Kenai Central’s Jack Laker and Emily Moss were the top skiers in a dual meet between the Kardinals and Seward on Saturday at the Kenai Nordic Trails.
Along with Saturday’s ski dual between Soldotna and Homer, the event in Kenai was the first prep event on the peninsula since mid-November.
The event had numerous coronavirus mitigation measures, including the Kardinals and Seahawks skiing at different times to make sure the squads did not mix.
Kenai Central head coach Brad Nyquist thanked his staff, the KCHS administration and the city of Kenai for putting in the extra time to make the meet happen.
“The thing I emphasized with the kids is it’s a positive thing to have the opportunity to be here,” Nyquist said. “If we don’t follow all the rules, we don’t know what could happen. Every day we get to ski is a bonus.”
Nyquist said his team was looking forward to the meet because many had been skiing even before official practice started in mid-December.
Skiers were even ready to compete wearing masks.
“We’ve been wearing them in practice so they’ve gotten pretty used to wearing them,” Nyquist said. “They did a good job following the plan. They knew what they had to do to race. I’m proud of them.”
Laker skied 4.3 kilometers in 11:45 for the win, while Gregory Fallon was second, Cody Bryden was third and George Wright was fourth. Alosha Cross led Seward in fifth.
“Jack and Greg have motors that just keep going,” Nyquist said.
He said it was also nice to see the close competition on the rest of the boys team.
Emily Moss won at 13:47, while Kenai’s Summer Foster was second, Leah Fallon was third, Madison McDonald was fourth and Betsy Moffet was fifth.
Nyquist said Moss has been getting faster and faster by improving her technique. The coach said Foster and Fallon also had good races.
Kenai vs. Seward dual
Saturday at Kenai Nordic Trails
Varsity boys 4.3K
1. Jack Laker, Ken, 11:45; 2. Gregory Fallon, Ken, 12:01; 3. Cody Bryden, Ken, 12:39; 4. George Wright, Ken, 12:55; 5. Alosha Cross, Sew, 13:36; 6. Zane Tewes, Ken, 13:49; 7. Owen Smith, Ken, 13:50; 8. Aloshia Cross, Ken, 13:52; 9. Nathan Haakenson, Ken, 14:06; 10. Matthew Gryzbowski, Ken, 14:15; 11. Trevor Guernsey, Sew, 14:19; 12. Robert Carson, Ken, 15:22; 13. John Vanbuskirk, Sew, 15:45; 14. Paxton Hill, Sew, 16:59; 15. Koen Pace, Ken, 17:08; 16. Jackson Marion, Ken, 17:13.
Varsity girls 4.3K
1. Emily Moss, Ken, 13:47; 2. Summer Foster, Ken, 14:12; 3. Leah Fallon, Ken, 14:30; 4. Madison McDonald, Ken, 16:14; 5. Betsy Moffet, Ken, 16:39; 6. Grace Morrow, Ken, 18:42; 7. Alexi Walker, Sew, 18:42; 8. Belladonna Darby, Sew, 18:59.
Soldotna skiers sweep Homer
At Ohlson Mountain just outside of Homer, Soldotna and Homer contested a dual meet, with the Stars sweeping the girls and boys varsity races.
Soldotna head coach Isaac Erhardt said his team did a good job dealing with all the mitigation measures, including wearing masks.
“After the race I told them I was proud,” he said. “Even though there were a lot of different opinions and fears about how the race would go, they managed to hold it together and did what they needed to do. I was really proud to see that.”
The Homer boys did not have enough varsity boys to get a team time. Soldotna took the top five slots in the 5-kilometer freestyle with Quinn Cox in first, Foster Boze in second, Andrew Cox in third, Dylan Hogue in fourth and Carter Cannava in fifth. Seamus McDonough led Homer by taking sixth.
Cox managed to ski the 5K in 15:44 despite and mask and some fresh snow that Erhardt led to some choppy conditions. Erhardt was also happy to see the second through fifth placers close to each other, which makes for good competition between the team.
The SoHi girls varsity put up a team time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 12 seconds, to top the 1:20:32 of Homer. Katie Delker won the 5-kilometer freestyle for Soldotna, while Erika Arthur was second. Homer then came through with Ireland Styvar in third and Zoe Stonorov in fourth, while SoHi’s Jordan Strausbaugh was fifth.
Erhardt said Delker and Arthur have gone back and forth in time trials and that continued Saturday.
“Homer was gracious and had a great attitude,” Erhardt said. “It was nice to ski with them and their smiling faces. It was definitely appreciated.”
Soldotna vs. Homer dual
At Ohlson Mountain
Team times: 1. Soldotna, 1:05:44.
Results: 1. Quinn Cox, Sol, 15:44; 2. Foster Boze, Sol, 16:18; 3. Andrew Cox, Sol, 16:45; 4. Dylan Hogue, Sol, 16:56; 5. Carter Cannava, Sol, 17:28; 6. Seamus McDonough, Hom, 17:58; 7. Levi Mickelson, Sol, 18:31; 8. Johnathon Gordon, Sol, 18:35.
Team times: 1. Soldotna 1:17:12; 2. Homer 1:20:32.
Results: 1. Katie Delker, Sol, 18:02; 2. Erika Arthur, Sol, 18:33; 3. Ireland Styvar, Hom, 18:39; 4. Zoe Stonorov, Hom, 19:37; 5. Jordan Strausbaugh, Sol, 20:09; 6. Jordan Ruffner, Sol, 20:26; 7. Sonora Martin, Sol, 20:50; 8. Eryn Field, Hom, 20:55; 9. Frida Renner, Hom, 21:19; 10. Carson Dement, Sol, 21:52; 11. Kara Super, Hom, 23:28.