The Kenai Central boys and girls relay teams swept the competition Friday on the Tsalteshi Trails.
Each relay team consisted of three members, with all boys and girls teams starting in one mass start. The racers skied the new Squirrel course, which is south of the stadium.
Each relay leg member skied three kilometers, which totaled up to nine kilometers for the whole team.
Since the race started at 4:15 p.m., with the sun and temperatures headed down soon, it was decided that the boys and girls teams would start at the same time.
Kenai head coach D’Anna Gibson said that while relay races usually have a hectic nature about them, Friday’s race finished with no real problems.
“These kids tagged off pretty well, no big issues,” Gibson said. “It’s all about having fun today.”
The Kenai boys team of Joey Bressler, Fox Michaud and Tyler Cooper was the fastest on the day with a time of 29 minutes, 32 seconds, good enough for a three-second margin of victory over Skyview.
Kenai also was strong in the girls race, as Olivia Fair, Olivia Pfeifer and Taylor Ostrander skied to the win in 35 minutes, 2 seconds, 3:18 ahead of Skyview.
“The Squirrel trail is pretty nice, in that it’s not very hilly, it’s more like rolling hills,” Ostrander said. “The only real hill we had was Collins Climb at the end.”
Skyview, Kenai, Soldotna, Seward and Nikiski high schools participated.
Because of the recent cold snap, the teams were all prepared, donning large down jackets and running with poles in hand to warm up.
Skiers used a much colder wax for kick as grip was not an issue.
“The temperature was easy to work for wax, and the course is not that hilly anyway,” Gibson said.
“We’ve been acclimated to the temperatures since it’s been cold for the last couple weeks,” Ostrander said.
Last Saturday’s Kenai Klassic sprint race was canceled due to the cold, because minus 4 is the cutoff point to race.
“We have this joke that there should be a thermometer that shows negative four all the way down, so we can race,” Skyview skier Bud Sparks said.
Skyview finished second in both boys and girls races, with Sparks, Joey Bishop and Kade Cooper taking the runner-up spot for boys, and Casey Neill, Mika Morton and Chelsea Winter in the girls.
Skiers and coaches will be off to Homer Saturday and Sunday for the Besh Cup races. Saturday’s classic sprint races begin at 10 a.m. at the Lookout Mountain trails, and Sunday’s freestyle interval start races begin at 11 a.m.
1. Kenai (Bressler, Michaud, Cooper) 29:32
2. Skyview (Bishop, Sparks, Cooper) 29:35
3. Soldotna (Kim, Best, Wickstrom) 30:53
4. Kenai (Danielson, Gilman, Mole) 31:41
5. Soldotna (North, Eichelsdorfer, Gabriel) 35:47
6. Kenai (Theisen, Saner, Mole) 36:12
7. Kenai (Prado, Gross, Ferguson) 36:17
8. Skyview (Schlung, Hemphill, Hudson) 36:57
9. Seward (Knotek, Swanson, Marshall) 38:17
10. Skyview (Sibley, Fair, Jessup) 39:20
11. Nikiski (Alkire, Croze, Shoemaker) 41:21
1. Kenai (Fair, Pfeifer, Ostrander) 35:02
2. Skyview (Neill, Morton, Winter) 38:20
3. Kenai (Nyquist, Berghottz, Goerne) 39:41
4. Kenai (Shindler, Ferguson, Springer) 41:31
5. Kenai (George, Wannamaker, Stroh) 42:59
6. Seward (Cromrey, Herbert, Dyer) 43:41
7. Soldotna (Gioachini, Harbison, Valenzuela) 46:16
8. Soldotna (Selden, Ross, Nelson) 48:40
9. Skyview (Hollers, Farrington, Young) 50:52
10. Seward (Estes, Becker, Pfeiffenberger) 52:52