Kenai Central senior Kailey Mucha finished 10th in the girls 7.5-kilometer mass start on Friday at the state Nordic skiing championships in Fairbanks, missing out on becoming the first peninsula skier to win the skimeister.
The skimeister is awarded to the skier with the best cumulative time from Thursday's freestyle race and Friday's classic race.
Mucha won the freestyle race on Thursday, putting her in position for the skimeister. However, with the top 10 skiers within 34 seconds, she still needed a great race on Friday.
Mucha finished Friday's race in 27 minutes, 11 seconds, while Dimond's Marion Woods won at 26:39. The skimeister went to West Valley's Hannah Boyer, with a cumulative time of 43:09, while Woods was second at 43:15. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that was the closest girls skimeister finish since 1994.
Mucha finished fifth in the skimeister at 43:25 after finishing second last year. She was trying to match her mother, D'Anna Gibson, who won skimeisters for West in 1987 and 1988.
"I was tired," Mucha said, via cell phone, of Friday's race. "I definitely put a lot in on Thursday. A lot of it was mental.
"It was a great race. I had a good last year."
Mucha said a group of 12 skiers stayed together at the front for the first two-thirds of the race. A big hill then broke up the pack, and that's when Mucha said she had problems.
"I think I just mentally died," Mucha said. "The girls went out so fast. It was a really tight group. When that hill came, I just didn't mentally have it. I felt kind of stupid afterward."
Mucha's sister, Soldotna skier Bree Mucha, also finished in the top 20 in the overall standings, taking 17th.
In the boys competition, Kenai Central's Travis Semmens finished at 52:23 to take 11th. South's Scott Patterson won the skimeister with a time of 48:06. Kenai's Anders Nyquist joined Semmens in the top 20 by finishing 20th.
"I just think everybody had a good result," Gibson said. "Everybody met their goal. Travis and Anders were able to meet their goals."
Gibson said the one bad part of the meet was James Watkins getting sick and missing the Saturday relay race.
On Saturday, Kailey Mucha came back to lead all teams after the first, classic leg of the 4-by-3 girls relay. The Kenai girls team, which also included Michelle Klaben, Olivia Pfeifer and Olivia Fair, finished 11th.
The Soldotna girls team of Maranda Merkes, D.Anne Martin, Jasmine Clock and Bree Mucha led the peninsula by finishing seventh behind champion South.
Soldotna coach Dan Harbison said one of the highlights for his team came in Friday's girls mass start, when Merkes had an equipment failure just 50 meters after starting.
By the time the issue was taken care of, Merkes was in last place. She ended up finishing 34th to help the Stars in the team standings.
"It was just an incredible effort on her part," Harbison said.
Also from the peninsula in the girls relay, Homer was 10th, Skyview was 16th and Seward was 20th.
Skyview coach Kent Peterson pointed out that the 16th in the relay was a career-best for all of the skiers on the relay. The team is made up of Catherine Wolk, Hanna Hutchison, Tamlyn Silva and Carol Clonan.
In the boys relay, Kenai Central led the peninsula by finishing ninth while South won the event.
Nyquist, Semmens, Evan Atchley and Anton Krull skied for the Kardinals.
"Anton did a great job of stepping up and filling in for James," Gibson said.
The Kardinals finished at 1:03:25, while Soldotna was 10th at 1:03:57 and Skyview was 11th at 1:06:00. Also from the peninsula, Homer was 15th and Seward was 16th.
"The relay was really good for both the girls and boys," Dan Harbison said. His boys team was made up of Ryan Sanders, Luke Michael, Josiah Martin and IntiMayo Harbison. Coach Harbison said freshmen Michael and Martin had great state meets.
The Skyview boys, made up of Leif Danielson, Brayden Holt, Justin Marsh and Hunter Jackinsky, beat Colony by less than a second.
"The boys had a good finish -- they just edged out Colony at the end," Peterson said.
Harbison said the temperatures at the state meet were cold, hovering around zero, but fortunately were not severe enough to be dangerous.
State Nordic skiing championships
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Birch Hill in Fairbanks
Individual 10-kilometer top 10 classic results
1. Scott Patterson, Sou, 28 minutes, 10 seconds; 2. Forrest Mahlen, Sou, 29:22; 3. Eric Ryan, Ser, 29:24; 4. Silas Talbot, Ser, 29:31; 5. Jack Novak, Sou, 29:32; 6. Nicholas Treinen, Wes, 29:34; 7. Noah Hagen, Sou, 29:52; 8. Neil Liotta, Wes, 30:01; 9. Isaac Lammers, Chu, 30:26; 10. Kyle Barnhart, Ser, 30:29.
