Homer’s Autumn Daigle pushed ahead through less-than-ideal classic skiing weather to win an impromptu meet in Soldotna over the weekend.
The Homer High School Nordic ski team traveled just up the road on Saturday after the meet they were supposed to compete in at Government Peak in the Mat-Su Valley was canceled due to poor weather.
The coaches of the Soldotna High School and Kenai Central High School ski teams put their heads together and decided to host their own event together, the Tsalteshi Classic Invitational, the Peninsula Clarion reported.
The 5-kilometer, interval race in the classic ski technique was held at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, where Daigle skied her way to first for the girls in 18 minutes and 16 seconds.
Homer’s Jacob Davis nabbed third place in the boys’ race, charging across the race finish line just one second ahead of Soldotna’s Koby Vinson with a time of 14:14.
The Homer skiers buckled down after a particularly rough start to the day that already boasted conditions that are not ideal for classic skating. According to a recap from assistant coach Alison O’Hara, the team ended up being 45 minutes late to the invitational itself after experiencing bus troubles.
“The race organizers were able to delay the start until we were ready,” O’Hara wrote in the meet recap. “After frantically applying wax to the kick zone on the bottom (of) the skis, the Mariner’s hit the tracks.”
The conditions, with the temperature hovering around 32 degrees, that Daigle’s skis stuck as she neared the finish line, which “lurched her forward,” according to O’Hara.
The ideal weather for classic skiing involves colder temperatures, since that makes it easier for skiers to achieve getting some kick, or something under their skis from which to push off.
Getting kick is more difficult in wet, warm weather.
Even in the face of the day’s obstacles, five of the 10 skiers representing Homer received ribbons at the invitational.
For a full list of skiers and their results, see the weekly highlights.