SoHi’s Pothasts lead peninsula at state skiing

  • By Staff Report
  • Friday, February 26, 2016 12:07am
  • Sports

Soldotna’s John-Mark and Hannah Pothast led the Kenai Peninsula at the first day of the three-day State Nordic Ski Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.

In the boys 7.5-kilometer freestyle, John-Mark finished seventh in 20 minutes, 20 seconds, with Service’s Canyon Tobin winning at 18:55.

In the girls five-kilometer freestyle, Hannah finished 14th in 16:35, with West’s Magdalen York crossing first at 15:14.

“They’ve both been skiing pretty good recently,” Soldotna coach Dan Harbison said. “Hannah almost had this kind of result last weekend in Valdez, or very close to it. She’s been progressing in that direction.

“John-Mark did well last weekend, and the weekend prior to that. He’s really been coming on.”

Most of the cross-country ski season has been marked by challenging conditions created by warm weather, and Thursday was no exception.

Both races were held on the snow-making loop at Kincaid under partially sunny skies and temperatures in the 40s.

“It was very tricky waxing conditions, moving from what I would consider frozen, rained-out ice pack to slush,” Harbison said. “It moved from one to the other throughout the day.

“In a couple places, there was standing water.”

The fun is expected to continue today and Saturday. Today, the boys do a 10-kilometer classic race at 11 a.m., while the girls go 7.5 kilometers at noon. Saturday, the girls do a relay at 11 a.m., while the boys start at 12:30 p.m.

Ski preparation only gets more challenging today and Saturday, when kick is added to the mix.

“Glide will be relatively close to what it was today,” Harbison said. “But that kick, I don’t know, we’ve got a plan and we’ll see if it works.”

SoHi’s boys will be trying to reel in a top-five finish in the state. The Stars currently sit in fifth at 1:25:50, while West leads at 1:21:10.

In addition to Pothast for Soldotna, Koby Vinson was 23rd, Levi Michael was 33rd and Jeremy Kupferschmid was 35th.

“They both had really great races today,” Harbison said of Vinson and Michael. “Levi was sort of battling a cold, and it got him, but even with that, he hung in there, and still got a pretty respectable result.”

Karl Danielson paced the Kenai boys by finishing 42nd, Jacob Davis paced Homer in 46th and Alex Estes led Seward in 79th.

The Kenai girls led the peninsula in sixth position. Kenai Central coach Brad Nyquist gave his team credit for persisting in the conditions.

“The kids that went out early had the best chance,” Nyquist said. “If you’re in the middle or back of the pack, you’re skiing through the groups. You had better conditions and the freedom to ski without having someone in front of you.

“It was tough, but that’s racing. That’s the beauty of it.”

Riana Boonstra paced the Kardinals by finishing 16th in 16:40, while Addison Gibson was 17th in 16:41. Kenai’s last two times came from Mikaela Salzetti in 43rd and Katie Cooper in 48th.

Ruby Lindquist led Seward in 45th, while Rachel Ellert paced Homer in 46th. Harbison also was enthused about Kellie Arthur’s 41st-place finish.

“I’m really proud of the boys and girls team,” Harbison said. “They both put in great efforts.”

State Nordic Ski Championships


at Kincaid Park, Anchorage


Team times: 1. West, 1 hour, 21 minutes, 10 seconds; 2. South, 1:21:31; 3. West Valley, 1:22:11; 4. Service, 1:23:53; 5. Soldotna, 1:25:50; 6. Dimond, 1:27:23; 7. Colony, 1:27:30; 8. Grace, 1:29:26; 9. Chugiak, 1:31:40; 10. Eagle River, 1:32:06; 11. Kenai, 1:33:48; 12. Lathrop, 1:34:57; 13. Homer, 1:35:20; 14. Palmer, 1:40:37; 15. Bartlett, 1:52:19; 16. Valdez, 1:53:32.

Individual 7.5-kilometer freestyle results

1. Canyon Tobin, Ser, 18:55; 2. Ti Donaldson, WV, 19:47; 3. Luke Jager, Wes, 19:49; 4. Will Balcao, Sou, 20:10; 5. Tracen Knopp, Col, 20:13; 6. Matthew Hoefler, Sou, 20:14; 7. John-Mark Pothast, Sol, 20:20; 8. Tristan Wiese, Wes, 20:22; 9. Andrew Hull, Wes, 20:23; 10. Ben Koenig, WV, 20:25.

Other peninsula finishers: 23. Koby Vinson, Sol, 21:19; 33. Levi Michael, Sol, 22:03; 35. Jeremy Kupferschmid, Sol, 22:08; 42. Karl Danielson, Ken, 22:34; 46. Jacob Davis, Hom, 22:57; 49. Addison Downing, Sol, 23:29; 51. Patrick Michels, Ken, 23:31; 53. Liam Floyd, Ken, 23:33; 54. Caleb Rauch, Hom, 23:36; 64. Josh Shuler, Sol, 24:05; 66. James Butler, Ken, 24:08; 67. Tadhg Scholz, Hom, 24:11; 68. Eric Kempf, Ken, 24:19; 71. Hoxie Parks, Hom, 24:35; 75. Trevor Debnam, Ken, 25:20; 79. Alex Estes, Sew, 25:49; 81. Quinn Alward, Hom, 26:15; 82. Logan Smith, Sew, 26:19; 84. Joshua Wisner, Hom, 26:32; 92. Jedediah Christianson, Sew, 30:11.


Team times: 1. West, 1:04:59; 2. Chugiak, 1:05:36; 3. South, 1:06:26; 4. Service, 1:06:40; 5. West Valley, 1:08:53; 6. Kenai, 1:09:41; 7. Dimond, 1:10:02; 8. Colony, 1:10:52; 9. East, 1:11:46; 10. Palmer, 1:13:53; 11. Soldotna, 1:13:59; 12. Homer, 1:15:26; 13. Eagle River, 1:16:09; 14. Lathrop, 1:16:40; 15. Valdez, 1:28:15.

Individual 5-kilometer freestyle results

1. Magdalen York, Wes, 15:14; 2. Emma Tarbath, Ser, 15:28; 3. Naomi Kiekintveld, Sou, 15:32; 4. Emma Nelson, Chu, 15:57; 5. Ryan Terry, Ser, 16:08; 6. Annie Gonzales, Eas, 16:10; 7. Jenna Difolco, WV, 16:15; 8. Alejandra Legate, Wes, 16:20; 9. Heidi Booher, Chu, 16:21; 10. Ruth Cvancara, Dim, 16:25.

Peninsula finishers: 14. Hannah Pothast, Sol, 16:35; 16. Riana Boonstra, Ken, 16:40; 17. Addison Gibson, Ken, 16:41; 41. Kellie Arthur, Sol, 17:45; 43. Mikaela Salzetti, Ken, 17:52; 45. Ruby Lindquist, Sew, 18:01; 46. Rachel Ellert, Hom, 18:16; 48. Katie Cooper, Ken, 18:2; 49. Mariah Vantrease, Hom, 18:39; 59. Katia Holmes, Hom, 19:09; 63. Sadie Lindquist, Sew, 19:20; 64. Katie Davis, Hom, 19:21; 65. Mia Alexson, Hom, 19:21; 66. Ithaca Bergholtz, Ken, 19:22; 71. Brianna Bennett, Sol, 19:30; 77. Sarah Wolf, Hom, 19:53; 78. Selby Hill, Sol, 20:07; 80. Mieka Chythlook, Sol, 20:16; 84. Lindsay Floyd, Ken, 20:56; 88. Kealey Hendrick, Sol, 22:41.

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