Soldotna's Brent Knight and Nikiski's Zach Hall joined forces Thursday to ski to a three-by-three-kilometer mixed relay win in the Junior 2 competition at the Junior National cross-country ski championships in Jackson, N.H.
Knight completed the classical leg of the relay in 9:02.3 before yielding to Hall, who skied the first freestyle leg in 8:35.5. Brandon Broda of Lathrop High finished with an 8:24.7 freestyle leg for a total time of 26:02.4, 6.5 seconds ahead of the second-place New England team.
Homer's Ida Martin led off a Junior 1 girls relay, clocking a time of 25:12.2 for her five-kilometer classical leg. Martin was teamed with Service High's Christina May and Lathrop's Mishelle Norris. The trio finished 12th overall with a time of 74:43.6, 5:49 behind the winning team consisting of Service's Tara Hamilton and East's Diana Johnson and Kikkan Randall.
In the Older Junior boys competition, Soldotna's Brandon Newbould skied the middle five-kilometer freestyle leg in 19:27.7, teaming with East's Seth Chappell and Anchorage's Nate Normandin to place 19th in the relay event with a total time of 1:00:30.4, 7:44.8 behind the winning team from New England.
The relays were moved up a day and the venue changed as temperatures in Jackson climbed into the 50s, leaving standing puddles around much of the trail.
The event will finish on Saturday with freestyle sprint races, with a round of elimination heats followed by finals. The competition will wrap up with a banquet Saturday night.
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