Skyview girls keep team title

Posted: Sunday, February 22, 2004

The Skyview High School girls cross-country ski team, led by three skiers in the top 10 in the overall individual standings, captured its 10th title in the last 13 years at the Region III Cross-Country Skiing Championships hosted by the Panthers Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails.

And while the Colony Knights took the boys team title, Kenai's Mike Kent posted the fastest two-day combined individual time, helping the Kardinals to a second-place team finish.

"I'm very excited," said Skyview's Elisabeth Habermann of her team's title. "It went really well."

Susitna Valley's Tazlina Mannix won both Friday's 7.5-kilometer freestyle race and Saturday's 5-kilometer classic event, while Homer's Aleta Phelps was second and Habermann third in both races.

Skyview's Kendra Merkes was seventh and Elisha Tarries was eighth in the classic race and the two flip-flopped positions in the overall combined standings, helping the Panthers secure the team title despite tough conditions on Saturday.

With the temperature climbing into the high 30s during the meet, girls teams were scrambling to get their wax just right while the boys competitors were out on the course.

"When the boys went out, we were still experimenting with kick wax," Habermann said. "We changed everything around, and we had great wax."

Phelps said that information provided by the boys helped as she prepared for her race.

"Travis Hines helped a lot, and he told us to make sure we got out of the tracks on the uphills," Phelps said.

Phelps went out on the course ahead of Habermann and Mannix as competitors started one at a time, 15 seconds apart. Phelps said it was challenging having many of the region's fastest skiers behind her.

"I didn't really have anyone to pace off of," Phelps said. "I had to keep going by people and think about my own pacing, and try not to get distracted."

Mannix said she enjoyed the meet, particularly skiing the recently added loop in Friday's freestyle race.


Members of Kenai's girls team cheer competitors in the boys race Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview High School.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

"I liked the terrain a lot," Mannix said. "(Saturday) was kind of hard with the conditions."

Mannix said the competition was great both Habermann and Phelps will be joining her at the Junior Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., next month but added that it was a friendly competition.

"On any given day, anyone could win, but we're friends, too," Mannix said. "It's not like a big rivalry, but we push each other."

The Soldotna girls also finished strong, taking second in the team standings as Katy Pankoski and Katie Franzmann finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the overall combined standings.

Kenai's Synneva Hagen-Lillevik cracked the top 10, taking ninth in the combined standings.

The boys skied first on Saturday, and finding the right kick wax proved to be more of a challenge as the temperature rose about four degrees just before the race got under way. Some competitors found the best way up the hills was to get out of the tracks, where the snow was a little stickier, while others relied on brute force to get up the inclines.

"(Our kick wax) didn't work out. In the end, we had no wax at all," said Skyview's Kyle Dudley. "It wasn't too bad. Since the tracks were fast, I double-poled up the hills."

Dudley's effort netted him third in the 7.5-kilometer classic race, behind Soldotna's Ryan Walton and Kent.

In the boys race, most of the fastest skiers left the starting line later, with the notable exception of Colony's Ross Wise, who was No. 2 off the starting line Saturday and finished seventh after winning the 10-kilometer freestyle race Friday.

Kent, Walton and Dudley each said it was helpful to leave the start in a group of very fast skiers.

"I do better catching people than I do being chased," said Walton, who took to the course 15 seconds after Dudley.

Walton was able to catch up to Dudley, though Dudley said Walton really pushed him at the end.

"At the end, when I started hearing him yelling 'track' to pass people, I tried picking it up to stay in front of him," Dudley said.

Meanwhile Kent, who left the starting line one minute before Dudley, found himself flying around the course though he wasn't sure just how fast he was going.

"During the race, Coach (Dave Feeken) told me I was two seconds ahead (of Wise's pace), but then people were saying that Ryan Walton and Kyle Dudley were both beating him," Kent said.

Kent said that normally, he doesn't like races that have multiple laps, as Saturday's did, but in that case, it helped.

"It was nice to go through the stadium again and get some encouragement," Kent said.

Kent finished with a two-day combined time of 51 minutes, 27 seconds, 11 seconds ahead of Wise.

Walton was third in the overall standings, Dudley was fifth and Homer's Morgan Jones was sixth after a second-place finish in the freestyle race and a 13th in the classic race.

Noah King was eighth overall for Skyview, Stephen Olendorff was ninth overall for Soldotna, and Clay Nelson and Kyle Latz helped Kenai to a very close second in the team standings with their 11th- and 12th-place finishes, respectively, in the overall standings.

Teams next will travel to the state championship meet, which starts Thursday in Fairbanks.

