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

  • By McKibben Jackinsky

    Staff writer

    With the End of the Road Shootout behind them, the Mariner Co-Op Hockey Team, comprised of high school athletes from Homer, Flex, Kachemak Selo and Voznesenka, heads north for three days of play:

    Today: Palmer;

    Friday: Colony;

    Saturday: Wasilla.

  • By McKibben Jackinsky

    Staff writer

    With the End of the Road Shootout behind them, the Mariner Co-Op Hockey Team, comprised of high school athletes from Homer, Flex, Kachemak Selo and Voznesenka, heads north for three days of play:

    Today: Palmer;

    Friday: Colony;

    Saturday: Wasilla.

  • Following the Homer Invitational, a Homer Mariner Nordic ski team event at Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain, the public is invited to participate in a 3K community ski at 3 p.m. Dec. 6. A suggested $10 donation directly supports the HHS Nordic ski team program. For more information or to volunteer at the meet, call 299-1888.

  • The Kachemak Swim Club Kings outswam Soldotna to win the Turkey Time Invitational 504 to 408 points during Friday-Saturday competition at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center. Third place was secured by the Peninsula Piranhas with 149 points. The Anchorage YMCA also participated.

    Meet highlights include the following:

    Competing in their first swim meet: Jai Badajos, Olivia Etzwiler, Kera Jones, Mattie Moyer, Jerrin Norcross;

  • Battling some of the fiercest competition in the state is just what the Mariners have been thriving on all season. The Lancer Smith Memorial wrestling tournament held Friday and Saturday in Palmer was loaded with multiple state champs and placers from each division, lived up to its reputation as the “toughest tournament” in Alaska.

    With 18 schools competing in the 123A competition, Homer placed seventh with 36.0 and Voznesenka was 16th with 6.0. Kotzebue placed first with 203.0 and Nikiski was second with 97.5.


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