Sports and Outdoors Highlights

Adult Sports

  • The second part of the Besh Cup’s three-weekend series of races happens at Homer’s Lookout Trails near Ohlson Mountain this Saturday and Sunday.

    The races attract hundreds of skiers from across the state, with the first of the series held in Anchorage in December and the final weekend of races in Fairbanks next month. A Besh Cup trophy is given to the male and female skiers earning the most Junior Olympic qualifying points. The event also helps determine the Arctic Winter Games cross country ski team. 

  • Rainy weather may have dampened the originally scheduled Friday Night Lights, a Friday and Saturday evening fundraiser for the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, but it didn’t dampen local skiers enthusiasm when it finally happened.

    Initially set for Rogers Loop Trail on Jan. 3-4, it was rescheduled due to weather to Jan. 10-11, and moved to higher ground, the Sunset Trail, where there was a better covering of snow.

  • “Welcome to the Warrior dome,” the voice of Bea Klaich, head coach of the Nikolaevsk High School girls basketball team, boomed across Nikolaevsk School gym the evening of Jan. 2. 

    Full bleachers, thundering music and a strong current of excitement made it clear something big was about to happen. Indeed it was: the high school basketball teams’ battle against alumni teams.

  • Attracting hundreds of skiers and with a lengthy Homer history, the Besh Cup continues on Homer’s Lookout Mountain Trails Jan. 18-19.

    “It’s been around for a long time,” said Jan Spurkland, president of the Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club. “In the 1980s, it was called the Tang Cup and then in the 1990s, it got dedicated as the Besh Cup as a memorial to Tom Besh.”

    Growing up in Anchorage, Spurkland skied in the Besh Cup and participated in both the Junior Olympics and the Arctic Winter Games in the early and mid-1990s.

  • Oh, what a difference a few hundred feet in elevation can make.

    At sea level Sunday, it was spring-like. Green grass poked through melting layers of snow on front yards and temperatures actually reached the low 40s. Up on East Skyline Drive, the sun was shining, but there was definitely more snow and the warm bonfire at Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies’ Wynn Nature Center marked the beginning of CACS’ Sunday bonfires, a free, family-friendly event.

Youth Sports

  • The following Mariner athletic awards were awarded by Homer High School’s coaching staff:

     

    Male Athlete of the Year

    Pedro Ochoa, senior: cross country running, wrestling, track

  • Following Nikolaevsk School’s end-of-the-year awards assembly, the students, faculty, staff and a scattering of parents were asked to stay seated. There was one more recognition in store.

    “We are making history today,” said Bea Klaich, head coach of Nikolaevsk’s girls varsity basketball team.

    To her left sat a smiling Nianiella Dorvall, a high school senior, surrounded by her family — parents Dan and Luba Dorvall and younger sister Anastacia. 

  • May 10, Kenai Central High School

  • The Mariner boys track and field team pushed into second place at borough championships in Kenai on Saturday, tying with Skyview and with Kenai Central in first place.
    “The boys did awesome,” said Mariner Head Coach Bill Steyer. “They collectively ran from the heart and ran extremely well. They’ve been improving all year and pulled it all together.”
    The Homer girls claimed third place, with Soldotna in first and Kenai Central in second. Steyer took advantage of the meet to focus on his training strategy.

  • In a game against the SoHi stars on Saturday, the Mariners scored a 9-7 win, their first for the season.
    “I was impressed with how our team responded early in the game, chipping away at Soldotna’s five-run lead,” said Mariner Head Coach Mark Putney. “We didn’t give up, and  this made our comeback, in the last inning, possible.”


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