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SoHi’s Mucha places 5th at state

Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2007

Prior to every race this season, Soldotna's Kailey Mucha eats a homemade English muffin for breakfast.

"That's my race food," the SoHi freshman said. "Without it, I don't do my best."

Friday's meal may not have been homemade, but it still did the job.

After digesting her patented English muffin that a team assistant purchased for her, Mucha took fifth place in the Nordic Ski Championships' 5-kilometer classical race at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Friday and finished the competition fifth overall in her rookie campaign.

"I really surprised myself," she said. "It was just ... wow."

Her mother, Kenai coach D'Anna Gibson, was nearly as speechless.

"It's like you know they could do it, but when everything comes together for them it's just exciting. It's really neat," she said.

Despite owning the local scene all season, including a Region III title, Mucha wasn't thinking top five.

"In the classic, (last year's champion) West's Amy Glen started 20 seconds behind me and my goal was to stay in front of her the whole time and I did," she said with a laugh. "It felt really good."

With a year under her belt now, Mucha already has expectations for the coming seasons.

"I'm hoping next year I'm going for top five again and my junior and senior years I'm going for first," she said with beam of confidence. "Another year of practicing and learning more stuff, junior and senior year I'm going for it."

Will she continue eating her new breakfast of champions?

Without a doubt.

"It helped," she said. "Something so small can make a big difference."

Patrick Johnson of Service and South's Caitlin Patterson were both crowned Skimeister after winning the boys and girls competitions.

After placing 20th last season, Kenai's Trent Semmens repeated that feat finishing 20th again this year after a 21st-place standing in Friday's 7.5-kilometer classical race.

"He might of been a little disappointed in himself, but I'm not," Gibson said.

"After coming off that sickness last week, I thought he did wonderful."

Unfortunately, Kenai senior Chris Hall didn't match his 21st-place standing from last season.

Following an allergic reaction, according to Gibson, Hall wasn't himself during most of the competition, finishing 67th in Thursday's race and 46th on Friday.

"He ate some trail mix and it had wheat in it. It makes him real lethargic and tired and that first day he just bombed because he just did not have any energy whatsoever," she said. "It just drains you."

But he, along with Semmens, DC Reid (43rd overall) and Anders Nyquist (46th overall), rebounded as members of Kenai's seventh-place 4x5-kilometer relay team on Saturday.

"I was really proud of them," Gibson said. "Chris came back (Saturday), he was his old self, he had a lot of energy. All the boys came together and really laid it on the line. That was nice to see."

There were problems on the other side of the Kardinals' team, as well.

Molly Watkins, who finished 55th overall, lost a pole and a glove at the beginning of Thursday's competition and then missed her start on Friday.

"She mixed up the bib numbers and missed her start. Another disaster," Gibson said with a chuckle.

"She's real methodical and takes care of everything. She's the last on the team that I would ever worry about missing a start."

But Watkins, along with many other Kenai Peninsula skiers who were battling illnesses, overcame what turned out to be just another bump in the road.

"By the time she got another pole and glove she was in dead last. There was nobody in sight," Gibson said. "She took that adversity and took it under her wings and started pounding away people and she passed 59 people."

Skyview's Erick Romig was one of the racers battling sickness.

A member of Skyview's 10th-place relay team, Romig placed 23rd overall after finishing Thursday and Friday in 28th and 22nd place, respectively.

"(Saturday) he was finally feeling pretty good," Panthers' coach Kent Peterson said. "Thursday and Friday he was still feeling kind of under the weather.

"Overall everyone was hoping to do better, I think," he added of Taylor Karnikis and Tommy Honer, who finished 45th and 49th, respectively. "That first day I think just the health issues were there and overall still feeling pretty tired. Some were feeling sick two weeks ago at regions. It's kind of that sickness that hangs on."

Other impressive finishes from the peninsula included Homer's Gus Beck and Cook Inlet's Lard Arneson, who finished 36th and 39th, respectively.

Skyview's Kendra Merkes was out to best her 45th-place finish from a year ago, and she did just that by finishing 23rd overall.

"I think she was pretty happy with that," Peterson said.

