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All in the family: Bree Mucha matches sister at Skyview Invite

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011

On a crisp weekend atop slick trails, Bree Mucha kept the Skyview Invitational cross-country skiing title in the family.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Skyview's Joey Bishop catches a ski on a hill near the start of the boy's classical race Saturday at the Skyview Invite.

A year after older sister Kailey accomplished the same feat, the Soldotna High School junior won a pair of races to win an individual girls championship and lead the Stars to the girls team trophy Friday and Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails at Skyview High School. Palmer took the boys crown behind Schyler Knopp, who placed first in both boys races.

Kenai Central, Skyview and Homer joined the field, which also included Colony, Grace Christian and Valdez.

"She's been skiing very well this season -- very consistent," SoHi coach Dan Harbison said of Mucha. "She has set some pretty high goals for herself and I think she is working toward those, so we are very happy with what she did. She should be happy with her effort."

Mucha edged teammate Maranda Merkes to win the six-kilometer freestyle in 15 minutes, 57.9 seconds, Friday before taking the 7.5-kilometer classic in 23:36.9 on Saturday. Merkes was the runner-up in that race as well.

SoHi finished with a two-day, team time of 2:50:51, topping Grace Christian (3:05:15) and Palmer (3:12:49) for the girls crown on a weekend when the temperatures slid toward zero.

Cold weather made for fast skiing surfaces, something Mucha said she enjoyed because she didn't have to use a lot of kick wax on her skis and still was able to get a pretty good kick.

The trails were fastest Friday, when races began at 5:30 p.m., but were still quick as the day progressed under sunny skies Saturday.

"It was actually a lot better than it would have been if it was really warm," Mucha said of the conditions.

For Mucha, whose sister was a four-time region champion before graduating in 2010, the victory gave her confidence heading into the second half of a season in which her aspirations are high.

The athlete's goal is to help the girls squad win a region title and finish among the state's top 10 skiers by season's end, feats Harbison said she is on track to accomplish.

"Her form is very, very good, she's constantly refining it. She has a great engine," the coach said. "When you put the two together, you can see the results."

Harbison called the conditions "very, very good" -- some the best he's seen this season -- and credited those who groomed the trails.

The result was a competitive meet between the seven girls teams and eight boys teams which made the trip to Skyview. Michele Klaben earned a pair of top-10 finishes for the Kenai Central girls, who placed fifth as a team, while D.Anne Martin contributed to SoHi's title by earning two four-place finishes. The Homer girls placed sixth, while host Skyview took seventh.

"Hopefully this puts us in good position to win regions and we can bring the boys up with us," Mucha said.

Knopp of Palmer set the tone in the boys competition, winning Friday's race in 13:47.0 and Saturday's race in 27:55.6, more than 30 seconds ahead of runner-up Michael Luke of SoHi.

It was the first victory in a meet of this size for Knopp, a junior who said the conditions enabled him to push the pace.

"For me it just means going harder throughout the race because it's going to be shorter in time," he said of his approach when the surface is slick. "So it's just really pushing throughout the entire course."

In the opening race Friday, Andre Lovett of Homer finished second to Knopp. Lovett placed 14th a day later, but a pair of top-10 finishes by teammate Brayden Holt lifted the Mariners to second place overall.

The Homer boys also received ninth- and 10th-place individual finishes from Parker Sorenson, ending the weekend with a time of 3:07:00 as a team.

Palmer's 3:03:53 was tops, while Skyview took third in 3:09:49 and SoHi fourth in 3:09:56. Colony, Grace, Kenai Central and Valdez finished fifth through eighth, respectively.

Homer coach Jan Spurkland said the meet helped him gauge how the Mariners rank against other teams in the area.

"It's not often that we get all the schools together," he said. "So, of course, for both the guys and gals we'll take a look at the individual results and see where the biggest improvements can come."

I know for us we tend to be a little stronger in the skating discipline, so we'll go back home and try to make some classic-skiing adjustments and look forward to the next time."

Skyview Invitational

Friday, Saturday

at Tsalteshi Trails

GIRLS

Total team times: 1. Soldotna, 2 hours, 50 minutes, 51 seconds; 2. Grace, 3:05:15; 3. Palmer, 3:12:49; 4. Colony, 3:13:49; 5. Kenai, 3:14:24; 6. Homer, 3:18:08; 7. Skyview, 3:25:39.

Friday's 6-kilometer freestyle

1. Bree Mucha, Sol, 15:57; 2. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 16:57; 3. Michelle Klaben, Ken, 17:07; 4. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 17:38; 5. Anna Trujillo, Gra, 17:59; 6. Abby Jahn, Col, 18:24; 7. Hannah Smith, Pal, 18:51; 8. Mackenzie Barnwell, Sew, 18:51; 9. Emily Merioles, Val, 19:05; 10. Hannah Norris, Val, 19:06.

Other peninsula finishers

12. Marie Schmidt, Hom, 19:18; 14. Olivia Fair, Ken, 19:27; 16. Kristin Hynne, Sol, 19:52; 17. Olivia Pfeifer, Ken, 19:56; 19. Mady Gerard, Hom, 20:04; 20. Emily Schmidt, Hom, 20:08; 22. Tamlyn Silva, Sky, 20:21; 23. Taylor Ostrander, Ken, 20:21; 24. Alaine Miller, Hom, 20:23; 26. Mike Norton, Sky, 20:47; 27. Elisha Hollers, Sky, 20:50; 28. Annalise Theisen, Ken, 20:53; 29. Cassidy Soistman, Hom, 20:56; 30. Chelsea Winter, Sky, 21:06; 31. Eve Ferguson, Ken, 21:11; 34. Ashley Gerola, Sol, 21:52; 35. Katie Clonan, Sky, 21:54; 36. Chelsea Springer, Ken, 22:02; 39. Maren Pfenning, Sol, 22:26; 44. Taylor Iredale, Hom, 24:28.

