The Homer High School Nordic ski team traveled to Anchorage last weekend to compete for two days in the Lynx Loppet at Kincaid Park, where more than 600 of the state’s skiers gathered.
Head coach Cole Talbot said that while the team does not make large meets like this its focus in favor of its local competition, his skiers performed well and got a lot of experience.
“It’s the biggest meet in the state,” he said. “It’s bigger than (the) state (championships).”
The team was missing a few skiers due to illness, but also had the addition of a team member who does not train with the Mariners but is able to race on the team as he is still a high school student.
Talbot said future smaller meets, especially the next meet after winter break, will be good indicators of how skiers have kept up their fitness during the break. The way he’s been training the team, the skiers are set to peak later in the season.
“The biggest thing, too, was that we wanted it to be really good team bonding,” Talbot said of the Lynx Loppet.
Below is a recap of the two-day event by assistant coach Megan Corazza:
“The Mariner ski team had an eventful weekend at the 2-day Lynx Loppet in Anchorage. Thanks to the safe driving of Dave Eschenwiler, the team arrived without incident despite the wind, rain and icy slush of the Seward Highway.
“Friday’s event was a 5km classic race, two laps of Kincaid’s manmade snow loop, and Saturday’s event was a 5km skate race run on the same loop in the opposite direction. The team was happy to welcome Caleb Rauch back into the fold for the weekend; he has been attending and training with Alaska Pacific University but is still a high school student and allowed to race as a Homer High athlete.
“On the girl’s side, Autumn Daigle recorded the fastest time for the team on Friday with 20 minutes, 9 seconds, which put her in 40th place for the girl’s A (varsity) race. She made an admirable decision and opted not to race on Saturday due to illness. Zoe Stonorov was the overall girl’s leader for the weekend with strong performances in both events that put her in 75th place for all A and B girls. Shine Carey had an exceptional first weekend of ski racing ever, coming in a third for the Homer girls with 21:04 in the skate race. In the chaos of 650 kids warming up and milling around the start and finish area, Brita Restad missed her start on Friday but finished the race nonetheless, which allowed her to start the skate race on Saturday where she skied hard and passed five people in the girls A race. Her actual time in the classic race was 23:40.
“On the boy’s side, Jacob Davis turned in consistent performances to lead the Homer boys, placing 60th overall for all the A and B boys. Caleb Rauch and Denver Waclawski were close behind, in 65th and 73rd respectively. Andy Super improved by the most places from Friday to Saturday, moving from 93rd in Boys B to 83rd.
“This is the only time this season that the team will compete on Anchorage trails. Thanks to the expert grooming of John Miles, they have been able to ski consistently at the Lookout Mountain trails here in Homer. As long as the snow holds up, the team will be holding a fundraiser this Sunday, December 17, at 1-3 pm, offering lessons for children and adults at the Lookout Mountain trails. Megan Corazza and Alison O’Hara will be conducting the adult lessons. Cost is 10 dollars for kids and 20 for adults. To register text Alison at 299-6275.”
Reporter Megan Pacer contributed to this reporting.