Skyview Invite offers lights, ice

For the Mariners Nordic ski team, the highlight of last weekend’s Skyview Invite on the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna was not the good trail conditions Friday night nor getting back into racing after the long winter break.

According to Head Coach Eric Groth, his team showed the most enthusiasm for skiing under the lights.

“We had a good race Friday night before it got warm. The trails were still soft and the kids really enjoyed racing under the lights since it’s something they rarely get to do,” said Groth.

The Lady Mariners gave Grace Christian a good race on the trails, coming in just six minutes behind the Grizzlies, taking second place. Brian Rowe led the Mariner men on Friday, followed by Ghen Sasakura.

Saturday’s ski conditions were less than desirable with the warming weather resulting in a fast, icy course.“The course deteriorated as the day went on. We had some interesting waxing techniques to give the skis some kick on the course,” said Groth.

Most teams used klister for grip on the bottom of their skis. Klister is a gray, gooey, sticky substance that is used in the warmest and iciest of conditions and provides the necessary grip for classic skiing.

It was a tight finish line for two Lady Mariners on Saturday. Cassidy Soistman crossed the line just three seconds before Barae Hirsch, with Aspen Daigle finishing 34 seconds behind Hirsch.

Weather depending, the Mariner Nordic team will participate Friday in the one-day Kenai Classic, a non-traditional race requiring racers to start with wax-less classic skis in hand. The racers then have to wax their skis, ski the course, switch to skate skis and repeat. 




The Besh Cup also will take place at the Tsalteshi Trails next weekend where a few of Homer’s own skiers will compete for a spot on the Junior Olympic team.

Joey Klecka of the Peninsula Clarion contributed to this article.






Girls 6-kilometer skate

5, Barae Hirsch, 17:52

8, Aspen Daigle, 18:58

10, Cassidy Soistman, 19:07

24, Rachel Ellert, 20:42

30, Tisha Lovett, 20:58

40, Lydia Arndt, 23:16


Boys 6-kilometer skate

6, Brian Rowe, 15:27

16, Ghen Sasakura, 16:37

23, Jake Worsfold, 17:02

45, Tianen Lu, 20:01




Girls 7.5-kilometer classic

8, Cassidy Soistman, 30:26

9, Barae Hirsch, 30:29

11, Aspen Daigle, 31:03

27, Rachel Ellert, 35:29

39, Tisha Lovett, 40:01

41, Lydia Arndt, 45:47


Boys 10-kilometer classic

13, Ghen Sasakura, 34:28

28, Jake Worsfold,  37:24

42, Tianen Lu, 48:31