Homer girls take first in borough ski meet

The girls cross-country ski team for Homer High School came away from the weekend with the top title in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Championships, held in Seward.

The girls grabbed first place with a time of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 2 seconds. A duathlon combines both the classic and skate ski techniques into one race. Held at the Trail River Campground, the race was split into a 4.8 kilometer classic race and a 4.2K skate.

There was a transition zone between the two races for skiers to switch equipment, or not, wrote assistant coach Alison O’Hara in an email.

Kenai’s Riana Boonstra edged out Homer’s Katia Holmes for first place in the girls race, with a time of 29:24. Holmes finished just one second behind her.

“(The) Trail River Campground … was turned into a Nordic ski race trail which made for a fairly flat, wide course,” O’Hara wrote. “Homer’s Katia Holmes took advantage of this by staying close to Kenai’s Riana Boonstra, who has been the reigning female Nordic skier on the peninsula for years, and taking long powerful strides to keep up. Holmes raced strong and smart and finished 1 second behind Boonstra; her best race in her high school career.”

Homer’s Autumn Daigle performed well for the girls as well, coming in fourth 15 seconds behind Seward’s Ruby Lindquist.

For the boys’ race, Homer’s Jacob Davis came in fourth at 26:04.

“Denver Waclawski led the Homer boys into the transition zone during the classic portion of the race,” O’Hara wrote.

According to O’Hara, there were three different heats of adaptive sit skiing at the meet due to its growing popularity. Angelica Haakenson, who joined the ski team this year after losing her legs in an accident three years ago, still dominates that category with her advanced practice and upper body strength.

“Many other skiers are becoming more interested in the sport,” O’Hara wrote.

Homer’s cross-country ski team will next head to the regional championships, to be held this Friday and Saturday at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.