Kenai's Kyle Latz leads Homer's Morgan Jones in to the finish chute at the Homer Invitational at McNeil Canyon in Homer Saturday.
Photo by Sean Pearson/Morris New
Recent warm days and brief episodes of rain turned the usually well-manicured McNeil Canyon cross-country ski trails into a crunchy, ice-covered glaze for the Homer Invitational Saturday. After a few adjustments to the starting line and a lot of patient grooming, compliant ski conditions prevailed and skiers hit the trails.
"We really have to thank the groomers who came out here and worked so hard to get the trail ski-able," said Sara Jackinsky, one of the race organizers. "We had to move things back pretty far on the trail because it was just too icy up front at our normal starting area. But the groomers really did a heck of a job."
Jackinsky said she was very pleased with the 85 skiers that participated in this year's 5-kilometer classic event.
"I think we had a really good turnout this year and a great meet" she said. "We got the trail groomed out, had very little wind, and I think I even saw the sun peek out a few times."
Skyview's Noah King took first in the boys varsity race with a time of 19 minutes, six seconds, but was unable to hold off a strong Kenai team that placed four skiers in the top 10 to take the team victory. The Kards posted a combined time of 1 hour, 24 minutes, 18 seconds, outlasting the Panthers, who came in at 1:27:22.
The Soldotna Stars took third with a combined time of 1:28:35, edging the host Mariners by 30 seconds. Homer's Morgan Jones led the Mariners with a strong second-place finish in 20:01. He was followed by Kenai's Christopher Hall and Soldotna's Steve Olendorff, who tied for third with a time of 20:09.
In the girls race, Skyview once again prevailed in the individual results, sending Elisabeth Habermann through the finish line first in 22:51. Nevertheless, Habermann's performance wasn't enough to hold off the Soldotna contingent of Katie Franzmann, Katy Pankoski and Lauren Olendorff, who placed second, third and fifth, respectively, to give the Stars the top spot. Soldotna's combined time of 1:41:00 bettered the Panthers time of 1:47:26. Homer placed third overall with a time of 1:50:14.
Franzmann skied in at 23:34, followed by Pankoski at 24:24. Seward's Sara Glasser finished fourth with a time of 24:42. Kenai's top finisher was Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, who came in fifth at 25:27. Homer's Alina Rykaczewski was the top Mariner, coming in at ninth with a time of 27:25.
In the girls junior varsity competition, the Mariners swept the top five spots, led by Kristen Vantrease at 29:00. Ben Phillips of Kenai took top honors in the boys junior varsity race, posting a time of 24:58.
The Homer Invitational was the last regular season competition before boroughs begin this weekend at the Tsalteshi Trails at Skyview in Soldotna. Jackinsky said she was hoping for some fresh snow for the upcoming borough meet.
"They just had the Besh Cup up there last weekend and the trails were pretty good," Jackinsky said. "Still, a little packed powder out there would be nice."
The borough meet begins Saturday.
Homer Invitational 2005
Team Results: 1. Soldotna, 1hour, 41minutes; 2. Skyview, 1:47.26; 3. Homer, 1:50.14; 4. Kenai, 1:51.20; 5. Seward, 1:57.28
Individual Results: 1. Elisabeth Habermann, Sky, 22 minutes, 51 seconds; 2. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 23:34; 3. Katy Pankoski Sol, 24:24; 4. Sara Glasser, Seward, 24:42; 5. Lauren Olandorff, Sol, 25:26; 6. Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 25:27; 7. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 25:47; 8. Anna Clock, Sew, 26:27; 9. Alina Rykaczewski, Hom, 27:25; 10. Thorey Munro, Hom, 27:30; 11. Claire Lakitis, Hom, 27:34; 12. Brittany Osland, Sol, 27:36; 13. Gillian Beran-Maryott, Hom, 27:45; 14. Cassie Wilcox, Ken, 28:00; 15. Amanda Boll, Sol, 28:08; 16. Jamie Miller, Sky, 28:16; 17. Audry Coon, Ken, 28:56; 18. Rebekah Summer, Ken, 28:57; 19. Sara Arsenault, Hom, 29:18; 20. Becca Ford, Ken, 29:23; 21. Ali Wykis, Sol, 29:37; 22. Tekla Backlund, Sew, 29:45; 23. Heather Roesing, Sky 30:32; 24. Jamie Dunn, Ken, 31:27; 25. Anouk Wahl, Sol, 33:40; 26. Alisha Friel, Sew, 36:34.
Team Results: 1. Kenai, 1:24.18; 2. Skyview, 1:27.22; 3. Soldotna, 1:28.35; 4. Homer, 1:29.05; 5. Seward, 1:31.30; 6. Nikiski, 1:37.54.
Individual Results:1.Noah King, Sky, 19:06; 2. Morgan Jones, Hom, 20:01; 3. Christopher Hall, Ken, 20:09; 4. Steve Olendorff, Sol, 20.09; 5. Matt Adams, Sew, 20:33; 6. Kyle Latz, Ken, 21:00; 7. Clay Nelson, Ken, 21:14; 8. Mike Farrens, Hom, 21:39; 9. Trent Semmens, Ken, 21:55; 10. Taylor Karnikis, Sky, 22:01; 11. Caleb Chase, Sol, 22:37; 12. Erick Romig, Sky, 22:42; 13. Max Milliron, Sol, 22:46; 14. Kirk Loutham, Ken, 22:47; 15. David Epperson, Sew, 22:49; 16. D.C. Reid, Ken, 23:02; 17. Sean Twohy, Sol, 23:03; 18. Aaron Bakk, Nik, 23:05; 19. Gus Beck, Hom, 23:23; 20. Eddie French, Sol, 23:25; 21. Nick Byrne, Sky, 23:33; 22. Laif Barderson, Sew, 23:43; 23. Bryan Bakk, Nik, 23:57; 24. Travis Hines, Hom, 24:02; 25. Caleb Gordon, Sol, 24:17; 26. Mark Chase, Sew, 24:25; 27. Jacob Franzmann, Sol, 24:28; 28. Levi Lounsbury, Nik, 24:34; 29. Harley Maxson, Sky, 24:38; 30. Tyler Haas, Hom, 25:49; 31. Thomas Wheeler, Nik, 26:18; 32. Ancel Ware, Nik, 27:51; 33. Dylan Carter, Hom, 29:08.
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