Soldotna’s Selby Hill races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Soldotna’s Selby Hill races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Kenai girls, SoHi boys lead peninsula at state ski championships

  • By Staff Report
  • Thursday, February 23, 2017 10:59pm
  • Sports

In a season in which snow conditions were hardly the main issue, prep ski teams from across the state capped a three-day weekend of racing Saturday at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.

The Alaska School Activities Association state nordic skiing championships were decided under warming skies, with the team titles going to both West Anchorage teams.

The West girls won with a three-day combined time of 3 hours, 3 minutes, 14.1 seconds, over three minutes faster than runner-up Chugiak.

The West boys overcame a deficit to Service to claim the team title by 23 seconds over the Cougars, completing a three-day time of 3:50:49. Service led the team race entering Saturday, but finished third in the relays, while West took second by enough time to beat Service. The South boys won the relay.

The Kenai Central girls led all peninsula teams with a seventh-place finish, while the Soldotna boys finished eighth to lead all peninsula boys teams.

With the abundant snow, the memory of the last three years — when manmade snow had to be shoveled in to create a racing loop — faded away.

“We hesitated whether we had to bring our Klister box or not,” joked Kenai head coach Brad Nyquist.

Nyquist said as the weekend went on, the temperatures warmed not enough to ruin the snow base, but enough to ice up the trails.

“Some of the kids aren’t used to that kind of speed, so that was a good education,” he said. “They loved those downhills.”

Soldotna coach Isaac Erhardt said with the whole array of trails that stretch into the woods at Kincaid at their disposal, the modern day high school skiers were taking on uncharted territory. Some racers had never even seen many of the loops used in the races.

“It was nice to be skiing on real snow, and not doing laps on the Gerbil loop,” Erhardt said.

Nyquist added that his boys squad took the opportunity to ski their cool down workout on the full length of the Lekisch trails.

“They’ve never seen those trails back there,” Nyquist said. “They were having a blast, they came back with all kinds of stories.”

In the battle for the Skimeister award, given to the overall state champion, Gus Schumacher of Service claimed his first title on Friday afternoon, beating out West’s Luke Jager by 18.4 seconds with a two-day combined time of 42 minutes, 52.6 seconds. Schumacher won Friday’s 10-kilometer skate race, edging South’s Hunter Wonders by 1.1 seconds and beating Jager by 14 seconds.

Karl Danielson, the newly crowned Region III champion from Kenai Central, finished 23rd, highest among peninsula skiers, about 5:06 behind Schumacher.

Nyquist said Danielson was aiming for a top 10, but with the number of skiers preparing for Junior Nationals, to be held in Lake Placid, New York, next weekend, the difficulty of racing up near the front was high.

“The field is really intense, when you look at all those kids up there,” Nyquist said. “It just wasn’t in the cards that day.”

Danielson and Kenai girls skier Addison Gibson both qualified for Junior Nationals with their performances this season in the Besh Cup races.

Koby Vinson led the Soldotna boys with a 26th-place overall finish, about 44 seconds behind Danielson. SoHi also got finishes of 36th from Addison Downing and 40th from Jeremy Kupferschmid.

The SoHi boys capped off the weekend with a tremendous fifth-place finish in the boys relay. The team of Kupferschmid, Downing, Josh Shuler and Vinson finished in 54 minutes, 10.6 seconds, just under five minutes behind the winning relay of South Anchorage.

“Addison really came alive in his leg and started taking people down,” Erhardt said. “Once that happened, other guys caught fire with the momentum.”

The Kenai boys took 11th in Saturday’s relay.

Homer’s top boys skier was Jacob Davis in 47th, while Seward’s lone varsity boys racer was Egor Sturdy in 88th.

In the girls Skimeister race, Molly Gellert of West won Friday’s 7.5K skate race to claim the overall title. Gellert trailed West Valley’s Jenna Difolco after Thursday’s classic event by a half second, but easily made up the small gap to win it all on Friday.

Gellert completed Friday’s course in 16:58.5, beating teammate and race runner-up Magdalen York by 14.5 seconds and Difolco by 42.2 seconds, giving her the Skimeister crown by 19 seconds over York in a West Anchorage 1-2 finish.

Riana Boonstra of Kenai was the fastest peninsula skier in 19th, finishing about 3:33 behind Gellert in the overall Skimeister standings. Boonstra finished 17th in Friday’s freestyle race with a time of 18:46.4, beating out Seward rival Ruby Lindquist by six-tenths of a second. Lindquist ended up 26th overall due to a slower Thursday result.

