Colony's Tracen Knopp skis just ahead of Soldotna's Levi Michael during the 10-kilometer classic race of the ASAA/First National Bank State Cross-Country Ski Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage Friday.

Colony's Tracen Knopp skis just ahead of Soldotna's Levi Michael during the 10-kilometer classic race of the ASAA/First National Bank State Cross-Country Ski Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage Friday.

SoHi’s Fox finishes 2nd in skimeister totals

After a season of frustration, high school cross-country ski teams were treated to a state meet full of fresh snow and clean trails.

Buoyed by a strong opening day performance, Soldotna’s Sadie Fox captured runner-up honors in the girls state skimeister standings, tying the best finish ever by a Peninsula girls skier. Since 2004, only Skyview’s Elisabeth Habermann (2004) and Soldotna’s Kailey Mucha (2009) have finished as high.

Over the two days of individual races, Fox skied to a combined 40 minutes, 21 seconds, just 24.6 seconds behind state champion Sarissa Lammers of Chugiak.

“She did great, that was two great races in a row for her,” said Soldotna coach Dan Harbison. “She was extremely consistent all year long, and she’s just skiing really well. We’re all very pleased.”

Fox’s teammate, Hannah Pothast, also joined her in the top 10 with a 10th-place finish of 42:25.1, helping to propel the SoHi girls to a sixth-place finish in the team standings, which combine all three days of racing.

The Stars finished sixth in Saturday’s girls 4-by-3 kilometer relay race with a time of 39:07, just 2:24 behind the winning team of Service High School. Fox anchored the relay that also included Pothast, Emily Werner and Dani McCormick.

“It was a great result for all of us,” Harbison added.

Harbison said SoHi benefited from supreme wax in Friday’s classic technique race, which began with a mass start.

“I think we had the best kick wax of the day,” he said. “It turned out to be good for us, and our glide was as fast as anyone.”

The kick wax decision for Friday’s race and the first two legs of Saturday’s relays proved to be the right one of the Stars, but Harbison said it wasn’t easy determining what to go with.

“We’ve seen everything in the last three days,” Harbison said. “We arrived here Wednesday to 6 inches of new snow on the ground, and then the temperature dropped to near zero on Thursday night, so we had to deal with that.

“Then today it warmed back up, so we had a little bit of everything.”

After placing second the first day, Harbison said Fox had an eye on possibly taking the lead on Friday and winning the state title, but she kept her expectations realistic and raced for anything she could get.

“Of course, that was in the picture,” Harbison said. “We probably had several opportunities to do that, and maybe we just didn’t capitalize on that in the moment, but we’re talking about the top three finishers in the state.”

The Kenai Central boys team stood as the top Peninsula squad, finishing 11th in the team standings.

“Today’s race was fun, nothing like a good relay,” said Kenai coach Brad Nyquist. “The weekend was great, and it was good to wax for snow, not ice.”

Nyquist said anchor Jordan Theisen had a strong leg to finish off for the boys relay team, which finished 12th.

For the Skyview ski team, the three days represented the last three days of the school’s ski history. Skyview coach Kent Peterson said the finality of the moment had not yet sunk in, but noted that may be because many of the Skyview athletes will be transferring to Soldotna High School after this year.

“A lot of kids are looking to combine with Soldotna, and they’re going to contribute to the team next year,” Peterson said. “That’s a positive, it’s not like they’re going to not be a part of that team. It’ll just be a new team.

“I always encourage my kids to think that way.”

Mika Morton provided the best finish of the weekend for the Panthers, skiing to a 25th-place finish in Friday’s classic event, leaving her 27th in the overall skimeister standings.

“She skied great,” Peterson said. “She finished third in the small-schools standings, which was awesome.”

Peterson also mentioned that after two legs in Saturday’s relay, the Skyview boys were ahead of the Soldotna and Kenai teams, a performance that had the Panthers buzzing. The boys ended up placing 14th in the relay.

One thing that each Peninsula coach expressed was the satisfaction of all the Peninsula skiers.

“I think the Peninsula schools all had good performances,” Harbison said. “I think it speaks highly of the efforts of all the skiers, not just one team.”

