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Area skiers get mixed bag at state

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2005

 

  Kenai Central's Christopher Hall heads out on the trail Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, 2005 at the ASAA high school skiing championships at the Jim Whisenhant Trails at Birch Hill in Fairbanks, Alaska, during the 7.5-kilometer classical technique race. AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Mi

Kenai Central's Christopher Hall heads out on the trail Friday afternoon, Feb. 25, 2005 at the ASAA high school skiing championships at the Jim Whisenhant Trails at Birch Hill in Fairbanks, Alaska, during the 7.5-kilometer classical technique race.

AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Mi

The Nordic ski season ended on an unexpected note for Kenai Peninsula high-school teams. The Alaska School Activities Association State Cross-Country Ski Championships, which ended Saturday in Fairbanks, were full of surprises, and not all of them were pleasant.

Skiers and coaches expressed mixed emotions about the three-day meet. Handicapped by illness and overrun by the state's largest schools, most peninsula skiers slipped in the final standings compared to last year.

But with fine weather, a great course and a promising crop of underclassmen already thinking about next year, the teams maintained great attitudes.

The Soldotna High School girls said they could not feel too disappointed when they knew they had done their best under adverse circumstances. This year they placed eighth in the team standings, down from fifth last year, and eighth also in the final day's relay. Those results made them the top-rated peninsula team.

"We all tried as hard as we could," said senior Katie Franzmann. "You've got to just keep your head in the game."

The top-ranked peninsula boys team this year was Kenai Central. With a consistent, middle-of-the-pack performance, they earned the 10th rank, compared to eighth last year. They outpaced other peninsula boys in Saturday's relay, placing 10th in their final race.

None of the KCHS skiers are seniors, several felt under the weather and the Kenai Kard who placed highest, Christopher Hall, is only a sophomore. Given those circumstances, their coach, Dave Feeken, was pleased with their performance.

"The boys have steadily improved," he said. "They are a young team. We

accomplished our goal: We beat SoHi."

The other peninsula team rankings were Soldotna 11th, Homer 12th, Seward

13th, Skyview 15th and Nikiski 18th on the boys side; and Skyview 11th,

Kenai 13th, Homer 14th and Seward 16th on the girls side.

The district's individual skier who placed highest was Elisabeth Habermann. The 10th-place rank in the girls' Skimeister standings was a bittersweet accomplishment for the Skyview senior, who placed third last year and was aiming for the top.

She got a slower start than she had hoped, placing 11th in the first day's individual freestyle. She got stronger each day, tying for sixth in Friday's 5-kilometer interval start classical and placing third in her 3-kilometer leg during Saturday's four-person relay. But even off her peak, Habermann had enough speed to lead all the peninsula's racers.

Speaking after her last event, she described the meet as unpredictable.

"Thursday hurt," she said. "It was a major disappointment. I've been sick for two weeks."

On her heels in the ratings were two SoHi seniors, Franzmann and Katy Pankoski, who placed 12th and 14th respectively in the individual rankings. Last year, Franzmann had placed eighth and Pankoski 18th. In Friday's race, Pankoski placed 13th and Franzmann 15th, the only peninsula girls to join Habermann in the top quarter of the field.

Saturday, each placed fifth in her leg of the relay, helping SoHi to hold onto ninth place, the high finish for the peninsula in the girls relay.

The other peninsula school finishes in the girls relay were Skyview in 11th place; Homer, 12th; Kenai 13th and Seward 17th.

On the boys side, the highest-placing individual was Soldotna senior Stephen Olendorff, who was ranked 17th. Last year he placed 28th. He had a strong start in Thursday's individual freestyle, placing ninth, but slid to 25th in Friday's race. On Saturday, he skied as team anchor during the 4-by-5-kilometer relay and placed 11th in his lap. He noted that he was feeling great, unlike many others on the course.

Two other peninsula boys earned slots in the top 25. Homer's Morgan Jones, a junior, was ranked 20th, putting him first among the peninsula's underclass boys. Friday, he placed 32nd in the 7.5-kilometer race, and ninth in his lap in the relay Saturday.

"The course is beautiful; the competition is tough," he said. "I'm just working hard. I hope to be in the top 10 next year."

Skyview senior Noah King was ranked 24th. Recovering from illness, he picked up speed after a slow start Thursday. He placed 11th in Friday's race and sixth in his lap in the Saturday relay.