Region III Cross-Country Skiing Championships

Hosted by Skyview High School at Tsalteshi Trails Friday and Saturday


Team standings 1. Skyview, 2 hours, 51 minutes, 37 seconds; 2. Soldotna, 2:55:42; 3. Homer, 3:01:22; 4. Colony, 3:05:20; 5. Susitna Valley, 3:05:48; 6. Palmer, 3:11:45; 7. Kenai, 3:17:03.

Combined Individual results 1. Tazlina Mannix, SuV, 37:51; 2. Aleta Phelps, Hom, 39:35; 3. Elisabeth Habermann, Sky, 40:04; 4. Elizabeth Embick, Val, 40:37; 5. Katy Pankoski, Sol, 43:04; 6. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 43:12; 7. Elisha Tarries, Sky, 43:19; 8. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 43:31; 9. Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 43:41; 10. Kate Fitzgerald, Pal, 43:41; 11. Jenny Smola, Sol, 44:14; 12. Kristin Gearry, Col, 44:26; 13. Jamie Miller, Sky, 44:43; 14. Erika Klaar, Hom, 44:48; 15. Jolie Glaser, Sew, 44:51; 16. Sarah Glaser, Sew, 46:11; 17. Brittney Osland, Sol, 46:20; 18. Tess Caswell, Sol, 46:20; 19. Melissa Ostermick, SuV, 46:36; 20. Heidi Keller, Sol, 46:40; 21. Emily Dougherty, Col, 46:43; 22. Sarah Martinez, Gra, 47:08; 23. Jessica Pace, Col, 48:08; 24. Kristin Vantrease, Hom, 48:38; 25. Jorin Klawitter, Col, 48:42; 26. Sara Arsenault, Hom, 48:48; 27. Claire Warren, Col, 49:05; 28. Suzanna Caldwell, Was, 49:07; 29. Anne Ferry, Pal, 49:10; 30. Grace Ferry, Pal, 49:14; 31. Casey Bickford, SuV, 49:14; 32. Shauna Hall, Ken, 49:14; 33. Samantha Halpin, Hom, 49:18; 34. Kasey Aderhold, Hom, 49:36; 35. Rosalie Leiner, Pal, 49:41; 36. Ali Wykis, Sol, 49:59; 37. Ali Simpson, Sky, 51:40; 38. Kira Matiya, Ken, 51:54; 39. Erin Skvorc, Col, 51:58; 40. Hannah Hamler, SuV, 52:14; 41. Rebekah Summer, Ken, 52:14; 42. Jasmine McQuown, Pal, 52:18; 43. Ayla Dolecki, SuV, 53:00; 44. Alex Wiggins, Pal, 53:28; 45. Heather Apperson, Sew, 53:34; 46. Jessica Summer, Ken, 53:55; 47. Holly De Land, Gra, 5418; 48. Callie Ware, Nik, 55:24; 49. Katy Hunner, Was, 57:19; 50. Debbie Duggin, Nik, 58:07; 51. Jae Lynch, Was, 59:00; 52. Tasia Allen, Ken, 59:38; 53. Cristina Harman, Ken, 1:07:56.

7.5-kilometer freestyle top 10 finishers 1. Tazlina Mannix, SuV, 22:23.8; 2. Aleta Phelps, Hom, 23:18.7; 3. Elisabeth Habermann, 23:35.9; 4. Elizabeth Embick, Val, 23:45.4; 5. Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 25:24.5; 6. Elisha Tarries, Sky, 25:28.1; 7. Kate Fitzgerald, Pal, 25:37.4; 8. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 25:46.9; 9. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 25:51.7; 10. Katy Pankoski, Sol, 25:59.4.

5-kilometer classic top 10 finishers 1. Tazlina Mannix, SuV, 15:26.7; 2. Aleta Phelps, Hom, 16:15.8; 3. Elisabeth Habermann, Sky, 16:28.5; 4. Elizabeth Embick, Val, 16:51.5; 5. Katy Pankoski, Sol, 17:04.1; 6. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 17:25.4; 7. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 17:39.2; 8. Erika Klaar, Hom, 17:41.9; 9. Elisha Tarries, Sky, 17:51.1; 10. Kate Fitzgerald, Pal, 18:03.5.

Team standings 1. Colony, 3:34:52; 2. Kenai, 3:36:54; 3. Soldotna, 3:40:51; 4. Skyview, 3:46:58; 5. Seward, 4:00:02; 6. Palmer, 4:02:05; 7. Wasilla, 4:19:04; 8. Valdez 4:55:28.

