Mariner ski team heading to state meet

Homer High’s Nordic ski team will take 12 skiers to Anchorage for the state competition today through Saturday, following up last weekend when JV and varsity teams competed at regions in Valdez on Feb. 19 and 20.

The Valdez meet gave the Homer team a taste of a trail different from the sloping Lookout Mountain trails. 

“The majority of the race was on the flats which was of course not what Homer skiers are used to,” said Homer High Nordic ski assistant coach Alison O’Hara.

Skiers took on a 6.5-kilometer skate course and for girls JV and varsity and boys JV the classic course was also 6.5 kilometers. The boys varsity skied a 8-kilometer course for the classic.

On Feb. 19, Homer boys varsity had seven skiers in the race. Sophomore Jacob Davis was the highest placing Homer varsity skier, taking 12th place out of 42 skiers with a time of 19:00.6. Senior Rachel Ellert completed the girls varsity race in 22:47.3 minutes and placed 14th out of 39. Sophomore Sarah Wolf followed closely in 15th with a 33 second time difference.

The boys varsity classic race on Feb. 20 saw Homer skiers a little further back in the rankings. Junior Hoxie Parks finished in 20th place out of 43 skiers with a time of 26:36.6. Davis and freshman Caleb Rauch came in 21st and 22nd, respectively. 

Wolf and Ellert came in 15th and 16th places out of 38 skiers during the girls varsity classic. Wolf’s time was 26:18, while Ellert finished 2.2 seconds after her teammate. 

Freshmen Katia Holmes and Katie Davis moved from JV to varsity after their performance at the borough meet in Homer and will be going to the state meet as well. The two will compete along side senior Mariah Vantrease, sophomore Mia Alexson, Ellert and Wolf. Davis, Rauch, Parks, sophomore Tadhg Scholz, senior Quinn Alward and sophomore Josh Wisner will attend state for the Homer boys.

However, completing the weekend of races was only the beginning of challenges for the Nordic ski team, O’Hara said. 

On the way back from the meet, the weather greeted them with 14 foot waves and 50 knot winds on the ferry and winter road advisories between Whittier and Homer.

Anna Frost can be reached at