Skiers go up Angle Hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers go up Angle Hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Local skiers compete at Candy Cane Scramble, Besh Cups 1 and 2

The Soldotna Nordic skiing team hosted the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday at Tsalteshi Trails.

At the event, skiers had an hour to visit 10 stations scattered across the course. The winners were those who visited the 10 stations in the least amount of time.

Some skiers were dressed in Christmas attire, which came with the benefit of getting the map of the stations sooner than those not dressed up.

Soldotna’s Noble Cassidy took the win for the boys, with Kenai’s Jack Laker coming in second. For the girls, Soldotna’s Kate Cox finished on top, with teammate Avery Ciufo taking second.

Area skiers compete at Besh Cup

Besh Cup 1 and 2 were held Saturday and Sunday at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. The six Besh Cups are used to select skiers for the Junior Nationals and Arctic Winter Games.

The Besh Cup was mixed in with the visit of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard SuperTour to Anchorage, which meant local skiers got the chance to race against the highest level of competition in the country. The SuperTour is 17 races at six different venues with World Cup start spots and funding on the line.

Saturday, classic sprints were held. Local skiers did not make it through the heats to the Open Men and Open Women quarterfinals. In women’s qualifying, Soldotna’s Ariana Cannava was 58th, Soldotna’s Tania Boonstra was 64th and Soldotna’s Kara Veihdeffer was 85th.

In men’s qualifying, Kenai’s Jack Laker was 101st, Homer’s Jody Goodrich was 107th, Homer’s Ethan Styvar was 108th, Homer’s Garrett Briscoe was 114th, Soldotna’s Michael Davidson was 115th, Homer’s Leif Jaworski was 134th and Soldotna’s Ollie Dahl was 138th.

Sunday, skiers competed in a mass start freestyle race.

The Open Men did 10 kilometers, with Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center’s Michael Earnhart taking the victory in 24 minutes and 27 seconds.

Kenai Central graduate Tyler Hippchen, now at Western Colorado University, was 89th in 29:36, while Briscoe was 99th in 30:38, Laker was 101st in 30:59, Goodrich was 105th in 32:06, Jaworski was 109th in 32:57 and Soldotna’s Nels Dahl was 119th in 38:21.

The Open Women also did 10 kilometers, with Sonjaa Schmidt of the Whitehorse Ski Club winning at 28:09. Boonstra was 51st in 33:24 and Cannava was 54th in 34:07.

The Under-16 5-kilometer boys race was won by Jack Leveque in 13:38. Styvar was fifth in 14:20, Kenai’s Chase Laker was ninth in 14:55, Davidson was 16th in 15:40 and Ollie Dahl was 22nd in 16:51.

The Under-16 5-kilometer girls race was won by Miya Kam-Magruder in 15:06. Veihdeffer was 16th in 18:40.

In the U12 and U14 3.75-kilometer race, Kenai Middle’s Leif Laker was 31st in 14:11.

Kenai Central’s Chase Laker and Ruby Davis ski up a hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Chase Laker and Ruby Davis ski up a hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers pursue stations at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers pursue stations at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Central ski team poses before the start of the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Central ski team poses before the start of the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Khongorzul Gantulga, a foreign exchange student from Mongolia, descends a hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Khongorzul Gantulga, a foreign exchange student from Mongolia, descends a hill at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers start the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Skiers start the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Valentino “Tino” Rigutto skis at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Valentino “Tino” Rigutto skis at the Candy Cane Scramble on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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