Individual combined results 1. Mike Kent, Ken, 51:27; 2. Ross Wise, Col, 51:38; 3. Ryan Walton, Sol, 52:52; 4. Joe Dougherty, Col, 53:08; 5. Kyle Dudley, Sky, 53:15; 6. Morgan Jones, Hom, 53:42; 7. Ryan McClure, Gal, 53:48; 8. Nico Ambrose, SuV, 54:00; 9. Noah King, Sky, 54:18; 10. Stephen Olendorff, Sol, 54:24; 11. Clay Nelson, Ken, 54:41; 12. Kyle Latz, Ken, 54:47; 13. Brandon Gonski, Col, 55:35; 14. Chris Hall, Ken, 55:44; 15. Peter Doner, Col, 55:46; 16. Matthew Habermann, Sol, 55:48; 17. Andy Banas, Ken, 55:55; 18. Matt Adams, Sew, 56:01; 19. Luke Tegeler, Col, 56:05; 20. Rory Egelus, Pal, 57:07; 21. Chris Heiserman, Col, 57:11; 22. Travis Hines, Hom, 57:43; 23. Spencer Litzenberger, Sol, 58:19; 24. Max Milliron, Sol, 59:16; 25. Nick Byrne, Sky, 59:27; 26. John Hundley, Pal, 59:29; 27. Caleb Chase, Sol, 1:00:02; 28. Leif Bardarson, Sew, 1:00:03; 29. D.C. Reed, Ken, 1:00:03; 30. Taylor Karnikis, Sky, 1:00:13; 31. Jerad McClure, Gal, 1:00:29; 32. Chad Adams, Sew, 1:00:52; 33. Aaron Bakk, Nik, 1:00:53; 34. Alex Cox, Sky, 1:01:15; 35. Trevor Thomas, Was, 1:01:16; 36. Alfred Swanson, Val, 1:01:27; 37. Lucas Thien, Sol, 1:01:30; 38. Levi Lounsbury, Nik, 1:01:56; 39. Ryan Lewis, Pal, 1:01:56; 40. Joe Hunner, Was, 1:02:36; 41. David Apperson, Sew, 1:03:07; 42. Tyler Chapman, Pal, 1:03:33; 43. Alex Rodgers, Sky, 1:03:36; 44. Simon Kleinert, Sky, 1:04:16; 45. Brian Senta, Pal, 1:06:18; 46. Andre Correa, Ken, 1:06:40; 47. Chris Luther, Was, 1:03:32; 48. Brandon McLeod, Was, 1:07:40; 49. Joey Willardson, Pal, 1:11:16; 50. Gabe Sharrow, Was, 1:11:24; 51. Zach Alger, Pal, 1:12:01; 52. Mike Wicker, Nik, 1:12:37; 53. Kirill Rostovetsky, Val, 1:15:18; 54. Ken Faust, Sew, 1:16:05; 55. Andy Hamm, Val, 1:17:57; 56. Peter Sheppard, Hom, 1:19:08; 57. Kyle Kirkendall, Val, 1:22:50; 58. Ryan Good, Val, 1:26:08; 59. Peter Moore, Val, 1:26:42.

10-kilometer freestyle top 10 finishers 1. Ross Wise, Col, 27:03.0; 2. Morgan Jones, Hom, 28:03; 3. Mike Kent, Ken, 28:23.3; 4. Peter Doner, Col, 28:27.4; 5. Nico Ambrose, SuV, 28:34.4; 6. Joe Dougherty, Col, 28:42.8; 7. Ryan Walton, Sol, 29:04.3; 8. Kyle Dudley, Sky, 29:11.8; 9. Ryan McClure, Gal, 29:17.0; 10. Matthew Habermann, Sol, 29:28.0.

7.5-kilometer classic top 10 finishers 1. Mike Kent, Ken, 23:06.6; 2. Ryan Walton, Sol, 23:48.1; 3. Kyle Dudley, Sky, 24:03.6; 4. Noah King, Sky, 24:22.4; 5. Joe Dougherty, Col, 24:25.2; 6. Ryan McClure, Gal, 24:31.2; 7. Ross Wise, Col, 24:34.5; 8. Stephen Olendorff, Sol, 24:48.9; 9. Clay Nelson, Ken, 25:07.9; 10. Kyle Latz, Ken, 25:09.5.

Region III Awards

Boys Skier of the Year Ross Wise, Colony

Girls Skier of the Year Tazlina Mannix, Susitna Valley

Coach of the Year Ed Strabel, Colony

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