Current weather

  • Scattered clouds
  • 54°
    Scattered clouds

Mucha wins 4th straight crown: Semmens, SoHi girls also rule Region III

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kenai Central's Kailey Mucha skied to her fourth consecutive overall Region III title on Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails.

Back | Next
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Kenai's Kailey Mucha celebrates Saturday's icy classical win at the region cross-country meet at Skyview High School. She also won Friday's slushy skate race.

"It's not really hit me yet," Mucha said shortly after finishing the 7.5-kilometer classic race Saturday. The accomplishment is sure to set in later tonight, she said.

"It was really fast," Kailey said of Saturday's trail conditions.

The classic tracks were shallow, making the skiers work harder, said SoHi ski coach Dan Harbison.

"It was a very challenging course," he said.

"The whole trail was double-pole the whole way," Kailey added.

Friday was a different scene. With rain pouring down, skiers battled mushy conditions for the three-kilometer skate race.

"I came through the finish dripping, just soaked," said Kenai's Travis Semmens, who won the boys overall title.

Because of the weather, skiers left in 15-second intervals, determined by Friday's finish, for the classic race instead of a mass start as was originally planned.

Kailey, who won Friday's race, was first out of the gate. Her sister, Bree, was second and Palmer's Kimberly Del Frate was third. "I kept looking back and asking, 'Where is she?'" Kailey said of her sister. "With everyone chasing me, it makes me go a lot faster."

The key to Kailey's skiing success is her mental toughness, Kenai ski coach D'Anna Gibson said.

"She can just push herself beyond exhaustion," she said.

The same is true for Semmens.

"He is just a natural athlete," Gibson said. "He is mentally really tough. You can't really teach that."

"I just go as hard as I can," Semmens said.

Semmens, who finished second to Palmer's Duney Strickland in Friday's five-kilometer skate race, said he spent the first five kilometers of Saturday's race trying to catch Strickland. After he passed Strickland, Semmens said he hung on for the win.

"I'm pretty happy," Semmens said. "It makes up for last year."

Semmens took second behind Cook Inlet Academy graduate Lars Arneson at the 2009 region meet.

Strickland is more comfortable starting in the rear of the pack than in front.

"I prefer catching people," he said. "When you start out in the front, you go pedal to the metal the whole way."

Gibson said it feels great to see two Kenai skiers win the boys and girls overall title.

"I'm just really happy for those two," she said.

Five SoHi girls finished in the top 10, leading the Stars to their third straight team title. Those skiers included Bree Mucha, Maranda Merkes, D.Anne Martin, Jasmine Clock and Melanie Smith.

"Today, we had great races," Harbison said. "We feel really good about that."

Merkes finished second in the classic race and Grace Christian's Sarah Cresap took third. Palmer's girls finished second as a team and Kenai was third.

On the boys side, Palmer won the team title for the first time in 19 years. Kenai was the runner-up and SoHi finished third. The Stars had won the previous two region titles.

"I'm incredibly proud of our guys," said Palmer ski coach Darin Markwardt. Winning regions has been a goal of his team for four years, he said.

"This is basically the highlight of the season," Strickland said. Strickland took third in the classic event and finished third overall. Semmens finished second on Friday and Palmer's Wylie Mangelsdorf finished third.

The key to Strickland's win in the skate race was wax.

"The wax that we had on was really fast and designed for the wet conditions," he said.

Del Frate agreed.

"The rain didn't bug me too much and we had good wax," she said.

Four of Palmer's top boys are seniors. They each learned to ski their freshman year.

"We have an incredibly strong senior group," Markwardt said. He said it was satisfying to see the progress his team has made the last four years.

"We have a good team atmosphere," Strickland said.

Finishing second to SoHi at the 2009 region meet motivated the Moose all season.

"The only two weekends that count are regions and state," was the message Markwardt preached to his team all season.

"Today's performance definitely motivates us for state," Markwardt added.

Nyquist finished second in the classic race and second overall.

"I felt like I had a pretty good race," Nyquist said. "It's a good way to end my senior year."

Nyquist said Friday's course was soft and punchy, but skiing in the rain was a cool experience.

"The course held up pretty good, though," he said.

"If it wasn't for our trail groomer, Bill Holt, we wouldn't be here today," Gibson said.

Region III ski meet

Friday, Saturday

at Tsalteshi Trails

Boys team scores: 1. Palmer 2:55:12; 2. Kenai 2:59:19; 3. Soldotna 3:03:12; 4. Skyview 3:04:54; 5. Colony 3:08:20; 6. Homer 3:16:12; 7. Grace 3:19:11; 8. Seward 3:19:53; 9. Wasilla 3:34:36; 10. Valdez 3:36:42.

Girls team scores: 1. Soldotna 2:26:43; 2. Palmer 2:35:47; 3. Kenai 2:38:47; 4. Homer 2:40:05; 5. Skyview 2:50:09; 6. Valdez 2:56:01; 7. Colony 3:03:58; 8. Grace 3:04:03.

Boys overall: 2-day combined times: 1. Travis Semmens, Ken, 41:24; 2. Anders Nyquist, Ken, 41:52; 3. Duney Strickland, Pal, 42:16; 4. Wylie Mangelsdorf, Pal, 43:35; 5. Andrew Arnold, Gra, 43:43; 6. Hunter Jackinsky, Sky, 44:09; 7. Schyler Knopp, Col, 44:26, 8. Ted Hoople, Pal, 44:30; 9. Ryan Sanders, Sol, 44:50; 10. Davis Dunlap, Pal, 44:51.

