Kenai Central’s Gregory Fallon skis down a hill in the 10-kilometer freestyle Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at the state Nordic ski meet at Government Peak Recreation Area just north of Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

Kenai Central’s Gregory Fallon skis down a hill in the 10-kilometer freestyle Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at the state Nordic ski meet at Government Peak Recreation Area just north of Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

Kenai skiers clean up at Division II state level

The Kenai Central ski team cleaned up at the Division II level at the state Nordic ski meet on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Kardinals took the Division II team state titles and individual state titles.

The Kenai girls won with a three-day team time of 4:19:45, which also put them ninth in the entire meet. Homer, which finished 13th, was the only other Division II girls team to post a team time. The Kenai boys won with a team time of 5:01:47, which also put them ninth in the overall meet. Valdez was the lone other Division II team to post a three-day team time.

The Kardinals boys, with a team grade-point average of 3.9, also won the academic award for Division I and II schools.

The Soldotna girls were eighth in the team battle at 4:14:13, while the Stars boys were 10th at 5:11:08.

Sophomore Jayna Boonstra and freshman Jack Laker won Division II individual titles.

Boonstra had a two-day time of 45:29 to finish 19th in the overall meet, while Monroe’s Lauren White was next at 50:49. Kenai’s Leah Fallon was third at 51:06.

Laker led a top-three sweep for the Kenai boys. He finished at 56:37, 32nd in the overall meet, while Gregory Fallon, also a freshman, was 34th at 57:03 and junior Tyler Hippchen was 43rd at 58:01.

Having a season during a pandemic was tough. Brad Nyquist said that showed in how many Division II competitors were able to make it to the meet.

“If you want to do anything, you have to show up, for one,” Nyquist said. “There’s a lot of legitimate reasons why people weren’t able to do that this season.”

Nyquist gave his skiers and his coaching staff credit for going through all the mitigation measures that made making it to the end of the season possible.

“Our goal was to be able to do this,” Nyquist said. “All of those little things we put up with during the season made this happen.

“We didn’t lose anybody. Everybody got to play, so to speak. And that’s what we wanted.”

At the state meet, the Division I and II schools all race together. The Division II state champs are then calculated at the end of the meet. Nyquist said this allowed his teams to have plenty of races within the races, despite the lack of Division II competition.

Boonstra, who also won the Division II cross-country running title in the fall, wanted a top-20 finish in the overall standings and got it.

“I’m proud of her for making her personal goal,” Nyquist said. “She’s young, she’s got a lot of strength and she’s got a good future ahead of her.”

Boonstra also led the peninsula. Soldotna senior Erika Arthur was 29th in 47:05, while Soldotna’s Jordan Ruffner was 33rd in 48:05.

Soldotna’s team led the peninsula by taking eighth with a three-day team time of 4:14:13, while Kenai was ninth and Homer was 13th.

The Kards girls were able to take eighth in Saturday’s 4-by-3.75-kilometer classic relay, defeating East in ninth and Soldotna in 10th. Boonstra, Fallon, Gabriella Tews and Emily Moss skied for Kenai, while Arthur, Ruffner, Jordan Strausbaugh and Katie Delker skied for SoHi.

“All of the girls had good, strong legs,” Nyquist said.

Laker and Fallon have been drawing kudos from Nyquist all season for their endurance motors, and those motors really showed up on the long climbs at GPRA.

Soldotna senior Quinn Cox was the top peninsula skier, finishing 28th in 55:30. Laker was 32nd in 56:37, while Fallon was 34th at 57:03 and Hippchen was 43rd at 58:01. Nyquist said Hippchen did a great job helping Laker and Fallon this season.

Cox was the top peninsula finisher in Friday’s 10K freestyle, taking 29th, with Hippchen 34th, Laker 36th and Fallon 41st.

“He motivates,” Nyquist said of Hippchen. “He’s had a lot of good leadership with those boys, rallying them and keeping them together.”

Kenai was the top peninsula team in Saturday’s 4-by-5-kilometer relay, taking ninth in 1:06:06, while Soldotna was 10th in 1:08:32. Hippchen, Fallon, Laker and Ben Boersma skied for Kenai, while Cox, Dylan Hogue, Ryder Geisler and Foster Boze skied for the Stars.

State Nordic ski meet

BOYS

Three-day team times: 1. Service, 4:18:39; 2. Chugiak, 4:30:31; 3. West Valley, 4:31:47; 4. West, 4:34:26; 5. South, 4:43:18; 6. Colony, 4:46:44; 7. Dimond, 4:56:06; 8. East, 4:59:44; 9. Kenai, 5:01:47; 10. Soldotna, 5:11:08; 11. Eagle River, 5:21:09; 12. Palmer, 5:22:18; 13. Lathrop, 5:53:11; 14. Valdez, 5:59:02.