Race rank was not the only accomplishment attracting attention.

Dale Bakk, the ski coach for Nikiski Middle-Senior High, said the weekend's high point for him was being able to field a complete boys team for the first time in four years. For his young and inexperienced squad, just being at the state meet was priceless training.

"We have an army of freshmen on our team," declared ninth-grade Bulldog Thomas Wheeler.

Seward's skiers earned special commendation from race organizers. The girls earned the academic award, given to the team with the highest grade-point averages. The boys earned an award as the best small-school boys team.

The small-school awards, new this year, are for schools from Class 1-2-3A that are competing against the big-school skiers. Bakk said the new award will be a valuable incentive for athletes from schools such as his. They will be able to earn recognition for what they accomplish with limited resources.

As in years past, ski teams from the state's biggest schools ran away with every top award. The winning girls team was Fairbanks' West Valley, which delighted hometown spectators by upsetting the nine-year defending champions, the girls from Anchorage's Service High School. The Service girls team took second.

The Service boys held onto their crown, with second going to West Anchorage.

The Skimeister awards for individual accomplishment went to West Anchorage senior Fiona Worcester and Service senior Mike Hinckley, who also won the boys title last year. A total of 22 schools and more than 200 individuals participated.

Friday's and Saturday's events went according to tradition, unlike Thursday's race, which featured a mass start many of the skiers had not experienced before. The new format drew mixed reviews from peninsula racers.

Stephen Olendorff said he liked it.

"Mass start is a lot funner," he said. "You can chase and see how you're doing."

But Franzmann took a dimmer view.

"I think that threw our team off," she said. "We never do those."

Organizers faced their own unexpected challenge relocating the meet. Warm weather prompted officials several weeks ago to move it from the planned venue in Anchorage back to Fairbanks' Birch Hill Recreation Area. This was the fourth year in a row that Fairbanks hosted the event.

Peninsula coaches scrambled to rearrange plans and travel budgets to

send their students 500 miles north.

Skiers and coaches characterized the 2005 state finals as a weird weekend and good training for underclassmen for 2006 and beyond. Even if they didn't win, peninsula racers enjoyed a meet marked with exemplary sportsmanship and ideal weather conditions.

"It's actually worked out real well," Bakk said Saturday at Birch Hill. "I'm glad we're here. It's just gorgeous."

State ski meet

at Fairbanks

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

GIRLS

Final team rankings: 1. West Valley, 3 hours, 25 minutes, 17 seconds; 2. Service, 3:27:03; 3. East, 3:33:11; 4. Chugiak, 3:34:22; 5. South, 3:37:40; 6. West, 3:39:11; 7. Dimond, 3:39:51; 8. Soldotna, 3:44:09; 9. Lathrop, 3:44:31; 10. Valdez, 3:52:04; 11. Skyview, 3:54:45; 12. Colony, 3:57:15; 13. Kenai Central, 4:01:22; 14. Homer, 4:01:32; 15. Palmer, 4:02:34; 16. Seward, 4:12:38; 17. Bartlett, 4:15:28; 18. Susitna Valley, 4:21:50; 19. Grace Christian, 4:32:20.

Individual 5-kilometer classical results

1. Becca Rorabaugh, WV, 17:12; 2. Fiona Worcester, Wes, 17:15; 3. Elizabeth Quinley, Eas, 17:15; 4. Adele Mery, WV, 17:16; 5. Hannah Johnson, Ser, 17:28; 6 (tie). Lauren Fritz, Chu, Elisabeth Habermann, Sky, 17:41; 8. Ky Eiben, Ser, 17:43; 9. Christina Gillis, WV, 17:45; 10. Kelsey Coolidge, Ser, 17:48.

Other peninsula finishers

13. Katy Pankoski, Sol, 18:08; 15. Katie Franzmann, Sol, 18:18; 30. Sarah Glasser, Sew, 18:57; 38. Lauren Olendorff, Sol, 19:28; 52. Synneva Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 20:20; 57. Anna Clock, Sew, 20:27; 60. Brittany Osland, Sol, 20:34; 62. Thorey Munro, Hom, 20:47; 65. Kendra Merkes, Sky, 20:54; 68. Amanda Boll, Sol, 21:01; 70. Cassie Wilcox, Ken, 21:06; 72. Gillian Beran-Maryott, Hom, 21:27; 73. Rebekah Summer, Ken, 21:29; 75. Jaime Miller, Sky, 21:39; 77. Becca Ford, Ken, 21:47; 80. Alina Rykaczewski, Hom, 22:00; 81. Claire Laukitis, Hom, 22:03; 83. Marci Mohler, Sky, 22:14; 84. Audrey Coon, Ken, 22:18; 89. Sara Arsenault, Hom, 22:34; 90. Ali Wykis, Sol, 22:42; 95. Jamie Dunn, Ken, 23:53; 96. Melissa Johnson, Sew, 23:54; 98. Alisha Friel, Sew, 23:54; 101. Tekla Backlund, Sew, 24:01; 102. Katie Peck, Sew, 24:46.

