By McKibben Jackinsky
Kinna Ledger, 22, of Anchor Point isn’t one to sit around. Strap on her cross-country skis and she’s off. Now Ledger and her skis are headed to a new destination: the 10th Special Olympics World Games taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, Jan. 29-Feb. 5.
Mother Nature blanketed the Kenai Peninsula with a perfect 29 inches of snow just in time for the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club’s Fourth Anual Ski Your Age event Dec. 26 at the Lookout Mountain Trails.
Rain quickly turned the perfect powder to slush, however. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, the event brought 50 smiling faces of all ages and skill levels to Ohlson Mountain.
The event was split into four categories: the Century Challenge, Ski-Meister Challenge, Family Challenge, and Individual.
It all started with Little Feet according to Homer siblings Drew and Lyndsay Brown. The two Homer High School students’ soccer talents are taking them to Hawaii and Vegas in 2013 respectively.
Both put on their first pair of soccer cleats before entering elementary school with the help of Homer’s Little Feet program, and have stuck with the sport ever since. Nearly 10 years later, Lindsay leaves next week with fellow Homer High classmate Samantha Draves to play for the Alaska team in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) in Las Vegas, Nev.
Homer Mariner Hockey hosted its annual alumni game last Friday at the Kevin Bell Arena. The alums won 4-2 as former Mariner goalie Luke Eckert saved 22 of 24 shots on his goal.
The first period began less physical than most hockey games, with no penalties or timeouts called. Instead, the Mariners took their high-powered offense straight to the goalie, drawing first blood with just under two minutes gone by sophomore Kiril Sanarov off of a Carson Duggar assist.
The Mariner Basketball Alumni game acts as Homer’s winter homecoming each year as Homer’s past meets present. This being my third consecutive year participating in the alumni game since graduating in 2010, I realize one thing: We keep getting older while the varsity team stays youthful, coached and organized.
The alumni team at Saturday’s game consisted of about 20 Homer High graduates, including players from Homer’s 1988-1989 state championship team.
Skiing season heats up
Kachemak Nordic Ski Club holds a three-Saturday adult beginner skate clinic Saturday, Jan, 5 and 12. Late registration of $25 is available for Junior Nordic, which begins Jan. 19. Friday Night Lights will be held Jan. 4 and 5, with torches lit from 6-8 p.m. Check the web for details at kachemaknordicskiclub.org.
Ice arena schedule full of opportunities
Soldotna graduate Brent Knight led skiers with Kenai Peninsula connections at the Besh Cup 2 at Chugiak High School on Sunday.
The races were interval freestyle. In the men’s Junior 1 and older race, which was 15 kilometers, Knight finished sixth at 41 minutes, 49 seconds. David Norris won at 40:14.
Also from the area, Lars Arneson, a graduate of Cook Inlet Academy, took 19th in 44:11.
Homer’s women’s hockey team, The Divas, headed to Palmer the for the first tournament of the year to challenge three teams for the C-cup title.
Anxious to see how they ranked against the big-town teams, they brought their best game with them. Their first game was against B. Bella from Palmer playing on their home ice. The Divas didn’t let that intimidate them, and took the lead first period and never let go.
Last place Teachers beat Riptide
The Bulletproof Nets had a chance to tie the Homer Community Schools City League Basketball standings for first place Monday, but Best Western Riptide had other plans, winning by a lopsided score of 101-52. Austin McAvoy and Dean DeVaney both had 24, while Nick Finley pitched in 20 points for the victors. Norm Anderson scored 15 points with help from Dyllan Day’s 14 for the Nets. The Home-Run Oil Titans beat the Gregoire Construction Smooth Operators 60-50. Mark and Keith Edens combined for 35 points for the Titans while Heath Johnson led the Smooth Ops with 19.
The Homer Rope Tow is getting a new face this season with a new braided eight-strand rope to replace the previous twisted three-strand rope.