"She's been really good this year. She really skied into herself, became a lot more mature athlete and a lot more focused this year and that was good to see."

One year after finishing 21st overall, Homer senior Erika Klaar took 28th with a 37th-place finish Thursday and a more respectable 23rd-place standing Friday.

Her teammate Claire Laukitis placed 27th Thursday and 44th Friday for a 32nd-place finish overall.

Soldotna's Jasmine Clock used a 23rd-place finish Thursday to claim 30th overall, despite finishing 48th Friday, and Seward senior Sarah Glaser took 39th one year after placing 22nd.

Look for complete relay results in Monday's edition of the Peninsula Clarion.

Nordic Ski Championships

BOYS

Team scores: (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Total)

1. Service (1:49:48.4, 1:26:20.1, 0:49:23.1, 4:05:31.6); 2. South (1:53:15.2, 1:24:57.0, 0:49:59.0, 4:08:11.2); 3. West (1:52:33.1, 1:25:49.0, 0:50:16.3, 4:08:38.4); 4. Lathrop (1:53:02.8, 1:27:07.6, 0:50:16.3, 4:10:26.7); 5. Colony (1:59:32.1, 1:31:24.0, 0:53:49.1, 4:24:45.2); 6. Eagle River (2:02:02.5, 1:33:33.7, 0:54:02.4, 4:29:38.6); 7. East (2:03:08.0, 1:32:48.1, 0:53:46.2, 4:29:42.3); 8. West Valley (2:05:14.6, 1:32:26.1, 0:54:04.3, 4:31:45.0); 9. Kenai (2:06:37.5, 1:33:51.1, 0:53:56.7, 4:34:25.3); 10. Skyview (2:04:50.1, 1:36:30.5, 0:55:45.2, 4:37:05.8); 11. Dimond (2:07:24.9, 1:35:29.9, 0:56:31.4, 4:39:26.2); 12. Chugiak (2:08:57.4, 1:42:48.2, 0:58:16.5, 4:50:02.1); 13. Soldotna (2:14:17.7, 1:39:16.2, 0:58:09.2, 4:51:43.1); 14. Homer (2:13:58.7, 1:41:26.7, 0:57:33.1, 4:52:58.5); 15. Palmer (2:19:32.0, 1:43:25.0, 0:59:30.4, 5:02:27.4); 16. Bartlett (2:27:45.4, 1:50:45.1, 1:01:19.0, 5:19:49.5); 17. Seward (2:27:40.0, 1:53:39.2, 1:03:44.6, 5:25:03.8); 18. Wasilla (2:36:58.4, 2:01:15.6, 1:06:52.7, 5:45:06.7).

Boys Skimeister (10K Freestyle, 7.5K Classical, Total)

1. Johnson, Patrick, Ser (26:05.4, 19:56.7, 46:02.1); 2. Treinen, Lex , Wes (26:06, 19:57.3, 46:03.3); 3. Norris, David, Lat (26:32.2, 20:40.0, 47:12.2); 4. Hanneman, Reese, Lat (27:57.2, 20:37.9, 48:35.1); 5. Packer, Eric, Sou (27:54.0, 21:03.1, 48:57.1); 6. Patterson, Scott, Sou (27:54.8, 21:02.9, 48:57.7); 7. Dougherty, Andrew, Sou (28:15.7, 20:51.9, 49:07.6); 8. VanGorder, Ryan, Col (27:55.3, 21:15.5, 49:10.8); 9. Buklis, Steven, Wes (28:13.2, 21:31.9, 49:45.1); 10. Talbot, Cole, Ser (27:46.7, 22:12.5, 49:59.2);

