Two members of the Homer cross-country ski team represented this past weekend when the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club hosted the third and fourth races in the Besh Cup series at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer.
Besh Cup races, of which there are six total, are used to determine who will be members of teams at Junior Nationals and the Arctic Winter Games. While the races are specifically for youth skiers, older community members are welcome to participate as well.
Homer skiers Autumn Daigle and Zoe Stonorov both competed in Besh Cups 3 and 4 over the weekend on their home trails. Saturday’s event was a freestyle sprint. On Sunday, the skiers competed in an interval start classic race of varying distances for the different age groups.
In the 1.2-kilometer sprint on Saturday, Daigle took 44th place and Stonorov took 47th. The event was won by Marit Flora from the program at Alaska Pacific University.
Homer area resident Atz Kilcher competed in the men’s 1.2k sprint and took 72nd place.
Daigle took 12th place in Sunday’s classic race, which was a 10k course for the Under 18 and above age group. She finished in 38 minutes, 26 seconds. Stonorov was 24th in 44:05.
The Under 14 and Under 16 racers competed on a 5k classic course, while the Under 18 and above skiers did a 15k course. Kilcher also competed in that event and took 39th place in 1:06:07.
Daigle competed in the Besh Cup races and made it to the Arctic Winter Games two years ago, but did not compete last year.
“It’s in Homer, so it’s pretty accessible,” she said of deciding to give it a go this year. “I do like these trails.”
Daigle said conditions were good on Sunday for the classic ski. She said she also benefited from some superior waxing.
“I had really good wax. (Alaska Nordic Racing) waxed my skis and they did a really good job,” she said.
Daigle also competed on the high school wrestling team this year, which ate into the beginning of her ski season.
“This is my first race, other than yesterday, of the year because I did wrestling,” she said. “So I had no idea how to pace it. I was finishing and was like, I have way too much energy.”
She said it was a good learning experience and that she’s excited for more high school races where she’ll know her competitors and have a bit more close competition.
Stonorov said Homer skiers haven’t been training for a 10k course, but that it felt good to do it on Sunday.
“The Besh Cup, it’s a lot more intimidating,” she said. “But it’s fun and you get to race against super accomplished people … and see how you compare.”