Two-day, top-10 combined times
1. Scott Patterson, Sou, 48:06; 2 (tie). Silas Talbot, Ser, 50:31, Forrest Mahlen, Sou, 50:31; 4. Nicholas Treinen, Wes, 51:04; 5. Noah Hagen, Sou, 51:11; 6. Eric Ryan, Ser, 51:19; 7. Jack Novak, Sou, 51:41; 8. Isaac Lammers, Chu, 51:47; 9. Neil Liotta, Wes, 52:00; 10. Patrick Nugent, Lat, 52:22.
11. Travis Semmens, Ken, 52:23; 20. Anders Nyquist, Ken, 54:10; 27. Ryan Sanders, Sol, 56:14; 34. Hunter Jackinsky, Sky, 57:15; 40. IntiMayo Harbison, Sol, 58:23; 44. Luke Michael, Sol, 59:48; 46. Andre Lovett, Hom, 59:54; 49. Brayden Holt, Sky, 1:00:05; 51. James Watkins, Ken, 1:00:14; 52. Josiah Martin, Sol, 1:00:23; 53. Leif Danielson, Sky, 1:00:31; 54. Brett Chase, Sew, 1:00:32; 55. Austin Gillespie, Sew, 1:00:51; 57. Parker Sorensen, Hom, 1:01:19; 61. Dillon Jensen, Sol, 1:02:13; 68. Justin Marsh, Sky, 1:03:00; 70. Evan Atchley, Ken, 1:03:05; 74. Anton Krull, Ken, 1:03:39; 78. Alex Kauffman, Sol, 1:04:25; 81. Tux Seims, Hom, 1:04:39; 82. Samy Pfluger, Sew, 1:04:40; 85. Kade Cooper, Sky, 1:05:27; 88. Joseph Nyholm, Sew, 1:05:43; 92. Kevin Rowe, Hom, 1:06:08; 96. Dylan Critchett, Hom, 1:08:07; 99. Kyle Wentz, Hom, 1:08:43; 99. Kyle Wentz, Hom, 1:08:43; 102. Tyler Cooper, Ken, 1:09:17; 110. Miles Knotek, Sew, 1:10:37; 117. Gabe Esposito, Sew, 1:17:55.
Saturday's 4-by-5-kilometer relay
1. South Anchorage Boys (Noah Hagen-14:17.5, Jack Novak-14:26.7, Forrest Mahlen-14:06.1, Scott Patterson-13:24.8) 56:15.1; 2. Service Boys (Eric Ryan-14:02.3, Kyle Barnhart-14:40.3, Silas Talbot-13:49.4, Peter Mamrol-14:52.6) 57:24.6; 3. West Anchorage Boys (Neil Liotta-14:03.7, Nicholas Treinen-13:49.7, Douglas Watts-16:27.9, Scott Wheeler-14:56.2) 59:17.5; 4. Lathrop Boys (Robert Hovda-14:46.9, Kyle Hanson-15:27.1, Stefan Hajdukovich-14:50.7, Patrick Nugent-14:13.5) 59:18.2; 5. Palmer Boys (Ted Hoople-15:40.6, Davis Dunlap-14:47.0, Wylie Mangelsdorf-15:34.7, Dunedin Strickland-15:02.7) 1:01:05.0; 6. Chugiak Boys (Isaac Lammers-14:12.3, Ben Fitzgerald-14:40.2, Alex Loan-16:33.6, Dan Bradley-16:20.3) 1:01:46.4; 7. East Anchorage Boys (Vegard Andersen-14:44.1, Daniel Fink-16:25.7, Jacob Wahry-16:10.4, Nathaniel Knapp-14:30.6) 1:01:50.8; 8. West Valley Boys (James Leder-15:48.0, Riley Troyer-15:48.5, Jan (Kuba) Grzeda-15:35.8, Vanya Rybkin-15:14.7) 1:02:27.0; 9. Kenai Central Boys (Evan Atchley-17:08.9, Ander Nyquist-15:16.1, Travis Semmens-14:20.3, Anton Krull-16:40.4) 1:03:25.7; 10. Soldotna Boys (Ryan Sanders-15:34.5, Luke Michael-15:30.5, Josiah Martin-16:41.4, IntiMayo Harbison-16:11.2) 1:03:57.6; 11. Skyview Boys (Leif Danielson-17:02.9, Brayden Holt-16:46.1, Justin Marsh-17:01.3, Hunter Jackinsky-15:09.7) 1:06:00.0; 12. Colony