Saturday's 7.5-kilometer classic

1. Bree Mucha, Sol, 23:36; 2. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 23:45; 3. Hannah Smith, Pal, 25:17; 4. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 25:34; 5. Abby Jahn, Col, 25:41; 6. Hannah Norris, Val, 26:14; 7. Anna Trujillo, Gra, 26:24; 8. Kayla Rowe, Gra, 26:43; 9. Michelle Klaben, Ken, 26:56; 10. Claire Trujillo, Gra, 27:05.

Other peninsula finishers

11. Mackenzie Barnwell, Sew, 27:18; 14. Kristin Hynne, Sol, 27:27; 15. Marie Schmidt, Hom, 27:56; 17. Alaine Miller, Hom, 28:01; 23. Elisha Hollers, Sky, 29:44; 24. Taylor Ostrander, Ken, 29:51; 27. Olivia Fair, Ken, 30:16; 28. Olivia Pfeifer, Ken, 30:27; 29. Chelsea Winter, Sky, 30:32; 30. Tamlyn Silva, Sky, 30:37; 31. Emily Schmidt, Hom, 30:52; 33. Cassidy Soistman, Hom, 31:23; 35. Mika Norton, Sky, 31:37; 36. Ashley Gerola, Sol, 31:42; 37. Eve Ferguson, Ken, 32:13; 38. Katie Clonan, Sky, 33:00; 39. Maren Pfenning, Sol, 33:38; 40. Chelsea Springer, Ken, 33:47; 41. Mady Gerard, Hom, 34:27; 44. Annalise Theisen, Ken, 39:26.

BOYS

Total team times: 1. Palmer, 3:03:53; 2. Homer, 3:07:00; 3. Skyview, 3:09:49; 4. Soldotna, 3:09:56; 5. Colony, 3:09:57; 6. Grace, 3:15:22; 7. Kenai, 3:19:23; 8. Valdez, 3:19:33.

Friday's 6-kilometer freestyle

1. Schyler Knopp, Pal, 13:47; 2. Andre Lovett, Hom, 13:58; 3. Abe Meyerhofer, Col, 14:00; 4. Luke Michael, Sol, 14:04; 5. Brayden Holt, Sky, 14:23; 6. Leif Danielson, Sky, 14:26; 7. James Watkins, Ken, 14:44; 8. IntiMayo Harbison, Sol, 14:47; 9. Parker Sorenson, Hom, 14:52; 10. Daniel Serventi, Gra, 15:04.

Other peninsula finishers

12. Austin Gillespie, Sew, 15:21; 13. Brian Rowe, Hom, 15:23; 14. Kevin Rowe, Hom, 15:27; 16. Dillon Jensen, Sol, 15:32; 20. Brett Chase, Sew, 15:39; 21. Evan Atchley, Ken, 15:46; 22. Kade Cooper, Sky, 15:47; 24. Kyle Wentz, Hom, 15:57; 26. Joseph Rife, Sol, 16:04; 28. Tyler Cooper, Ken, 16:14; 31. Bud Sparks, Sky, 16:23; 32. Dan Adickes, Hom, 16:23; 40. Olen Danielson, Sky, 16:44; 41. Sam Werthmuller, Sky, 16:50; 42. Joey Bishop, Sky, 16:57; 44. Joe Bressler, Ken, 17:22; 45. Isaac Cryer, Ken, 17:32; 48. Colton Diehl, Sol, 17:40; 49. Jang Kim, Sol, 17:40; 50. Ben Gilman, Ken, 17:48; 51. Josh Vantrease, Hom, 17:52; 52. Fox Michaud, Ken, 17:54; 56. Ehren Rickman, Sol, 18:59; 57. Cole Covey, Nik, 19:30.

Saturday's 10-kilometer classic

1. Schyler Knopp, Pal, 27:55; 2. Luke Michael, Sol, 28:30; 3. Abe Meyerhofer, Col, 29:04; 4. Leif Danielson, Sky, 30:09; 5. Jesse Dahms, Pal, 30:46; 6. James Watkins, Ken, 30:48; 7. Daniel Serventi, Gra, 30:50; 8. Connor Mattson, Was, 30:54; 9. Brayden Holt, Sky, 30:56; 10. Parker Sorenson, Hom, 31:19.

Other peninsula finishers

11. IntiMayo Harbison, Sol, 31:25; 14. Andre Lovett, Hom, 31:47; 15. Kyle Wentz, Hom, 31:48; 20. Brian Rowe, Hom, 32:22; 23. Evan Atchley, Ken, 32:46; 24. Dillon Jensen, Sol, 32:47; 28. Kade Cooper, Sky, 33:12; 30. Austin Gillespie, Sew, 33:46; 32. Kevin Rowe, Hom, 33:52; 34. Bud Sparks, Sky, 34:30; 35. Joey Bishop, Sky, 34:35; 36. Sam Werthmuller, Sky, 34:36; 38. Tyler Cooper, Ken, 35:11; 43. Brett Chase, Sew, 35:53; 44. Fox Michaud, Ken, 36:28; 45. Dan Adickes, Hom, 36:29; 46. Olen Danielson, Sky, 36:40; 47. Joseph Rife, Sol, 36:44; 49. Colton Diehl, Sol, 37:02; 51. Isaac Cryer, Ken, 37:57; 53. Josh Vantrease, Hom, 38:30; 54. Joe Bressler, Ken, 38:32; 55. Ben Gilman, Ken, 38:38; 57. Ehren Rickman, Sol, 39:27; 58. Jang Kim, Sol, 41:04; 59. Cole Covey, Nik, 42:41.



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