Two-day individual totals

1. Michael Earnhart, Chu, 47:24; 2. Alexander Maurer, Ser, 48:29; 3. Aaron Power, Ser, 49:50; 4. Joel Power, Ser, 49:59; 5. Porter Blei, Chu, 51:12; 6. Eric DiFolco, WV, 52:11; 7. Mark Eggener, Wes, 52:23; 8. Josh Baurick, WV, 52:47; 9. Elias Soule, Ser, 52:59; 10. Luke Buth, WV, 53:02.

Peninsula finishers — 28. Quinn Cox, Sol, 55:30; 32. Jack Laker, Ken, 56:37; 34. Gregory Fallon, Ken, 57:03; 43. Tyler Hippchen, Ken, 58:01; 53. Foster Boze, Sol, 1:00:34; 54. Dylan Hogue, Sol, 1:01:47; 56. Cody Bryden, Sew, 1:02:11; 60. Ben Boersma, Ken, 1:04:00; 63. Ryder Giesler, Sol, 1:04:45; 64. Andrew Cox, Sol, 1:05:32; 66. Seamus McDonough, Hom, 1:05:57; 69. Trenton Boots, Sol, 1:06:28; 74. Nathan Haakenson, Ken, 1:08:40; 76. Zane Tews, Ken, 1:09:15; 79. Aloshia Cross, Sew, 1:10:22; 82. Trevor Guernsey, Sew, 1:12:56; 93. Paxton Hill, Sew, 1:20:58; 95. John VanBuskirk, Sew, 1:27:33.

Friday’s 10-kilometer freestyle

1. Michael Earnhart, Chu, 25:40; 2. Alexander Maurer, Ser, 25:52; 3. Aaron Power, Ser, 27:15; 4. Joel Power, Ser, 27:21; 5. Porter Blei, Chu, 27:54; 6. Elias Soule, Ser, 27:58; 7. Mark Eggener, Wes, 28:01; 8. Owen Young, Sou, 28:23; 9. Liam Chisholm, Wes, 28:26; 10. Eric DiFolco, WV, 28:31.

Peninsula finishers — 29. Quinn Cox, Sol, 30:01; 34. Tyler Hippchen, Ken, 30:40; 36. Jack Laker, Ken, 30:43; 41. Gregory Fallon, Ken, 31:02; 53. Foster Boze, Sol, 32:34; 54. Dylan Hogue, Sol, 32:55; 55. Cody Bryden, Sew, 33:01; 64. Seamus McDonough, Hom, 35:13; 66. Andrew Cox, Sol, 35:34; 67. Ryder Giesler, Sol, 35:36; 68. Ben Boersma, Ken, 35:37; 70. Trenton Boots, Sol, 36:06; 75. Nathan Haakenson, Ken, 37:03; 77. Zane Tews, Ken, 38:07; 79. Aloshia Cross, Sew, 38:09; 84. Trevor Guernsey, Sew, 40:42; 88. Paxton Hill, Sew, 41:20; 94. Hudson Loboy, Hom, 43:49; 95. John VanBuskirk, Sew, 47:00.

Saturday’s 4-by-5-kilometer classic relay

1. Service, 57:21; 2. West Valley, 59:26; 3. Chugiak, 1:00:49; 4. West, 1:00:58; 5. Colony, 1:03:05; 6. South, 1:03:19; 7. Dimond, 1:05:26; 8. East, 1:05:59; 9. Kenai (Tyler Hippchen, Ben Boersma, Gregory Fallon, Jack Laker), 1:06:06; 10. Soldotna (Quinn Cox, Dylan Hogue, Ryder Geisler, Foster Boze), 1:08:32; 11. Eagle River, 1:11:30; 12. Palmer, 1:12:47; 13. Lathrop, 1:15:31; 14. Valdez, 1:21:57.

Three-day team times: 1. Service, 3:39:51; 2. West, 3:47:23; 3. Palmer, 3:48:42; 4. South, 3:55:38; 5. Dimond, 3:58:01; 6. West Valley, 4:03:11; 7. Eagle River, 4:10:09; 8. Soldotna, 4:14:13; 9. Kenai, 4:19:45; 10. Chugiak, 4:21:39; 11. East, 4:22:43; 12. Colony, 4:27:18; 13. Homer, 4:37:25; 14. North Pole, 6:01:48.

