Soldotna High School's Katy Pankoski led all peninsula finishers with a fourth-place finish in the Junior 1-Older Junior race at Besh Cup races at Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna Saturday.
The races were done in the sprint format using the classic style of skiing. Racers are competing to represent Alaska at the Junior Olympics.
In her race, Pankoski finished about 10 seconds behind Anchorage's Elizabeth Quinley on the 1-kilometer loop. Others from the peninsula in the Junior 1-Older Junior race were Skyview's Elisabeth Habermann in 14th place, Soldotna's Katie Franzmann in 24th place and Soldotna's Brittany Osland in 31st place.
In the girls Junior 2 race, Homer's Erika Klaar paced all peninsula finishers by taking fifth. Klaar was about seven seconds off the pace set by winner Emily Nishikawa of Whitehorse, Canada. Others from the peninsula in the Junior 2 race were Skyview's Kendra Merkes taking 16th place, Soldotna's Lauren Olendorff taking 24th place and Homer's Thorey Munro taking 34th place.
Kenai's Christopher Hall finished eighth in the boys Junior 1/Older Junior race to lead all peninsula finishers. Hall was about 14 seconds off the pace set by winner Mike Hinckley of Anchorage. Other finishers from the peninsula were Skyview's Noah King in 16th place, Soldotna's Stephen Olendorff in 30th place and Soldotna's Jacob Franzmann in 53rd place.
Trent Semmens of Kenai was the top peninsula finisher in the boys Junior 2 race. Semmens finished 19th, while the winner of the race was Anchorage's Patrick Johnson. Other peninsula finishers in the race were Skyview's Taylor Karnikis in 20th, Soldotna's Max Milliron in 21st, Kenai's Dustin Reid in 22nd and Homer's Gus Beck in 35th place.
There will be more Besh Cup races at Tsalteshi Trails today. Freestyle races will be held starting at 11 a.m.
Seward boys, Kenai girls take Nikiski Relays
Those area skiers who were not participating in the Besh Cup race were at the Nikiski Community Trails participating in the Nikiski Relays. The relays involved four different skiers per team skiing five kilometers.
The boys relay was won by Seward with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 15 seconds. Other finishers were Nikiski in second at 1:11:22, Soldotna in third at 1:11:28, Kenai in fourth at 1:13:13 and Skyview in fifth at 1:22:58.
Kenai Central won the girls relay in 1:21:21, just five seconds in front of runner-up Seward. Homer was third in 1:26:33, Kenai's B team was fourth in 1:34:59, Skyview was fifth in 1:39:33, Kenai's mixed team was sixth in 1:44:29, SoHi's mixed team was seventh in 1:48:09 and Kenai's C team was eighth in 1:49:32.
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