“I’m really happy with how she skied,” Nyquist said about Boonstra. “She looked really strong in the classic race. Looking at the field, it’s hard to say anything bad, but 19th is great.”

The Kenai girls ended up eighth in Saturday’s relay, with Boonstra anchoring the team, picking up several spots on her final leg. Boonstra was joined by Katie Cooper, Ithace Bergholtz and Maria Salzetti.

Kellie Arthur finished 37th overall to lead the Soldotna girls, about 6:30 behind the champion, and Kenai’s Katie Cooper was 39th.

Katia Holmes led the Homer girls with a two-day result of 44th.

“I couldn’t ask for a better three days with this group of kids,” Nyquist said.

The Soldotna girls also received the sportsmanship award.

BOYS

Team scores

1) West 3:50:49.0, 2) Service 3:51:12.0, 3) South 3:52:10.9, 4) West Valley 3:59:20.9, 5) Dimond 4:11:49.7, 6) Grace Christian 4:14:29.6, 7) Chugiak 4:15:17.3, 8) Soldotna 4:16:23.8, 9) Colony 4:19:48.2, 10) Lathrop 4:20:43.2, 11) Palmer 4:25:27.8, 12) Kenai 4:26:34.9, 13) Homer 4:39:47.714) Eagle River 4:46:31.3; 15) Wasilla 5:17:26.7; 16) Valdez 5:38:46.3.

Saturday, 4x5K mixed-technique relay (Classic, classic, freestyle, freestyle)

1) South 49:19.6 (Hamish Wolf 12:51.4; Andrew Hull 13:29.3; Kai Meyers 11:59.9; Hunter Wonders 10:59.0; 2) West 49:25.6 (Noah Ravens 13:08.2; Sam York 13:16.7; Tristan Wiese 11:56.4; Luke Jager 11:04.3); 3) Service 50:02.3, Zach Bassett 12:52.3; Eli Hermanson 14:07.0; Canyon Tobin 11:56.0; Gus Schumacher 11:07.0); 4) West Valley 51:17.5 (Ben Koenig 12:47.5; Ben Keener 14:27.7; Ari Endestad 12:17.3; Ti Donaldson 11:45.0); 5) Soldotna 54:10.6 (Jeremy Kupferschmid 13:59.7; Addison Downing 14:16.0; Joshua Shuler 13:27.8; Koby Vinson 12:27.1; 11) Kenai 57:02.8 (Karl Danielson 13:14.9; Eric Kempf 15:40.5; Trevor Debnam 14:26.6; Patrick Michel 13:40.8; 13) Homer 1:00:02.0 (Jacob Davis 15:05.1; Denver Waclawski 17:09.3; Tadhg Scholz 14:10.5; Caleb Rauch 13:37.1).

