out the top three for Division II were Jody Goodrich, also of Homer, and Jack Laker, of Kenai.

“That was what we wanted,” Homer coach Jessie Goodrich said after the race Thursday. “We’re really happy about today.”

Goodrich said that Briscoe is a senior, going out at the top of the division. The Homer boys currently lead the division in overall team time, and sit at eighth overall.

The first finisher for the boys was Aaron Power, of Service, who finished at 22:19.1.

Ahead of the start of competition, the coaches at Kenai Central, Soldotna and Homer all said that Thursday’s weather was going to be a major obstacle for their skiers. That prediction came to pass.

“It ended up being an interesting day,” Erhardt said. “Pretty wild weather.”

He said that the weather was variable, with different conditions and issues at different parts of the course. He said one of his skiers was brought to nearly a complete stop by a strong forewind even as she was “striding and double-poling” downhill.

“It was one of those character building days,” Nyquist said. “You have adversity and you’ve got to make decisions and make changes along the way.”

“Challenging, windy and cold,” is how Goodrich described it. She said she was up early Thursday, spending hours experimenting with wax on the skis. It paid off, she said. They found what they needed.

“Times were a little bit slower,” Erhardt said. “But they were for everybody. Everyone was fighting it.”

Erhardt said conditions were “not very fun in the moment,” but he was confident that they would make for good memories.

That sentiment was echoed by Nyquist.

“They’re going to remember this race. Probably more than any other one,” he said.

With two days of competition left in front of the skiers, Nyquist said he’s focusing on the athlete’s mental game — encouraging his team to find their race within the race.

“Embrace the moment, try and be present in the moment and not think about the future stuff that you don’t have control over,” Nyquist said.

Goodrich, too, said she’s just trying to keep focus. She said she wants to see three of her boys on the Division II podium for Friday’s race.

Friday, the girls have a 7.5K mass start freestyle at 11 a.m., while the boys have a 10K mass start freestyle at 1 p.m. The meet concludes Saturday with relay events.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

ASAA State Ski Championships at Kincaid Park


Team Times


1. West, 1 hour, 20 minutes, 28.7 seconds; 2. Service, 1:23:17.7; 3. Dimond, 1:23:59.7; 4. East, 1:23:59.9; 5. South, 1:24:57.8; 6. West Valley, 1:26:27.7; 7. Colony, 1:30:04.8; 8. Soldotna, 1:34:05.4; 9. Chugiak, 1:34:25.3; 10. Kenai, 1:41:27.1; 11. Eagle River, 1:41:43.6; 12. Palmer, 1:43:55.3; 13. Bartlett, 1:45:30.2; 14. Homer, 1:47:52.3; 15. Lathrop, 1:49:28.8; 16. North Pole, 2:29:26

Seward, Grace Christian, Valdez, Monroe Catholic, Glennallen and Sleetmute were all incomplete.


1. Service, 1:34:37.7; 2. West, 1:34:39.2; 3. West Valley, 1:40:58.2; 4. South, 1:41:28.6; 5. Colony, 1:42:34.7; 6. East, 1:45:16.9; 7. Dimond, 1:46:19.2; 8. Homer, 1:47:23.7; 9. Eagle River, 1:52:18.5; 10. Palmer, 1:53:21.1; 11. Chugiak, 1:53:51.6; 12. Soldotna, 1:54:42.1; 13. Kenai, 1:59:49.5; 14. Grace Christian, 2:04:47.1; 15. Lathrop, 2:11:41.0; 16. Bartlett, 2:19:20.1; 17. Valdez, 2:20:28.1; 18. North Pole, 2:28:16.4

Seward, Hutchison, Monroe Catholic and Glennallen were all incomplete.

Peninsula Results

Girls 5-kilometer interval classic start

16. Tania Boonstra, Soldotna 21 minutes and 17.9 seconds; 25. Ariana Cannava, Sol 22:07.0; 29. Emily Moss, Kenai 22:27.8; 37. Daisy Walker, Homer 23:28.2; 50. Eryn Field, Hom 24:36.2; 54. Avery Ciufo, Sol 25:08.3; 59. Leanne Gordon, Sol 25:32.2; 60. Madison McDonald, Ken 25:54.0; 64. Aly Guernsey, Seward 26:03.2; 65. Mya Taylor, Ken 26:06.7; 69. Kathryn Van Buskirk, Sew 26:50.3; 71. Lynnea Hack, Ken 26:58.6; 80. Xinlan Tanner, Ken 28:41.3; 83. Audrey McDonald, Ken 29:25.6; 84. McKenna Black, Hom 29:26.4; 89. Beatrix McDonough, Hom 30:21.5; 90. Leah Dunn, Hom 30:30.7; 91. Danika Winslow, Sol 30:32.8

Boys 7.5-kilometer interval classic start

29. Garret Briscoe, Hom 26:15.0; 33. Jody Goodrich, Hom 26:37.5; 36. Jack Laker, Ken 26:51.9; 39. Seamus McDonough, Hom 26:59.2; 43. Ethan Styvar, Hom 27:32.0; 49. Jonathan Gordon, Sol 28:08.6; 53. Andrew Cox, Sol 28:31.3; 55. Levi Mickelson, Sol 28:42.5; 62. Bennjamin Abel, Sol 29:19.7; 65. Johannes Bynagle, Hom 29:34.4; 73. Zane Tews, Ken 29:58.5; 74. Michael Davidson, Sol 29:59.3; 76. Ben Boersma, Ken 30:02.09; 78. Trevor Guernsey, Sew 30:28.8; 82. Carter Cannava, Sol 30:58.9; 84. Leif Jaworski, Hom 31:34.2; 86. Logan Cartwright, Ken 32:56.2; 88. Owen Smith, Ken 33:14.9; 95. Oliver Trobaugh, Sew 35:16.7; 99. Robert Carson, Ken 36:47.3

More in Sports

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Bears top Dogs, move into 4th place

The Kenai River Brown Bears defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4-3 on… Continue reading

Kenai girls take 4th, Kenai boys take 6th at state

The Kenai Central girls basketball team took fourth place and the Kardinals… Continue reading

Chad Anderson of Kasilof and Allie Ostrander guide Everett Anderson, 3, to the finish line Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. Getting the free ride on Chad’s shoulders is Ben Anderson, 2. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander, Gemmell make Alaska High School Hall of Fame

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central High School, and Joshua… Continue reading

Kenai Central High School esports players participate in a practice match of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ahead of a scheduled game at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Esports Week 6: Nikiski is 1st local team to earn playoff spot

Each of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s esports teams had a… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys move to 4th-place games

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams both notched victories Friday at… Continue reading

Bears host Ice Dogs, renew fight for playoff spot

The Kenai River Brown Bears begin a two-game series with the Fairbanks… Continue reading

The sun shines over Kachemak Bay on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Homer, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Homer holiday

On one of the first sunny days this month, I decided to… Continue reading

Kenai girls, boys lose state openers

The Kenai girls and boys basketball teams lost their opening games at… Continue reading

Most Read