Cross-country skiers get some racing in

Cross-country skiing got underway for Kenai Peninsula squads with a pair of meets Saturday.

Soldotna traveled to the Lynx Loppet on Saturday at Dimond, while Kenai held an informal meet at Homer.

At the classic race of 4.2 kilometers at Kincaid Park, Foster Boze finished 28th in 10 minutes, 15 seconds, to lead the SoHi boys, while Erika Arthur led the girls at 13:36.

Soldotna coach Isaac Erhardt said the trip north was valuable for his team. Friday, the squad got on some normal snow at Hatcher Pass, while Saturday the Stars raced on the snow-making loop at Kincaid.

“We skied Hatcher Pass and got on some natural snow,” SoHi coach Isaac Erhardt said. “It was beautiful.”

Saturday, the hills on the manmade snow quickly turned to sugar, meaning the herringbone was the only option.

“They all came in exhausted,” Erhardt said of his skiers. “It was hard and the conditions were really mentally tough. As coaches, we came away feeling good. There are things we can work on and goals we can set.”

Erhardt also said it was good to see skiers from throughout the region and state to get more ideas of what his team has to work on.

Erhardt’s final take was that skiers on the central Kenai Peninsula have it pretty good right now. Except for Hatcher Pass, Erhardt said Tsalteshi Trails probably have the best snow in Southcentral.

Kenai and Homer took advantage of that with a very informal meet, a 4-kilometer skate at Tsalteshi Trails. While Kenai kept times for its skiers, Homer didn’t even do that. Kenai’s Josh Foster was the top boy in 11 minutes, 56 seconds, while Kenai’s Jayna Boonstra finished first among girls at 13:40.

“We’re still out there,” Kenai assistant Kailey Mucha said. “It’s all fast, crushed up ice. It’s awesome right now.”

Tsalteshi race

4.2 kilometers

Kenai skiers

Boys — 1. Josh Foster, 11 minutes, 56 seconds; 2. Tyler Hippchen, 12:09; 3. Sorin Sorensen, 12:30; 4. Johann Carranza, 12:58; 5. Nathan Haakenson, 13:26; 6. Tucker Mueller, 13:41; 7. Matthew Grzybowski, 13:58; 8. Benjamin Boersma, 14:21; 9. Hunter Beck, 14:30; 10. Marcus Dunham, 15:04; 11. Luke Cross, 15:05; 12. George Wright, 15:28; 13. Lorenzo Caola, 18:21.

Girls — 1. Jayna Boonstra, 13:40; 2. Leah Fallon, 14:05; 3. Gabriella Tews, 14:30; 4. Anya Danielson, 14:39; 5. Julia Anderson, 16:04; 6. Shelbie Naylor, 16:15; 7. Mikaela Hall, 16:22; 8. Madison McDonald, 17:58.

Community race — 1. Summer Foster, 12:14; 2. Jaala Lopez, 13:11; 3. Chelsea Plagge, 14:07; 4. Filip Lukic, 15:49; 5. Fiona Mancuso, n/a; 6. Abby Schneiders, 17:32.

Dimond Lynx Loppet

Boys A team scores: 1. Service, 36:50; 2. Chugiak, 36:58; 3. West Valley, 38:05; 4. West, 38:47; 5. East, 42:05; 6. Colony, 42:08; 7. South, 42:43; 8. Soldotna, 42:56; 9. Palmer, 43:05; 10. Dimond, 43:29; 11. Grace, 44:27.

Soldotna boys 4.2K finishers — 28. Foster Boze, 10:15; 34. Bradley Walters, 10:25; 43. Quinn Cox, 11:00; 50. Jack Harris, 11:16; 61. Ryder Giesler, 11:55.

Soldotna boys 3.2K B finishers — 9. David Grinestaff, 11:33; 21. Trenton Boots, 12:12; 27. Jesper Strom, 12:47; 31. Dylan Hogue, 12:53; 41. Andrew Cox, 13:27; 45. Carter Cannava.

Soldotna boys 3.2K C finishers — 5. Nathan Pitka, 12:43; 41. Justin Hansen, 15:26; 44. Jonothan Gordon, 15:49; 46. Kaden Matson, 15:57; 52. Gavin Brennan, 41:52.

Girls A team scores: 1. Service, 42:55; 2. West, 43:00; 3. West Valley, 43:53; 4. Chugiak, 47:58; 5. Eagle River, 48:52; 6. South, 49:42; 7. Colony, 50:21; 8. Grace, 52:45; 9. Palmer, 56:36; 10. Soldotna, 56:58.

Soldotna girls 4.2K finishers — 45. Erika Arthur, 13:36; 48. Cameron Blackwell, 14:10; 51. Jordan Ruffner, 14:35; 52. Sonora Martin, 14:36.

Soldotna girls 1.8K B finishers — 17. Carson Dement, 4:38; 19. Jordan Strausbaugh, 4:43; 37. Emmy Reese, 6:13; 48. Sonja Saleva, 8:53; 49. Ashley Dalman, 9:50.

Soldotna girls 1.8K C finishers — 25. Madelyn Barkman, 8:13; 27. Katie Creglow, 8:30; 32. Alex Juliussen, 9:08; 44. Chloe Desbois, 11:08; 46. Julia Floyd, 12:03.

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