Friday 10-kilometer freestyle

1) Gus Schumacher, Service, 23:19.8; 2) Hunter Wonders, South, 23:20.9; 3) Luke Jager, West, 23:33.8; 4) Ti Donaldson, West Valley, 24:22.8; 5) Josiah Alverts, Palmer, 24:25.9; 6) Canyon Tobin, Service, 24:26.9; 7) Tristan Wiese, West, 24:28.8; 8) Sam York, West, 24:40.2; 9) Andrew Hull, South, 24:52.3; 10) Kai Meyers, South, 24:55.4; 11) Hamish Wolf, South, 24:59.9; 12) Ari Endestad, WsV Valley, 25:03.5; 13) Tracen Knopp, Colony, 25:09.3; 14) Ben Koenig, WsV Valley, 25:15.6; 15) Noah Ravens, West, 25:16.0; 16) Rhys Swingle, WsV Valley, 25:28.6; 17) Zach Bassett, Service, 25:33.4; 18) Logan Mowry, Lathrop, 25:37.4; 19) Chip Schoff, South, 25:38.0; 20) Luke Fritzel, Grace, 25:38.9; 21) Eli Hermanson, Service, 25:41.6; 22) Karl Danielson, Kenai, 25:44.3; 23) George Cvancara, Dimond, 25:44.8; 24) Trent Fritzel, Grace, 25:55.9; 25) Max Beiergroslein, Chugiak, 26:10.8; 26) Everett Cason, West, 26:11.2; 27) Brian Wing, Chugiak, 26:18.3; 28) Micah Barber, Dimond, 26:18.7; 29) Miles Dennis, Chugiak, 26:28.5; 30) Koby Vinson, Soldotna, 26:28.8; 31) Avi Johnson, Grace, 26:48.6; 32) Jonathan Burrell, Lathrop, 26:48.9; 33) Ben Michaelson, South, 26:55.1; 34) Finn Swingle, West Valley, 26:58.2; 35) Ben Keener, West Valley, 27:00.5; 36) Gavin Block, Colony, 27:01.3; 37) Addison Downing, Soldotna, 27:09.6; 38) Jack Wright, Dimond, 27:10.1; 39) Torsten Renner, Eagle River, 27:19.3; 40) Peter Hinds, Dimond, 27:20.9; 41) Patrick Michel, Kenai, 27:28.0; 42) Fintan Nakada, Service, 27:31.1; 43) Jeremy Houston, Palmer, 27:42.3; 44) Jeremy Kupferschmid, Soldotna, 27:44.3; 45) Kaden Denton, Dimond, 27:44.8; 46) Joshua Shuler, Soldotna, 27:47.7; 47) Joseph Walling, Palmer, 27:48.7; 48) Jacob Davis, Homer, 27:49.1; 49) Bryce Pintner, Dimond, 27:49.4; 50) Kelly Martin, West, 28:10.2; 51) Eric Kempf, Kenai, 28:22.8; 52) Ryan Brubaker, Service, 28:33.9; 53) Garrett Nevells, Chugiak, 28:34.9; 54) Tadhg Scholz, Homer, 28:37.5; 55) Aiden Gannon, Grace, 28:38.0; 56) Andrew Hanneman, Lathrop, 28:39.2; 57) Quinton Perham, Chugiak, 28:42.9; 58) Caleb Rauch, Homer, 28:51.7; 59) Chandler Wappett, Lathrop, 28:53.5; 60) Elic Cowan, Colony, 29:12.1; 61) Ben Swanson, Valdez, 29:21.9; 62) Zephan Ozturgut, East, 29:29.0; 63) Bradley Grover, Colony, 29:29.3; 64) Jode Sparks, Soldotna, 29:29.8; 65) Nate Kristich, Colony, 29:59.7; 66) Jack Harris, Soldotna, 30:00.8; 67) Nick Carl, Eagle River, 30:01.5; 68) Daryn Espinosa, Lathrop, 30:04.6; 69) Nicola Rupf, East, 30:06.4; 70) Taft Stiener, Wasilla, 30:19.8; 71) Trevor Debnam, Kenai, 30:38.6; 72) Denver Waclawski, Homer, 30:48.0; 73) Drake Halfacre, Colony, 30:52.8; 74) Nathan Sanches, Lathrop, 31:02.4; 75) Curtis Bay, Eagle River, 31:02.9; 76) Reese Qualls, Palmer, 31:09.3; 77) Declan Reid, Bartlett, 31:15.9; 78) Josh Foster, Kenai, 31:16.3; 79) Warren Metzger, Grace, 31:38.8; 80) Egor Sturdy, Seward, 31:40.8; 81) Manveer Singh, Palmer, 31:41.1; 82) Keyshawn McEnerney, Kenai, 31:49.9; 83) Eric Super, Homer, 32:21.5; 84) Hyrum Nelson, Chugiak, 32:36.7; 85) Ben Kettle, Homer, 32:42.1; 86) Christian Baldridge, Eagle River, 32:43.3; 87) Abel Ravencraft, Wasilla, 32:47.9; 88) Erik Jones, Grace, 33:01.0; 89) Carter Gladwill, Eagle River, 33:03.5; 90) Wyatt Chadwick, Bartlett, 33:35.6; 91) Kaj Taylor, Palmer, 33:46.4; 92) Kaleb Greathouse, Wasilla, 34:14.4; 93) John Banner, Valdez, 34:40.2; 94) Camden Ensign, Eagle River, 34:58.4; 95) Andrew Bashor, Wasilla, 37:40.7; 96) Braden Brunnhoelzl, Wasilla, 37:54.8; 97) Colton Prevost, Valdez, 38:18.0; 98) Josten Carlson, Valdez, 38:52.7; 99) Chris Cummins, Valdez, 39:16.6.