Boys (Schyler Knopp-15:18.6, Jacob Buck-17:09.8, Gunner Williams-17:09.4, Abe Meyerhofer-16:22.6) 1:06:00.4; 13. Eagle River Boys (Tucker Platt-16:41.2, Jacob Timmons-17:21.1, Cameron Johnson-16:52.8, Brandon Blackley-15:54.0) 1:06:49.1; 14. Dimond Boys (Bryce Monaco-16:04.7, Erskine Frank-16:55.5, Zachary Brown-17:10.1, Alex Schumann-16:40.9) 1:06:51.2; 15. Homer Boys (Andre Lovett-16:30.3, Tux Seims-17:37.7, Kevin Rowe-16:37.3, Parker Sorensen-16:06.3) 1:06:51.6; 16. Seward Boys (Joseph Nyholm-17:17.7, Samy Pfluger-17:15.6, Austin Gillespie-17:01.3, Brett Chase-15:34.0) 1:07:08.6; 17. Grace Christian Boys (John Klein-18:21.6, Matthew Eller-18:26.8, Jacob Kirk-15:42.7, Andrew Arnold-14:52.0) 1:07:23.1; 18. Wasilla Boys (Chayne Bowmer-18:43.9, Keith Pulver-16:40.1, Connor Mattson-16:39.4, Rick Loveless-18:58.2) 1:11:01.6; 19. Bartlett Boys (Michael Bramer-18:07.5, Brandon Muller-19:21.6, Alex Yang-19:32.0, Tyler Greeson-18:45.1) 1:15:46.2; 20. Valdez Boys (Craig Lematta-19:32.4, DJ Carr-20:41.7, Kasey Walker-17:53.8, Matt Adamson-18:06.3) 1:16:14.2; 21. North Pole Boys (Gavin DeWilde-17:58.5, Adam Wood-22:42.5, Mike Arnold-20:11.6, Matt Stoller-18:04.4) 1:18:57.0.
Individual 7.5-kilometer top-10 classic results
1. Marion Woods, Dim, 26:39; 2. Celia Haering, Wes, 26:41; 3. Hannah Boyer, WV, 26:44; 4. Tristan Ramey, Sou, 26:51; 5. Marisa Rorabaugh, WV, 26:58; 6. Rebecca Mamrol, Wer, 27:01; 7. Kate Backstrum, Sou, 27:02; 8. Karina Packer, Sou, 27:09; 9. Jessica Yeaton, Sou, 27:10; 10. Kailey Mucha, Ken, 27:11.
Two-day, top-10 combined times
1. Hannah Boyer, WV, 43:09; 2. Marion Woods, Dim, 43:15; 3. Celia Haering, Wes, 43:15; 4. Marisa Rorabaugh, WV, 43:18; 5. Kailey Mucha, Sol, 43:25; 6. Jessica Yeaton, Sou, 43:35; 7. Kinsey Loan, Chu, 43:46; 8. Karina Packer, Sou, 43:58; 9. Tristan Ramey, Sou, 43:58; 10. Kate Backstrum, Sou, 43;59.
Other peninsula finishers
17. Bree Mucha, Sol, 46:14; 26. Jasmine Clock, Sol, 47:31; 32. Maggie Bursch, Hom, 48:12; 34. Maranda Merkes, Sol, 48:31; 38. D.Anne Martin, Sol, 49:46; 41. Michelle Klaben, Ken, 50:06; 42. Allison Barnwell, Sew, 50:17; 49. Frances Bursch, Hom, 51:19; 52. Melanie Smith, Sol, 51:56; 60. Kaya Morelli, Hom, 53:06; 63. Alaine Miller, Hom, 53:39; 64. Marie Schmidt, Hom, 54:01; 69. Olivia Pfeifer, Ken, 54:32; 70. Hanna Hutchison, Sky, 54:34; 74. Rachel Wyatt, Sol, 55:00; 76. Tamlyn Silva, Sky, 55:10; 78. Olivia Fair, Ken, 55:21; 84. Denali Critchett, Hom, 56:06; 87. Carol Clonan, Sky, 56:30; 88. Catherine Wolk, Sky, 56:47; 89. Dani Rehm, Ken, 56:54; 97. Chelsea Winter, Sky, 58:24; 107. Maggie Herbert, Sew, 1:03:06; 111. Katie Clonan, Sky, 1:05:21; 113. Serena Melville, Sew, 1:09:23.
