The Mariner Nordic ski team got to test-run new trails last weekend at the Colony Invite, held at the newly opened Government Peak Trail at Hatcher Pass. Homer raced against Palmer, Colony, Grace Christian, SoHi, Skyview, Seward and Valdez.
“It was a great race. We had good classical conditions with a lot of good kick which made for a lot more stride rather than double pole placements,” said Head Coach Eric Groth.
Cold on the first day of competition postponed the races for an extra 30 minutes as race officials and skiers waited for the sun to come over the mountainous horizon and warm up the trails. Skiing the Government Peak Trails for the first time, the Mariners were pleased to see more rolling rollercoaster-type hills as opposed to the steep hills they normally train on at Lookout Mountain.
Despite tough competition from the valley teams, the varsity lady Mariners were able to keep their high positions and the JV ladies showed improvement.
“We have three girls that continue to place in the top 10 at races. We have a deep girls team as the JV girls continue to place higher. We still have a lot of competition with the Grace Christian girls, but we are a young team so this just means we will be doing better in future seasons,” said Groth.
Barae Hirsch and Aspen Daigle both placed in the top 10 for the varsity team. Crystal Crane came in tenth place for the JV team, and, only six seconds behind, Mariah Vantrease finished in 11th place.
This weekend the Mariners ski in the Seward Invite, a one-day meet and the last race before Boroughs are held at the Lookout Mountain Ski Trails on Feb 9.
Also on Feb 9, the Nordic team will be hosting their annual gala dinner fundraiser. This year’s theme is “Ski Across the Galaxy.” It will be held at Harmon and Pauli Hall’s barn.
The evening includes a five-course meal prepared by Carri Thurman of Two Sisters Bakery served by Nordic team athletes. Assistant coach Daniel Perry and Nordic skier Lydia Arndt will provide live violin entertainment, and there also will be door prizes and a silent auction.
Tickets are $80 and can be purchased at the Homer Bookstore or by calling 235-2846. All proceeds go to the Mariner Nordic team to assist paying for travel expenses for the 2014 season.
Homer Results from Colony Invite
Boys Varsity: 6. Brian Rowe, 44:39.3; 13. Ghen Sasakura, 47:54.9; 26. Jake Worsfold 51:36.5; 43. Tianen Liu, 1:00:57.4
Girls Varsity: 4. Barae Hirsch, 34:30:07; 8. Aspen Daigle, 36:01:11; 23. Rachel Ellert, 39:51:08
Boys JV: 15. Jake Krisintu, 57:35.1; 27. Ryan Navrot, 1:02:00.2; 28. Quinn Alward, 1:02:21.1; 36. Taurey Bowden, 1:08:36.7; 42. Ryley Chesser, 1:13:20.3
Girls JV: 10. Crystal Crane, 44:30.4; 11. Mariah Vantrease, 44:36.0