Other peninsula finishers

20. Semmens, Trent, Ken (29:10.2, 22:34.3, 51:44.5); 23. Romig, Erick, Sky (29:57.3, 22:37.6, 52:34.9); 36. Beck, Gus, Hom (31:22.2, 23:29.8, 54:52.0); 39. Arneson, Lars, CIA (29:59.0, 24:58.7, 54:57.7); 43. Reid, DC, Ken (32:26.3, 23:04.3, 55:30.6); 45. Karnikis, Taylor, Sky (31:28.3, 24:14.0, 55:42.3); 46. Nyquist, Anders, Ken (31:32.6, 24:13.6, 55:46.2); 49. Honer, Tommy, Sky (31:41.0, 24:38.0, 56:19.0); 55. Milliron, Max, Sol (32:30.0, 24:07.0, 56:37.0); 58. Thein, Lucas, Sky (31:50.8, 25:00.9, 56:51.7); 59. Skipwith, Kelly, Sky (31:43.5, 25:29.2, 57:12.7); 61. Hall, Chris, Ken (33:28.4, 23:58.9, 57:27.3); 64. French, Eddie, Sol (33:10.9, 24:35.4, 57:46.3); 65. Chase, Aaron, Sol (33:59.0, 24:32.8, 58:31.8); 67. Merkes, Jordan, Sky (32:46.4, 25:45.8, 58:32.2); 72. Louthan, Kirk, Ken (35:07.4, 24:41.3, 59:48.7); 73. Hass, Tyler, Hom (34:13.4, 25:36.5, 59:49.9); 74. Sutton, Levi, Ken (34:18.0, 25:35.1, 59:53.1); 75. Anderson, Will, Hom (34:41.3, 25:32.7, 00:14.0); 77. Gilman, Sterling, Hom (33:41.8, 26:47.7, 1:00:29.5); 78. Chilson, Jordan, Sol (34:37.8, 26:01, 1:00:38.8); 80. Bakk, Bryan, Nik (35:01.9, 25:50.6, 1:00:52.5); 83. Bakk, Aaron, Nik (35:16.7, 26:08.0, 1:01:24.7); 85. Schinder, Patrick, Hom (34:49.1, 26:59.9, 1:01:49.0); 86. Chase, Mark, Sew (35:11.9, 27:00.5, 1:02:12.4);89. Ware, Ancel, Nik (36:36.1, 26:33.7, 1:03:09.8); 91. Anderson, Jack, Hom (35:45.2, 27:42.6, 1:03:27.8); 92. Murray, Gabe, Sol (36:23.1, 27:07.1, 1:03:30.2); 102. Sarka, Aaron, Sew (37:06.0, 29:18.3, 1:06:24.3); 103. Backlund, Koal, Sew (38:07.2, 28:39.1, 1:06:46.3); 104. Nyholm, Matt, Sew (37:14.9, 29:48.6, 1:07:03.5); 105. Zweifel, Mike, Sew (39:39.0, 28:41.3, 1:08:20.3); 106. Talens, Kevin, Sew (38:50.1, 30:10.0, 1:09:00.1).

GIRLS

Team scores: (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Total)

1. Service (1:41:53.7, 1:11:34.5, 0:37:03.5, 3:30:31.7); 2. South (1:47:22.3, 1:12:01.7, 0:39:15.4, 3:38:39.4); 3. East (1:46:04.0, 1:14:07.1, 0:40:27.7, 3:40:38.8); 4. Chugiak (1:47:29.2, 1:14:45.5, 0:39:03.4, 3:41:18.1); 5. West Valley (1:48:30.8, 1:13:44.8, 0:40:42.2, 3:42:57.8); 6. West (1:50:39.7, 1:15:07.1, 0:40:21.1, 3:46:07.9); 7. Lathrop (1:51:01.1, 1:17:37.3, 0:39:41.5, 3:48:19.9); 8. Dimond (1:49:43.4, 1:19:21.3, 0:41:59.1, 3:51:03.8); 9. Homer (1:53:29.1, 1:18:59.8, 0:41:19.1, 3:53:48.0); 10. Soldotna (1:56:54.5, 1:23:28.7, 0:42:15.0, 4:02:38.2); 11. Kenai (1:57:14.4, 1:25:51.1, 0:43:15.6, 4:06:21.1); 12. Colony (2:00:36.0, 1:26:42.7, 0:44:33.7, 4:11:52.4); 13. Eagle River (2:04:10.0, 1:26:48.8, 0:43:35.3, 4:14:34.1); 14. Valdez (2:01:59.9, 1:28:25.7, 0:44:11.4, 4:14:37.0); 15. Palmer (2:03:34.4, 1:27:36.9, 0:43:51.6, 4:15:02.9); 16. Seward (2:05:06.2, 1:27:25.4, 0:44:15.2, 4:16:46.8); 17. Skyview (2:04:55.4, 1:27:59.8, 0:46:01.6, 4:18:56.8); 18. Wasilla (2:09:06.9, 1:35:36.4, 0:47:13.9, 4:31:57.2);