Other boys peninsula finishers: 11. Luke Michael, Sol, 45:20; 13. IntiMayo Harbison, Sol, 45:41; 14. James Watkins, Ken, 45:58; 15. Leif Danielson, Sky, 46:05; 18. Andre Lovett, Hom, 46:45; 20. Justin Marsh, Sky, 46:53; 22. Alex Kauffman, Sol, 47:22; 23. Bud Sparks, Sky, 47:45; 24. Brayden Holt, Sky, 47:52; 25. Kade Cooper, Sky, 48:01; 26. Dillon Jensen, Sol, 48:04; 27. Brett Chase, Sew, 48:39; 30. Kevin Rowe, Hom, 49:29; 31. Josiah Martin, Sol, 49:42; 32. Samy Pfluger, Sew, 49:54; 33. Austin Gillespie, Sew, 50:23; 34. Evan Atchley, Ken, 50:32; 36. Joe Nyholm, Sew, 50:56; 37. Anton Krull, Ken, 51:10; 40. Joseph Rife, Sol, 51:31; 41. Joey Bishop, Sky, 51:32; 42. Dylan Critchett, Hom, 51:39; 45. Tyler Cooper, Ken, 51:59; 46. Tux Seims, Hom, 52:09; 47. Kyle Wentz, Hom, 53:05; 49. Dan Adickes, Hom, 53:26; 58. Miles Knotek, Sew, 57:27; 63. Gabe Esposito, Sew, 1:02:39.

Girls overall: 2-day combined times: 1. Kailey Mucha, Ken, 33:37; 2. Bree Mucha, Sol, 35:38; 3. Sarah Cresap, Gra, 36:05; 4. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 36:15; 5. Kimberly Del Frate, Pal, 36:40; 6. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 37:18; 7. Jasmine Clock, Sol, 37:32; 8. Maggie Bursch, Hom, 38:16; 9. Melanie Smith, Sol, 38:51; 10. Amanda Del Frate, Pal, 38:57.

Other girls peninsula finishers: 11. Frances Bursch, Hom, 39:37; 14. Michelle Klaben, Ken, 40:31; 15. Kaya Morelli, Hom, 40:33; 17. Rachel Wyatt, Sol, 41:28; 19. Nelson Jordan, Sol, 42:08; 20. Olivia Pfeifer, Ken, 42:10; 23. Hannah Hutchison, Sky, 42:34; 24. Alaine Miller, Hom, 42:36; 25. Carol Clonan, Sky, 42:43; 26. Denali Critchett, Hom, 42:50; 27. Olivia Fair, Ken, 42:53; 28. Tamlyn Silva, Sky, 42:55; 31. Dani Rehm, Ken, 43:12; 33. Maria Schmidt, Hom, 43:30; 35. Catherine Wolk, Sky, 44:58; 37. Vanessa Anderson, Ken, 45:05; 39. Annalise Theisen, Ken, 45:32; 44. Chelsea Winters, Sky, 47:12; 45. Emily Schmidt, Hom, 47:32; 46. Katie Clonan, Sky, 48:00; 50. Amanda Olsen, Sew, 49:25; 51. Maggie Herbert, Sew, 50:16; 56. Kiana Johnson, Sky, 54:17.

Friday's girls 3-K skate: 1. Kailey Mucha, Ken, 10:35; 2. Bree Mucha, Sol, 11:12; 3. Kimberly Del Frate, Pal, 11:26; 4. Saraqh Cresap, Gra, 11:55; 5. Amadna Del Frate, Pal, 12:03; 6. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 12:08.1; 7. Michelle Klaben, Ken, 12:08.4; 8. Jasmine Clock, Sol, 12:20; 9. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 12:24; 10. Maggie Bursch, Hom, 12:30.

Friday's boys 5-K skate: 1. Duney Strickland, Pal, 13:34; 2. Travis Semmens, Ken, 13:36; 3. Wylie Mangelsdorf, Pal, 13:50; 4. Anders Nyquist, Ken, 13:54; 5. Davis Dunlap, Pal, 14:29; 6. Schyler Knopp, Col, 14:32.3; 7. Andrew Arnold, Gra, 14:32.9; 8. Hunter Jackinsky, Sky, 14:35; 9. Ted Hoople, Pal, 14:36; 10. Abe Meyerhofer, Col, 14:37.

Saturday's girls 7.5-K classic: 1. Kailey Mucha, Ken, 23:01; 2. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 24:07; Sarah Cresap, Gra, 24:09; 4. Bree Mucha, Sol, 24:24; 5. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 24:53; 6. Jasmine Clock, Sol, 25:11; 7. Kimberly Del Frate, Pal, 25:13; 8. Maggie Bursch, Hom, 25:45; 9. Melanie Smith, Sol, 25:48; 10. Frances Bursch, Hom, 26:48.

Saturday's boys 10-K classic: 1. Travis Semmens, Ken, 27:47; 2. Anders Nyquist, Ken, 27:57; 3. Duney Strickland, Pal, 28:41; 4. Andrew Arnold, Gra, 29:09; 5. Luke Michael, Sol, 29:22; 6. Hunter Jackinsky, Sky, 29:33; 7. Ryan Sanders, Sol, 29:35; 8. Wylie Mangelsdorf, Pal, 29:45; 9. Ted Hoople, Pal, 29:53; 10. Schyler Knopp, Col, 29:54.



CONTACT US

  • 150 Trading Bay Rd, Kenai, AK 99611
  • Switchboard: 907-283-7551
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-283-3584
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Business Fax: 907-283-3299
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-335-1257
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING

MORRIS ALASKA NEWS