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 Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center was packed with athletes, coaches and fans representing a total of 11 different schools for the Homer Invitational last week. The pool’s blue water was churned into froth, while shouted cheers and applause kept the 232 competitors pushing for excellence.
    The Kodiak girls and boys teams each took first place, giving them a combined first-place team score of 232. The Mariner girls tied with Seward for seventh place and the boys placed fourth. The resulting combined team score put Homer High in seventh place with a score of 31.

  • In two days of back-to-back play, the Homer High Mariners varsity volleyball team won three matches against Seward on Friday. On Saturday, they were back on the court, taking Anchorage Christian School in three out of four sets.

    Scores in the Friday games were 25-16, 25-14 and 25-13, Homer’s favor.

    “Jane Rohr had 12 kills and a 38 percent kill efficiency, meaning she had very few errors,” said Head Coach Beth Trowbridge. “Kyla Pitzman was next in kills with seven.”

  • A high school dive meet in Kenai on Friday was a bit unbalanced with only one Kenai diver and five Homer divers. Still, it was a good opportunity to test the water — or the board — so to speak.

    “There was only one other girl (from Kenai) that dove in the meet besides us,” said Mariner Head Coach Harmon Hall.

  • Eight schools, 115 runners and a bright sun and blue sky overhead. A great combination for the Homer Invitational on Friday, a cross-country meet with boys and girls varsity and junior varsity competitions.

    Homer Mariner girls and SoHi Star boys took first place in team points. In second place, the results flipped with Homer boys and SoHi girls in second.

    “They did good, really good,” said Head Coach Bill Steyer of the Mariners’ performance.

  • By McKibben Jackinsky

    Staff writer

    After a 1 a.m. departure Saturday morning, followed by a nine-hour ferry ride to Kodiak and a welcome to Alaska’s emerald island that consisted of chilly sheets of sideways-moving rain, the Homer Mariner football team took on the Kodiak Bears on Saturday.

    The Bears managed a 22-20 win. That placed Kodiak 1-0 in Northern Lights Conference play, and Homer at 0-1 in the league and 0-2 overall.


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