GIRLS

Team scores

1) West 3:03:14.1; 2) Chugiak 3:06:26.5; 3) West Valley 3:06:58.3; 4) South 3:15:23.9; 5) Service 3:20:47.4; 6) Colony 3:27:11.5; 7) Kenai 3:30:02.8; 8) Palmer 3:31:59.3; 9) Dimond 3:32:41.8; 10) East 3:37:14.7; 11) Lathrop 3:39:08.6; 12) Grace 3:40:30.2; 13) Homer 3:42:20.9; 14) Soldotna 3:45:04.0; 15) Valdez 3:55:09.8; 16) Seward 3:56:19.5; 17) Eagle River 4:02:45.3.

Saturday, 4x3K mixed-technique relay (Classic, classic, freestyle, freestyle)

1) West 39:29.1 (Aubrey LeClair 10:32.5; Molly Gellert 10:55.9; Alejandra Legate 9:22.6; Magdalen York 8:38.1); 2) Chugiak 39:50.6 (Heidi Booher 10:21.4; Emma Sees 11:48.1; Adrianna Proffitt 8:58.5; Emma Nelson 8:42.6); 3) West Valley 39:51.1 (Jenna Difolco 10:17.8; Emma Jerome 11:41.1; Maggie Druckenmiller 9:06.7; Kendall Kramer 08:45.5); 4) South 41:28.6 (Abby Amick 10:28.0; Kaylee Heck 11:57.4; Hannah Armbrust 9:51.6; Maggie Meeds 9:11.6); 5) Service 43:28.8 (Caitlin Gohr 11:03.2; Garvee Tobin 12:13.3; Adeline Wright 10:00.5; Nadia Dworian 10:11.8); 8) Kenai 44:41.7 (Katie Cooper 11:51.3; Ithaca Bergholtz 13:22.1; Maria Salzetti 10:05.5; Riana Boonstra 9:22.8); 13) Homer 47:35.6 (Katia Holmes 12:20.3; Katie Davis 13:09.0; Mia Alexson, Homer, 11:14.9; Autumn Daigle 10:51.4); 14) Soldotna 48:39.1 (Kellie Arthur 12:07.7; Hannah Delker 14:25.1; Molly Erickson 11:09.5; Cameron Blackwell 10:56.8); 16) Seward 50:00.2 (Ruby Lindquist 11:45.7; Emma Armand 15:21.0; Emmalee Moore 12:24.7; Sadie Lindquist 10:28.8).