“There had always been an issue with twisting with the old rope. It was hard to hold on to,” said honorary Kachemak Ski Club board member Doug Reid.
Reid and official KSC board member, Doug Malone, have put in the work to find and install the new braided eight-strand rope on top of the Ohlson Mountain ski hill.
The Best Western Riptide remain undefeated as they crushed the Gregoire Construction Smooth Operators (74-38) in Homer Community Schools City League Basketball action.
Returning Monday from the 2012 Special Olympics Alaska Bowling Tournament in Anchorage, and showing off their trophy, are Homer athletes, bottom row from left: Tonya McGee and Amber Loop; middle from left: Brent Guarin Escolta, Krissy Norton, Ivan Meganack, Shaunti Johnson, Celton Chambers, Barbara Smallwood and Mark Smallwood; top from left: Larry Bonfiglio, Jeremey Day, Nick Gordeev, Justin Smith and Josh Delie. Not pictured: Kaylee Alward, Eddie Escalera, Byron Morris, Kinna Ledger, Denny Daily, Robby Reeves and Head Coach Mary Gerrety.
Homer Wilderness Leaders (HoWL) has organized the Reel Rock 7 Tour Saturday at the Alaska Island and Oceans Center from 6-9 p.m., with a silent auction of items donated from more than 50 local businesses.
The evening will begin showcasing three short films made by and starring HoWL students this summer: “How to Build a Backcounty Hot Tub,” “Awesome Sauce Montage” and “How HoWL Rocks It.”
As Homer Community Schools City League Basketball finished its fifth week of action, the Best Western Riptide holds the only undefeated record. Nick Finley scored 21 and Dean DeVaney scored 17 in the team’s 84-44 win over the Home Run Oil Titans.
The City of Homer Community Recreation Basketball League scores/standings as of Oct. 15:
Bullet Proof Nets defeated Educators/K12: 48-40
Home Run Oil Titans defeated Alaska Bible Institute: 71-48
Best Western Riptide defeated Gregoire’s Smooth Operators: 92-40
Bullet Proof Nets1-0
Home Run Oil Titans1-0
Best Western Riptide1-0
Alaska Bible Institute0-1
The co-ed hockey league started its season off last Saturday night. Forty-one players comprising four teams began the battle for the fall season’s coveted award — the “golden puck bucket.”
In the season opener, team “Orange Crush-em” battled neck and neck with team “Green Goons.” Goalie Lydia Brown made a record number of saves, and managed to keep the score tied up the entire game.
Goals for Orange Crush-em were made by Russ Walker, Steve Rich, Chris Russ and the game tying goal was made by Karen Weston.
The Snomads, a club of snowmachine enthusiasts, holds a membership kickoff party at the Homer Elks Lodge from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.
The event is free to current and new members. It’s free to join.
The party includes free food: hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken and all the fixings. There will be a no-host bar.
There also will be games for the kids, raffles and door prizes.
For more information on Snomads, contacts and a calendar of events, visit www.homersnowmads.org.
A Zumbathon will be held at the Bay Club from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
This is a charity event. A $10 donation benefits the Susan G. Koman Fund for the Cure.
Take advantage of the nine guest Zumba instructors that will be on hand.
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that combines international music and easy-to-learn steps. Since it hit the fitness scene in 2001, it has been taught in more than 140,000 locations in more than 150 countries to more than 14 million people.
Saturday’s Run to the Altar — an uphill, 13.1-mile event — marks the third wedding anniversary for Jan and Megan Spurkland. The annual repeat of running the half-marathon distance makes this the fourth time the race has occurred.
Connor McCarron led the men in a time of 1:46:30, a slim one minute, 17 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Max Kaufman. Among the women, Jane Wiebe finished in 2:05:17, followed by Elizabeth Roedl and Annie Ridgely in 2:06:06.
“It was a great turnout, considering the weather we’ve had,” said Jan Spurkland.