Ski team heads north for first race of the season

With snow left over from a dumping on Nov. 19 and more falling on Tuesday, Nov. 21, Homer High School’s Nordic ski team traveled north to Soldotna for the first event of their season — the Turkey Skate.

The event has been canceled several years in a row due to lack of snow, which luckily wasn’t a problem this year.

“We were kind of shocked it actually happened,” wrote assistant coach Alison O’Hara in an event recap.

O’Hara described the course as “perfectly groomed rolling trails.”

Homer’s Katia Holmes, a junior, secured a good place for the girls team, taking third and finishing the 5.4-kilometer course at Tsalteshi Trails in 19 minutes, 50 seconds. Awards were given to top three finishers in the boys’ and girls’ races.

Skiers from Kenai Central High School swept the event, with seniors Addison Gibson and Karl Danielson taking first for the girls’ and boys’ races, respectively.

A few of Homer’s top skiers were out due to illness, according to O’Hara. However, skier Libby Fabich is back at it with the team after a four-year hiatus, she wrote. Local Nordic skiiers begin competing as early as middle school.

Skiers “Denver Waclawski, Andy Super, Autumn Daigle and Zoe Stonorov had very strong races and are (four) to watch out for in the coming season,” according to O’Hara.

Additionally, beginner skiers Kara Super and Ancel Chandler took the option to complete the full 5.4-kilometer course, according to the recap, rather than the option they had to complete a shorter 2-kilomter race.

The race during Thanksgiving week is supposed to provide peninsula skiers with a preliminary look at each other, in terms of which students will lead the pack and how offseason training has gone.

Now, the Homer skiers head to the Government Peak trails near Palmer for the Mat-Su invite, at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.

Reach Megan Pacer at