State Nordic Ski Championships

at Kincaid Park, Anchorage


Team totals: 1. South, 4 hours, 11 minutes, 42 seconds; 2. West Valley, 4:12:29; 3. West, 4:18:56; 4. Service, 4:21:03; 5. Grace, 4:27:03; 6. East, 4:27:59; 7. Colony, 4:31:04; 8. Chugiak, 4:31:15; 9. Dimond, 4:32:29; 10. Lathrop, 4:37:08; 11. Kenai, 4:39:41; 12. Palmer, 4:42:25; 13. Soldotna, 4:46:07; 14. Skyview, 5:01:54; 15. Eagle River, 5:07:48; 16. Homer, 5:10:24.

Saturday’s 4-by-5K relay

1. West Valley (Sayre, Koenig, Bue, Donaldson), 52:20; 2. South (Ramey, Hoefler, Wonders, Takagi), 52:59; 3. Service (Bassett, Muffoletto, Tobin, Truskowski), 53:25; 4. West (Mans, Butera, Wise, Volz), 54:49; 5. East (Farr, Jones, Robicheaux, O’Harra), 55:26; 6. Dimond (Denton, Swalling, D. Cvancara, L. Cvancara), 55:30; 7. Colony (Schafer, D. Knopp, T. Knopp, Kopsack), 55:45; 8. Grace (Isaacs, McLaughlin, Fritzel, Serventi), 55:50; 9. Chugiak (Hall, Warner, McPhetres, Sorensen), 56:13; 10. Lathrop (King, Mowry, Underwood, Brune), 56:28; 11. Palmer (Sworts, Lynn, Hand, Snelders), 58:42; 12. Kenai (Danielson, Butler, Michaud, Theisen), 58:43; 13. Soldotna (Michael, Kant, Best, Diehl), 59:32; 14. Skyview (Hudson, Schlung, Shuler, Musgrave), 1:00:38; 15. Homer (Rowe, Liu, Parks, Vantrease), 1:03:57; 16. Eagle River (Walsh, Tobin, Erickson, Roth), 1:04:24; 17. Bartlett (Gavin, Robert, Declan, Isaac), 1:15:27; 18. North Pole (Mendenhall, Dewilde, Iles, Sattler), 1:16:48.

Top 10 from Friday’s 10K classic

1. Jake Bassett, Ser, 28:53; 2. Max Donaldson, WV, 28:56; 3. Thomas O’Harra, Eas, 29:01; 4. Seiji Takagi, Sou, 29:05; 5. Luke McLaughlin, Gra, 29:06; 6. Daniel Serventi, Gar, 29:09; 7. Jacob Volz, Wes, 29:09; 8. Tanner Ramey, Sou, 29:10; 9. Hunter Wonders, Sou, 29:11; 10. Matthew Muffoletto, Ser, 29:26.

State Skimeister (7.5K classic, 10K skate)

1. Max Donaldson, WV, 48:11; 2. Seiji Takagi, Sou, 48:35; 3. Thomas O’Harra, Eas, 48:58; 4. Hunter Wonders, Sou, 49:16; 5. Daniel Serventi, Gar, 49:17; 6. Tanner Ramey, Sou, 49:26; 7. Jacob Volz, Wes, 49:31; 8. Jake Bassett, Ser, 49:55; 9. Luke McLaughlin, Gar, 50:16; 10. Jonathan Koenig, WV, 50:40.

Peninsula finishers — 28. Travis Cooper, Ken, 52:23; 32. Levi Michael, Sol, 52;34; 36. Brian Rowe, Hom, 53:41; 38. Jordan Theisen, Ken, 54:16 40. Colton Diehl, Sol, 54:34; 53. James Butler, Ken, 57:17; 56. Tanner Best, Sol, 57:30; 57. Fox Michaud, Ken, 57:33; 65. Olen Danielson, Ken, 58:17; 70. Brenner Musgrave, Sky, 59:14; 73. Sky Schlung, Sky, 59:50; 78. Jeremiah Hudson, Sky, 1:00:16; 80. Josh Vantrease, Hom, 1:00:28; 85. Daniel Shuler, Sky, 1:01:53; 86. Nate Mole, Ken, 1:02:14; 87. Drew Kant, Sol, 1:02:30; 90. Addison Downing, Sol, 1:03:02; 92. Aaron Swedberg, Sol, 1:03:13; 97. Sterling Stasak, Sky, 1:03:55; 98. Logan Hemphill, Sky, 1:04:41; 99. Nick Zweifel, Sew, 1:05:23; 100. Hoxie Parks, Hom, 1:06:05; 101. Tian-en Liu, Hom, 1:06:26; 103. Ryan Navrot, Hom, 1:06:43; 104. Jerry Swanson, Sew, 1:07:30; 106. Dylan Gillespie, Sew, 1:08:59.