Friday 7.5-kilometer freestyle

1) Molly Gellert, West, 16:58.5; 2) Magdalen York, West, 17:13.0; 3) Jenna Difolco, WsV Valley, 17:40.7; 4) Kendall Kramer, WsV Valley, 17:42.3; 5) Heidi Booher, Chugiak, 17:51.5; 6) Emma Nelson, Chugiak, 17:52.7; 7) Maggie Druckenmiller, WsV Valley, 18:06.7; 8) Annika Hannestad, Colony, 18:11.4; 9) Ruth Cvancara, Dimond, 18:12.4; 10) Maggie Meeds, South, 18:13.6; 11) Adrianna Proffitt, Chugiak, 18:21.1; 12) Abby Amick, South, 18:23.6; 13) Alejandra Legate, West, 18:24.3; 14) Aubrey LeClair, West, 18:24.7; 15) Annie Gonzales, East, 18:41.0; 16) Emma Sees, Chugiak, 18:41.5; 17) Riana Boonstra, Kenai, 18:46.4; 18) Ruby Lindquist, Seward, 18:47.0; 19) Garvee Tobin, Service, 18:49.1; 20) Ivy Eski, West, 18:56.4; 21) Elizabeth Mans, West, 19:09.4; 22) Rya Berrigan, Palmer, 19:11.4; 23) Emma Jerome, WsV Valley, 19:18.4; 24) Peyton Presler, WsV Valley, 19:23.3; 25) Zoe Ratzlaff, WsV Valley, 19:23.9; 26) Rylee Norris, Valdez, 19:30.5; 27) Jasmine Langmann, Dimond, 19:32.2; 28) Kaylee Heck, South, 19:42.3; 29) Caitlin Gohr, Service, 19:50.6; 29) Alyson Kopsack, Colony, 19:50.6; 31) Adeline Wright, Service, 19:51.1; 32) Nadia Dworian, Service, 19:53.4; 33) Hannah Armbrust, South, 19:59.3; 34) Ruby Woodings, Palmer, 20:02.7; 35) Tjarn Bross, Lathrop, 20:06.4; 36) Charlee Demintieff, Grace, 20:06.8; 37) Savannah Ulrich, South, 20:14.7; 38) Katie Cooper, Kenai, 20:17.2; 39) Amanda Moore, Service, 20:21.3; 40) Sadie Lindquist, Seward, 20:28.6; 41) Kellie Arthur, Soldotna, 20:33.1; 42) Maya Brubaker, Service, 20:36.8; 43) Maria Salzetti, Kenai, 20:40.4; 44) Katia Holmes, Homer, 20:40.7; 45) Sarah Freeman, East, 20:59.2; 46) Katie Davis, Homer, 21:12.8; 47) Bella Block, Colony, 21:13.5; 48) Abigail Beveridge, Grace, 21:17.3; 49) Liesel Von Imhof, Dimond, 21:27.2; 50) Caitlin Bales, Wasilla, 21:31.5; 51) Anya Danielson, Kenai, 21:31.9; 52) Anahelene Taylor, Palmer, 21:41.1; 53) Amy Baxter, Palmer, 21:43.2; 54) Cameron Blackwell, Soldotna, 21:44.5; 55) Carly Dennis, Chugiak, 21:45.8; 56) Lupua Oba, Lathrop, 21:48.2; 57) Cathelyne Powers, Colony, 21:54.4; 58) Autumn Daigle, Homer, 21:57.0; 59) Molly Erickson, Soldotna, 22:14.6; 60) Madeleine Taylor, Eagle River, 22:18.1; 61) Clare Hanneman, Lathrop, 22:19.0; 62) Myah Smith, Eagle River, 22:23.0; 63) Olivia Mueller, Chugiak,22:24.2; 64) Ariana O’Harra, East, 22:30.4; 65) Anna McLaughlin, Grace, 22:32.3; 66) Rachael Schick, East, 22:44.0; 67) Mia Alexson, Homer, 22:48.3; 68) Ashlyn Johnson, East, 22:51.7; 69) Selby Hill, Soldotna, 22:57.3; 70) Hannah Delker, Soldotna, 23:04.1; 71) Elianna Kniegge, Grace, 23:16.0; 72) Briannah Pugh, Dimond, 23:22.7; 73) Daisy Kettle, Homer, 23:23.3; 74) Zoe Copp, Palmer, 23:24.0; 75) Eve Downing, Soldotna, 23:24.4; 76) Sofija Spaic, Colony, 23:25.3; 77) Abigail Arens, Lathrop, 23:34.5; 78) Dareena Doyle, Kenai, 23:35.9; 79) Theresa French, Colony, 23:47.9; 80) Laura Ellis, Grace, 23:49.7; 81) Taylor Huston, Valdez, 23:50.4; 82) Abigail Luiken, Dimond, 24:14.3; 83) Caitlin Connell, Valdez, 24:25.8; 84) Angie Alfaro, Valdez, 24:55.8; 85) Emmalee Moore, Seward, 24:57.4; 86) Victoria Korenev, Valdez, 25:14.7; 87) Gurpreet Singh, Palmer, 25:16.0; 88) Holley Hoback, Grace, 25:44.1; 89) Ithaca Bergholtz, Kenai, 25:53.5; 90) Sarah Tucker, Bartlett, 25:57.9; 91) Emma Armand, Seward, 25:59.2; 92) Ashley Walsh, Eagle River, 26:22.7; 93) Shelby Kelliher, Dimond, 26:23.2; 94) Kestrel Gilliam, Eagle River, 26:35.8; 95) Laura Ripp, Eagle River, 26:46.5; 96) Tamara Brabson, Eagle River, 27:44.9; 97) Leola Atkinson, Bartlett, 27:46.9.

Kenai Central skier Karl Danielson races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Kenai Central skier Karl Danielson races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Soldotna skier Josh Shuler takes off at the start of Friday’s state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Soldotna skier Josh Shuler takes off at the start of Friday’s state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Homer’s Katie Davis races amid a pack of skiers at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Homer’s Katie Davis races amid a pack of skiers at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Soldotna skier Koby Vinson races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

Soldotna skier Koby Vinson races Friday at the state ski championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage (Photo by Matt Tunseth/Alaska Star)

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