Saturday's 4-by-3-kilometer relay
1. South Anchorage Girls (Tristan Ramey-10:50.2, Karina Packer-10:12.4, Kate Backstrum-11:01.2, Jessica Yeaton-10:35.0) 42:38.8; 2. Service Girls (Mackenzie Kanady-10:35.6, Greta Anderson-10:12.8, Anna Price-11:28.5, Rebecca Mamrol-11:02.6) 43:19.5; 3. West Valley Girls (Elizabeth Whisenhant-11:20.2, Hannah Boyer-10:03.0, Eliza Rorabaugh-11:31.4, Marisa Rorabaugh-10:42.8) 43:37.4; 4. Chugiak Girls (Bonnie Scott-11:34.6, Kinsey Loan-10:29.4, Kryston McPhetres-11:36.3, Alyson McPhetres-10:57.4) 44:37.7; 5. West Anchorage Girls (Annie Liotta-10:35.9, Jasmine Neeno-11:50.3, Megan Baker-11:39.4, Celia Haering-10:44.5) 44:50.1; 6. Dimond Girls (Marion Woods-10:36.9, Savanna Desatoff-11:07.4, Amelia Hennessy-11:53.7, Brittany Hippe-11:19.2) 44:57.2; 7. Soldotna Girls (Maranda Merkes-11:17.7, D.Anne Martin-11:01.9, Jasmine Clock-11:43.0, Bree Mucha-11:41.1) 45:43.7; 8. Lathrop Girls (Claire Ferree-11:19.8, Kim Fitzgerald-11:06.7, Mikayla Hamlin-12:24.2, Megan Edic-11:39.9) 46:30.6; 9. Palmer Girls (Shannon Stough-11:38.1, Mariah Shones-11:35.7, Amanda Delfrate-11:54.9, Kimberly Delfrate-11:38.8) 46:47.5; 10. Homer Girls (Maggie Bursch-11:21.2, Frances Bursch-11:22.6, Marie Schmidt-12:27.2, Kaya Morelli-12:11.4) 47:22.4; 11. Kenai Central Girls (Kailey Mucha-10:33.9, Michelle Klaben-11:34.3, Olivia Pfeifer-12:38.7, Olivia Fair-14:15.9) 49:02.8; 12. East Anchorage Girls (Lindsey Freeman-12:50.3, Amy Gordon-12:27.1, McKinley Wallace-12:53.1, Rebecca Farr-11:33.8) 49:44.3; 13. Eagle River Girls (Jackie Klecka-11:46.9, Jenny Klecka-11:55.8, Hannah Stevens-13:43.8, Sarah Frankl-13:57.1) 51:23.6; 14. Colony Girls (Caitlin Skvorc-13:03.5, Abby Jahn-12:39.2, Brittney Anderson-13:34.7, Lindsay Dreese-13:33.5) 52:50.9; 15. Grace Christian Girls (Gabby Serventi-14:08.5, Betsy Winkle-13:24.9, Anna Trujillo-13:52.1, Sarah Cresap-11:42.8) 53:08.3; 16. Skyview Girls (Catherine Wolk-13:29.7, Hannah Hutchison-12:40.1, Tamlyn Silva-13:18.0, Carol Clonan-13:45.4) 53:13.2; 17. Valdez Girls (Tristen Larson-14:07.0, Malaika Kelly-13:46.7, Emily Merioles-13:15.8, Hannah Norris-12:27.4) 53:36.9; 18. North Pole Girls (Kelly Schmitz-12:16.0, Blayne Clark-14:49.1, Sarah O`Leary-14:56.5, Christi Schmitz-11:49.0) 53:50.6; 19. Bartlett Girls (Rachael Echols-12:42.6, Shannon Lamb-13:45.1, Kaitlyn Meyers-13:10.8, Leslee Rogers-15:25.1) 55:03.6; 20. Seward Girls (Maggie Herbert-15:11.4, Allison Barnwell-11:34.0, Serena Melville-17:40.9, Amanda Olson-15:54.7) 1:00:21.0.
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