GIRLS

Three-day team times: 1. Service 3:39:51; 2. West, 3:47:23; 3. Palmer, 3:48:42; 4. South, 3:55:38; 5. Dimond, 3:58:01; 6. West Valley, 4:03:11; 7. Eagle River, 4:10:09; 8. Soldotna, 4:14:13; 9. Kenai, 4:19:45; 10. Chugiak, 4:21:39; 11. East, 4:22:43; 12. Colony, 4:27:18; 13. Homer, 1:30:30; 14. North Pole, 6:01:48.

Two-day individual totals

1. Meredith Schwartz, Ser, 41:03; 2. Tatum Witter, Ser, 41:13; 3. Katey Houser, Pal, 41:34; 4. Quincy Donley, Wes, 41:48; 5. Aila Berrigan, Pal, 42:02; 6. Emily Walsh, ER, 42:05; 7. Marit Flora, Ser, 42:36; 8. Robyn Miller, Sou, 42:48; 9. Neena Brubaker, Ser, 42:54; 10. Emily Erickson, Dim, 43:06.

Peninsula finishers — 19. Jayna Boonstra, Ken, 45:29; 29. Erika Arthur, Sol, 47:05; 33. Jordan Ruffner, Sol, 48:05; 37. Katie Delker, Sol, 48:34; 39. Jordan Strausbaugh, Sol, 49:35; 47. Leah Fallon, Ken, 51:06; 48. Emily Moss, Ken, 51:09; 51. Zoe Stonorov, Hom, 51:28; 54. Ireland Styvar, Hom, 52:00; 55. Summer Foster, Ken, 52:06; 57. Gabriella Tews, Ken, 52:33; 61. Sonora Martin, Sol, 53:50; 62. Frida Renner, Hom, 54:48; 65. Eryn Field, Hom, 55:12; 74. Emmy Reese, Sol, 58:54; 77. Elena Badajos, Hom, 1:03:01; 80. Alexi Walker, Sew, 1:06:32; 81. Kara Super, Hom, 1:06:35; 83. Belladonna Proietti, Sew, 1:07:04.

Friday’s 7.5-kilometer freestyle

1. Quincy Donley, Wes, 23:38; 2. Katey Houser, Pal, 23:45; 3. Meredith Schwartz, Ser, 24:04; 4. Tatum Witter, Ser, 24:07; 5. Marit Flora, Ser, 24:31; 6. Aila Berrigan, Pal, 24:31; 7. Emily Walsh, ER, 24:41; 8. Neena Brubaker, Ser, 24:51; 9. Natalie Hood, Wes, 24:58; 10. Robyn Miller, Sou, 25:05.

Peninsula finishers — 22. Jayna Boonstra, Ken, 26:40; 28. Erika Arthur, Sol, 27:18; 35. Katie Delker, Sol, 28:08; 36. Jordan Ruffner, Sol, 28:13; 39. Jordan Strausbaugh, Sol, 28:37; 48. Ireland Styvar, Hom, 29:43; 49. Emily Moss, Ken, 29:48; 50. Zoe Stonorov, Hom, 30:01; 51. Leah Fallon, Ken, 30:02; 53. Summer Foster, Ken, 30:16; 60. Gabriella Tews, Ken, 30:57; 61. Frida Renner, hom, 31:07; 62. Sonora Martin, Sol, 31:11; 64. Eryn Field, Hom, 32:05; 76. Emmy Reese, Sol, 35:08; 79. Elena Badajos, Hom, 37:05; 81. Belladonna Proietti, Sew, 39:21; 83. Alexi Walker, Sew, 41:04; 85. Kara Super, Homer, 42:32.

Satuday’s 4-by-3.75-kilometer classic relay

1. Service, 52:15; 2. West, 52:53; 3. Palmer, 53:46; 4. South, 54:10; 5. Dimond, 55:58; 6. West Valley, 56:25; 7. Eagle River, 58:33; 8. Kenai (Jayna Boonstra, Gabriella Tews, Leah Fallon, Emily Moss), 1:00:08; 9. East, 1:00:51; 10. Soldotna (Erika Arthur, Jordan Ruffner, Jordan Strausbaugh, Katie Delker), 1:00:54; 11. Chugiak, 1:01:32; 12. Colony, 1:02:26; 13. Homer (Zoe Stonorov, Eryn Field, Frida Renner, Ireland Styvar), 1:03:57; 14. North Pole, 1:20:16.

Kenai Central’s Leah Fallon climbs a hill during the 7.5-kilometer freestyle Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at the state Nordic ski meet at Government Peak Recreation Area just north of Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

Kenai Central’s Leah Fallon climbs a hill during the 7.5-kilometer freestyle Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at the state Nordic ski meet at Government Peak Recreation Area just north of Palmer, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey/Frontiersman)

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