Overall two-day results

1. Worcester, Wes, 39:59; 2. Rorabaugh, WV, 40:11; 3. Mery, WV, 40:29; 4. Quinley, Eas, 40:45; 5. Fritz, Chu, 40:48; 6. Holmes, Dim, 40:50; 7. Gillis, WV, 40:51; 8. Widness, Ser, 41:03; 9. Johnson, Ser, 41:12; 10. Habermann, Sky, 41:26.

Other peninsula finishers

12. Franzmann, Sol, 42:08; 14. Pankoski, Sol, 42:20; 31. Glasser, Sew, 44:19; 40. Hagen-Lillevik, Ken, 45:28; 48. Clock, Sew, 46:46; 53. Merkes, Sky, 47:25; 54. Laukitis, Hom, 47:27; 58. Miller, Sky, 47:42; 59. Olendorff, Sol, 47:43; 62. Wilcox, Ken, 48:06; 63. Osland, Sol, 48:19; 66. Munro, Hom, 48:35; 69. Boll, Sol, 48:58; 72. Rykaczewski, Hom, 49:12; 76. Beran-Maryott, Hom, 49:48; 77. Coon, Ken, 49:58; 79. Summer, Ken, 50:28; 81. Arsenault, hom, 50:36; 83. Ford, Ken, 51:29; 84. Mohler, Sky, 51:30; 89. Wykis, Sol, 52:09; 95. Dunn, Ken, 53:39; 97. Friel, Sew, 54:50; 99. Johnson, Sew, 56:31.

4-by-3-kilometer relay results — 1. West Valley, 40:41; 2. Service, 41:03; 3. East, 42:59; 4. Chugiak, 43:05; 5. South, 43:24; 6. Dimond, 43:26; 7. West, 43:30; 8. Lathrop, 43:35; 9. Soldotna (Pankoski, Olendorff, Osland, Franzmann), 43:57; 10. Valdez, 46:08; 11. Skyview (Merkes, Mohler, Miller, Habermann), 46:40; 12. Homer (Beran-Maryott, Munro, Rykaczewski, Laukitis), 46:46; 13. Colony, 47:17; 14. Kenai Central (Coon, Summer, Wilcox, Hagen-Lillevik), 47:52; 15. Bartlett, 48:14; 16. Palmer, 48:27; 17. Seward (Johnson, Friel, Clock, Glasser), 50:09; 18. Grace Christian, 53:01.

BOYS

Final team rankings: 1. Service, 4:20:32; 2. West, 4:24:53; 3. Chugiak, 4:25:10; 4. West Valley, 4:31:51; 5. Colony, 4:34:05; 6. Lathrop, 4:36:35; 7. East, 4:40:41; 8. Dimond, 4:42:24; 9. South, 4:42:47; 10. Kenai Central, 4:47:18; 11. Soldotna, 4:54:56; 12. Homer, 4:59:10; 13. Seward, 5:03:59; 14. Bartlett, 5:13:33; 15. Skyview, 5:14:28; 16. Palmer, 5:26:38; 17. Wasilla, 5:30:18; 18. Nikiski, 5:34:16; 19. Valdez, 6:03:07.

Individual 7-kilometer classical results

1. Mike Hinckley, Ser, 21:36; 2. Nate Berry, Chu, 21:38; 3. Brett Broda, Lat, 22:04; 4. Anders Gillis, WV, 22:07; 5. Patrick Johnson, Ser, 22:22; 6. Peter Doner, Col, 22:51; 7. Daichi Ito, Ser, 22:59; 8 (tie). Joe Dougherty, Col, Max Treinen, Wes, 23:02; 10. John Murphy, Chu, 23:03.

