In the last meet of the regular season, the Mariners Nordic ski team dominated the top 10 at the Seward Invite last weekend in the 6K skate ski race.
“It was a smaller meet this weekend with a fast and challenging course,” said Head Coach Eric Groth.
The last of the Besh Cup races also took place last weekend in Fairbanks, decreasing the number of skiers at the meet in Seward. In addition, a few Mariners skiers suffering from the seasonal flu outbreak prevented them from racing.
Homer’s girls varsity team won three places in the top 10 with Barae Hirsch in first, Cassidy Soistman in third and Aspen Daigle in sixth.
Soistman, coming back from a racing hiatus, had a close finish against Seward’s Lindsey Kromrey. Soistman’s ski edged just in front of Kromrey’s at the finish line, giving Soistman a 10th of a second lead over Kromrey.
Brian Rowe and Ghen Sasakura also found themselves in the top 10 for the boys varsity team, taking third and eighth respectively.
Never too late to start, Italian exchange student Manuel Spigno completed his first race on Saturday. Spigno joined the Nordic team mid-season and took 16th at Seward.
The Mariner teams spend this week training on their home course which will be the course for Boroughs this weekend and Regions the following weekend.
“We are working on the big climbs. The boys have two big climbs with some steep downhills and the girls will have one big climb with two smaller but still significant hills,” said Groth.
The Mariners are hoping the home-course advantage at the Lookout Mountain Trails will pay off come race time.
The Boroughs race this weekend is a one-day event on Saturday featuring a 10K skate ski mass start for the boys at 11 a.m., and a 7.5K skate ski mass start for the girls at 12:45 p.m. Homer locals are encouraged to watch to support the Mariner team.
After the race, the Mariner Nordic team will host the Ski Across the Galaxy gala fundraiser taking place 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.
Seward Invite Results
Mariner Girls Varsity: 1. Barae Hirsch, 19.21.98; 3. Cassidy Soistman, 20.12.78; 6. Aspen Daigle, 20.35.33; 15. Lydia Arndt, 26.11.41.
Mariner Boys Varsity: 3. Brian Rowe, 16.05.92; 8. Ghen Sasakura, 17.27.45; 13. Jake Worsfold, 17.50.65.
Mariner Girls JV: No placings
Mariner Boys JV: 8. Quinn Alward, 22.43.55;10. Ryan Narvot 23.05.89; 15. Jake Krisintu, 28.08.82; 16. Manuel Spigno, 32.10.72.