Girls Skimeister (7.5K Freestyle, 5K Classical, Total)

1. Patterson, Caitlin, Sou (25:11.9, 16:26.0, 41:37.9); 2. Rorabaugh, Becca, Wva (25:12.0, 16:57, 42:09); 3. Bronga, Jaime, Eas (25:25.8, 16:54.6, 42:20.4); 4. Eiben, Ky, Ser 25:14.9, 17:15.6, 42:30.5); 5. Mucha, Kailey, Sol 25:35.0, 17:24.3, 42:59.3); 6. Kanady, Rachelle, We (25:31.5, 17:35.6, 43:07.1); 7. Johnson, Hanna, Ser (25:30.8, 17:40.1, 43:10.9); 8. Glen, Amy, Ser 25:18.9, 17:56.3, 43:15.2); 9. Schmidt, Kalysta, Dim (26:18.0, 17:45.2, 44:03.2) 10. McPhetres, Alyson, Chu (25:49.1, 18:32.2m 44:21.3).

Other peninsula finishers

23. Merkes, Kendra, Sky (27:26.8, 19:04.7, 46:31.5); 28. Klaar, Erika, Hom (27:58.5, 18:55.6, 46:54.1); 30. Clock, Jasmine, Sol (26:55.3, 20:09.4, 47:04.7); 32. Lakaitis, Claire, Hom (27:09.2, 19:58.8, 0:47:08); 39. Glaser, Sarah, Sew (27:59.1, 19:52.0, 47:51.1); 50. Lakaitis, Emma, Hom (28:37.2, 20:48.4, 49:25.6); 52. Burcsh, Francis, Hom (29:44.3, 19:56.8, 49:41.1); 55. Watkins, Molly, Ken (29:19.8, 20:46.0, 50:05.8); 56. Johnson, Maya, Ken (28:35.9, 21:56.6, 50:32.5 ); 58. Rehm , Dani, CIA (28:26.9, 22:10.5, 50:37.4); 59. Arneson, Sadie, CIA (28:57.9, 21:39.9, 50:37.8); 60. Roesing, Heather, Sky (29:18.0, 21:29.5, 50:47.5); 62. Ford, Becca, Ken (29:28.8, 21:36.8, 51:05.6); 64. Rykachesski, Alina, Hom (30:30.3, 20:49.4, 51:19.7); 65. Louthan, Kristi, Ken (29:49.9, 21:31.7, 51:21.6); 67. Vantrease, Kristen, Hom (31:51.3, 20:08.6, 51:59.9); 74. Backlund, Tekla, Sew (32:03.2, 22:00.7, 54:03.9 ); 75. Peck, Katie, Sew, 31:31.5, 22:33.7, 54:05.2); 77. Smith, Amanda, Sol (31:39.3, 22:30.4, 54:09.7); 85. Ray, Janine, IDEA (32:05.4, 23:09.6, 55:15); 87. Smola, Emily, Sol (32:45, 23:24.6, 56:09.6); 88. Danielson, Greta, Sky (33:1, CIA (33:42.2, 23:21.9, 57:04.1); 98. O’Leary, Meghan, Sew (35:40.3, 23:22.4, 59:02.7); 99. Hanke, Carole, Sol (35:39.9, 23:41.0, 59:20.9); 100. Andersen, Sasha, Sky (34:58.4, 24:23.5, 59:21.9); 101. Chase, Hannah, Sol (34:19.1, 25:11.1, 59:30.2 ); 104. Latz, Deandra, Ken (35:47.5, 25:04.2 , 1:00:51.7); 108; Johnson, Samara, Sew (35:09., 27:41.6, 1:02:51.1); 109. Pfaffe, TJ, Sky (36:57.2, 26:43.8, 1:03:41); 113. Hughes, Mercedes, Ken (39:40.5, 27:03.8, 1:06:44.3).



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