Cross-country skiers turned out in full force for the first Besh Cup cross-country ski race of the season Saturday. Luke Jager, Eric Packer, Kaylee Heck and Kinsey Denton all skied to classic sprint victories on the Beach Lake trails in Chugiak.
In the women’s race, Kailey Mucha topped Peninsula athletes with a fifth-place finish, while younger sister Bree finished eighth. Soldotna’s Sadie Fox finished 14th, Hannah Pothast finished 27th, Homer’s Megan Spurkland finished 29th and Skyview’s Mika Morton was 32nd.
Brent Knight topped Kenai Peninsula skiers in the men’s race with a 26th-place finish, Soldotna’s Levi Michael finished 35th, Kenai’s Travis Cooper finished 43rd, Homer’s Brian Rowe finished 51st, Homer’s Jan Spurkland place 66th and Soldotna’s Tanner Best was 71st.
In the 14-and-under boys division, Jeremy Kupferschmid finished fifth.
The Besh Cup, which will determine Alaska’s teams for the upcoming Junior Olympics and the Arctic Winter Games, continues Sunday with a mass-start freestyle race at Kincaid Park beginning at 11 a.m.