Team times: 1. South, 3:25:41; 2. Service, 3:29:08; 3. West, 3:32:32; 4. East, 3:33:21; 5. Chugiak, 3:34:51; 6. Soldotna, 3:39:13; 7. West Valley, 3:43:51; 8. Colony, 3:46:04; 9. Grace, 3:46:11; 10. Palmer, 3:46:24; 11. Dimond, 3:46:55; 12. Kenai, 3:58:06; 13. Lathrop, 3:58:40; 14. Homer, 4:00:41; 15. Eagle River, 4:15:21; 16. Skyview, 4:22:13.

Saturday 4-by-3K relay

1. Service (Hunt-Smith, Terry, Romey, Tarbath), 36:43; 2. South (Hoefler, Bembenek, Flynn, Darnell), 36:59; 3. West (York, Legate, Gellert, Hirsch), 38:14; 4. Chugiak (Booher, Hartke, Connelly, Lammers), 38:17; 5. East (Jager, Beiring, Fink, Flynn), 38:29; 6. Soldotna (Pothast, Werner, McCormick, Fox), 39:07; 7. Colony (Haan, Jenkins, Spaic, Block), 39:45; 8. West Valley (Hediger, Gottmeier, Difolco, Reitano), 39:58; 9. Dimond (Denton, Cvancara, McWhite, Von Imhof), 40:16; 10. Palmer (Woodings, Lundin, Berrigan, Johnson), 40:31; 11. Grace (Gamache, Applegate, Rowe, Arnold), 40:32; 12. Kenai (Bergholtz, Cooper, Salzetti, Nyquist), 41:58; 13. Lathrop (Hajdukovich, Hebard, Hamlin, Parrott), 42:39; 14. Homer (Soistman, Beach, Ellert, Daigle), 42:49; 15. Skyview (Morton, Cook, Chythlook, Hollers), 45:18; 16. Eagle River (Frazier, Montoya, Heagy, Owens), 45:53; 17. Bartlett (Grace, Pedrick, Dietz, Lindsey), 57:01; 18. North Pole (Hickman, Edsell, Hepburn, Elgin), 1:03:01.

Top 10 in Friday’s 7.5K classic

1. Sarissa Lammers, Chu, 25:13; 2. Taryn Hunt-Smith, Ser, 25:13; 3. Sadie Fox, Sol, 25:15; 4. Morgan Flynn, Eas, 25:24; 5. Janey Hoefler, Sou, 25:40; 6. Emma Tarbath, Ser, 25:43; 7. Annika Flynn, Sou, 26:06; 8. Hannah Pothast, Sol, 26:09; 9. Magdalen York, Wes, 26:29; 10. Anna Darnell, Sou, 26:34.

State skimeister (5K skate, 7.5K classic)

1. Sarissa Lammers, Chu 39:56; 2. Sadie Fox, Sol, 40:21; 3. Morgan Flynn, Eas, 41:01; 4. Emma Tarbath, Ser, 41:18; 5. Annika Flynn, Sou, 41:41; 6. Janey Hoefler, Sou, 41:42; 7. Anna Darnell, Sou, 41:55; 8. Taryn Hunt-Smith, Ser, 42:02; 9. Magdalen York, Wes, 42:06; 10. Hannah Pothast, Sol, 42:25.

Other peninsula finishers — 27. Mika Morton, Sky, 45:34; 43. Alex Bergholtz, Ken, 46:57; 50. Cassidy Soistman, Hom, 47:48; 51. Kirsten Nyquist, Ken, 47:54; 56. Dani McCormick, Sol, 48:21; 57. Emily Werner, Sol, 48:59; 60. Olivia Hutchings, Sol, 49:23; 64. Rachel Ellert, Hom, 49:42; 68. Katie Cooper, Ken, 50:07; 73. Mikaela Salzetti, Ken, 51:09; 78. Xochi Harbison, Sol, 52:23; 81. Mieka Chythlook, Sky, 53:27; 82. Maddie Michaud, Ken, 53:43; 84. Isabel Beach, Hom, 53:53; 90. Mariah Vantrease, Hom, 55:21; 93. Brooke Estes, Sew, 56:22; 94. Beverly Schindler, Ken, 56:30; 97. Brittany Hollers, Sky, 58:52; 98. Abby Cook, Sky, 59:01; 99. Sage Link, Sky, 1:00:31

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