By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News
The Kenai Klassic takes the stress and seriousness out of traditional racing. For a mid-season race, the laughter and Klassic chaos is welcomed by skiers and coaches.
“It was a fun time and fun race on Saturday. It sounded like everyone liked the race,” said Head Nordic Ski Coach Eric Groth.
Throwing all conventional race rules out the door, as if they were ceremonially leaving tradition to be handled by the Besh Cup races across the trails, the Kenai Klassic was a race that involved speed, agility and good waxing techniques.
“The race introduced different tactics that we don’t normally have to deal with during a race,” said Groth.
Starting with classic skis in hand, racers were released onto the course in groups of four in one-minute intervals. The racers then had to run to the waxing station and wax their classic skis, choosing between two different types of wax.
“There were two types of wax on the table that left the racers to decide what they wanted to do. There was the wax with good glide, but bad` kick, and the wax with good kick, but bad glide,” said Groth.
Once skis were waxed, often not to racing quality, the skiers had to classic ski a 3K loop, return to the exchange area to change into skate skis, and finally skate ski a 3K loop to the finish line.
The small loop distance made for an
interesting spectator race according to Groth. Classic and skate skiers shared the trail
space as they went around the Wolverine Trail.
Aspen Daigle had a close competition, finishing only two seconds behind a Skyview racer, putting her in fourth place. Tisha Lovett and Rachel Ellert also had a close match. Lovett finished just three seconds in front of Ellert, placing them 12th and 13th respectively.
On the boys side, another Mariner squeeze was between Liu Tianen and Jake Worsfold crossing the finish line just two seconds apart. Ghen Sasakura led the boys finishing eighth.
The ski team heads to Seward on Saturday.
Angelina Skowronski is a Homer
freelance writer. Joey Klecka of the Peninsula Clarion contributed to this story.
Kenai Klassic RESULTS
Team results: 1. Grace Christian, 1:32:51; 2. Kenai, 1:40:21; 3. Homer, 1:41:30; 4. Soldotna, 1:47:18
Individual Mariner Girl Results: 4. Aspen Daigle, 23:42; 12. Tisha Lovett, 25:36; 13. Rachel Ellert, 25:39; 17. Lydia Arndt, 26:32
Team results: 1. Kenai, 1:16:42; 2. Soldotna, 1:20:59; 3. Grace Christian, 1:26:01; 4. Skyview, 1:26:19; 5. Homer, 1:27:23.
Individual Mariner Boy Results: 8. Ghen Sasakura, 19:44; 17. Josh Vantrease, 22:00; 22. Liu Tianen, 22:48; 23. Jake Worsfold, 22:50