Nikiski High School sophomore Zach Hall put in the top performance of the four Kenai Peninsula athletes who competed for Team Alaska at the first day of the Junior National cross-country ski championships Monday in Jackson, N.H.
Hall finished ninth in the Junior 2 five-kilometer freestyle race with a time of 11 minutes, 58.5 seconds. Dan Skold of the Midwest took the race in 11:22.3. Junior 2 is for those born in 1984 and 1985.
Soldotna High School's Brent Knight also put in a good showing in the Junior 2 race, coming across the finish line in 13th place at 12:07.6.
Fellow Soldotna High School skier Brandon Newbould also represented the peninsula with a 21st place finish in the Older Junior boys 10-kilometer freestyle.
Alaska's Ryan Quinn, a graduate of Soldotna's Region III rival Colony High School, won the Older Junior race with a clocking of 22:21.7. Older Junior is for those born in 1980 and 1981.
The final peninsula representative was Homer High School's Ida Martin. Martin, this year's Region III skimeister, finished 43rd with a time of 14:03.7 in the Junior 1 girls five-kilometer freestyle.
Alaska's Kikkan Randall, who attends East High in Anchorage, won the Junior 1 race, which is for those born in 1982 and 1983, with a time of 12:17.9.
Although Quinn and Randall were the only Alaskans to collect gold medals, six other Alaskans medaled by placing in the top three.
The Junior Nationals continue today with a long distance classic race. Thursday, sprint freestyle races will be held while the meet will conclude Friday with relay races.
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