Peninsula finishers

11. Noah King, Sky, 23:06; 25. Stephen Olendorff, Sol, 24:00; 29. Christopher Hall, Ken, 24:15; 32. Morgan Jones, Hom, 24:21; 42. Matt Adams, Sew, 24:44; 43. Kyle Latz, Ken, 24:48; 46. Michael Farrens, Hom, 25:05; 56. Clay Nelson, Ken, 25:37; 60. Max Milliron, Sol, 26:08; 63. Trent Semmens, Ken, 26:14; 64. DC Reid, Ken, 26:15; 66. Caleb Chase, Sol, 26:20; 70. Gus Beck, Hom, 26:40; 71. David Apperson, Sew, 26:50; 72. Kirk Louthan, Ken, 26:54; 76. Sean Twohy, Sol, 27:06; 77. Leif Bardarson, Sew, 27:07; 78. Erick Romig, Sky, 27:22; 80. Caleb Gordon, Sol, 27:51; 84. Travis Hines, Hom, 28:29; 85. Aaron Bakk, Nik, 28:29; 86. Mark Chase, Sew, 28:42; 88. Levi Lounsbury, Nik, 28:49; 89. Tommy Honer, Sky, 28:54; 92. Eddie French, Sol, 29:06; 93. Bryan Bakk, Nik, 29:24; 96. Kelly Skipwith, Sky, 30:21; 99. Ilia Pinchuk, Sew, 32:16; 100. Thomas Wheeler, Nik, 32:27; 103. Ancel Ware, Nik, 33:10; 105. Adam Sarka, Sew, 35:18.

Overall results

1. Hinckley, Ser, 49:09; 2. Berry, Chu, 49:38; 3. Gillis, WV, 50:14; 4. Johnson, Ser, 50:25; 5. M. Treinen, Wes, 50:37; 6. Broda, Lat, 51:15; 7. L. Treinen, Wes, 51:34; 8. Ito, Ser, 52:04; 9. Lowen, Dim, 52:30; 10. Singleton, Chu, 52:51.

Peninsula finishers

17. Olendorff, Sol, 53:12; 20. Jones, Hom, 53:34; 24. King, Sky, 54:00; 33. Adams, Sew, 55:10; 34. Hall, Ken, 55:16; 39. Farrens, Hom, 55:55; 44. Nelson, Ken, 56:23; 48. Latz, Ken, 56:46; 54. Chase, Sol, 58:09; 56. Semmens, Ken, 58:16; 59. Milliron, Sol, 58:56; 64. Apperson, Sew, 59:49; 67. Bardarson, Sew, 1:00:30; 68. Gus Beck, Hom, 1:00:47; 69. Twohy, Sol, 1:00:55; 76. Romig, Sky, 1:02:25; 79. Reid, Ken, 1:02:43; 80. Chase, Sew, 1:02:50; 81. Lounsbury, Nik, 1:03:09; 83. A. Bakk, Nik, 1:03:21; 85. Gordon, Sol, 1:03:28; 86. B. Bakk, Nik, 1:04:02; 87. Hines, Hom, 1:04:43; 89. French, Sol, 1:05:13; 90. Louthan, Ken, 1:05:19; 92. Skipwith, Sky, 1:05:35; 94. Honer, Sky, 1:05:48; 99. Pinchuk, Sew, 1:11:45; 100. Ware, Nik, 1:13:14; 102. Wheeler, Nik, 1:14:40; 105. Sarka, Sew, 1:23:23.

4-by-5-kilometer relay results — 1. Service, 55:31; 2. West, 56:21; 3. Chugiak, 56:43; 4. West Valley, 57:31; 5. Colony, 57:55; 6. Lathrop, 58:02; 7. South, 59:27; 8. Dimond, 59:44; 9. East, 1:00:12; 10. Kenai Central (Hall, Latz, Semmens, Nelson), 1:00:35; 11. Soldotna (Twohy, Milliron, Chase, Olendorff), 1:03:42; 12. Homer (Hines, Beck, Farrens, Jones), 1:04:10; 13. Bartlett, 1:04:50; 14. Seward (Bardarson, Apperson, Chase, Adams), 1:05:38; 15. Skyview (King, Romig, Honer, Skipwith), 1:06:38; 16. Wasilla, 1:09:45; 17. Palmer, 1:10:59; 18. Nikiski (A. Bakk, Wheeler, B. Bakk, Lounsbury), 1:11:12; 19. Valdez, 1:15:23.



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