Anchorage — With two big weekends of racing coming up, Cook Inlet Conference skiers kicked up their heels -- and performed 360-degree turns, faceplants and an assortment of other tricks -- in a coed relay race Saturday at East High.
The classic-technique race consisted of four legs of 6.2 kilometers; each team consisted of two boys and two girls. An optional obstacle was in place at the end of the race for skiers to jump off, hence the spins and kicks and falls.
The mood was casual -- many skiers wore costumes, and at the awards ceremony they competed in a poetry/rap contest that was dominated by the Dimond Lynx.
In the actual race, South ruled, grabbing first place and third place. Eric Backstrum, Janey Hoefler, Seiji Takagi and Marion Woods teamed up on the winning team for the Wolverines.
Things turn serious next weekend when the CIC championships are held Friday and Saturday at Kincaid Park. The state championships are the week after that.
4x6.2-kilometer classic-technique relay
A team results
1) South 1:18:20.6 (Eric Backstrum, Janey Hoefler, Seiji Takagi, Marion Woods); 2) East 1:20:11.4 (John Farr, Ana Jager, Thomas O'Harra, Morgan Flynn); 3) South 1:20:11.4 (Tanner Ramey, Teagan Yutrenka, Troy Walters, Tsaina Mahlen); 4) Chugiak 1:21:11.4 (Alex Loan, Sam Harkte, David McPhetres, Sarissa Lammers); 5) West 1:21:48.3 (Henry Loeffler, Aimee Ritter, Jacob Volz, Lydia Blanchet); 6) Service 1:26:17.9 (Jack Parke, Ann Spencer, Riley Howard, Taryn Hunt-Smith); 7) South 1:27:29.7 (Bryant Brewster, Irene Bembenek, Adam Fletcher, Annika Flynn); 8) Service 1:28:29.5 (Jake Bassett, Hannah Xavier, Garth Schulz, Mykaela McMullen); 9) East 1:28:30.0 (Max Robicheaux, Max 20:00.6, Grace Graham, Skyler Frank, MacKenzie Flynn); 10) West (Paul Butera, Emily Decker, Riley Bickford, Maddie Miller); 11) Eagle River 1:31:57.2 (Will Timmons, Summer Frazier, Sum Alec Smith, Hannah Stevens); 12) West 1:32:01.7 (Eli Shayer, Carlie Gellert, Will Mans, Frances Larsen); 13) Chugiak 1:33:05.0 (Roan Hall, Kate Arthen, Tim Sorensen, Shannon Casey); 14) East 1:33:39.6 (James Kari, Megan Fink, Byron Kim, Allison Abo); 15) Service 1:34:15.4 (Matthew Muffoletto, Rachel Zafren, Conner Truskowski, Alex Okeson); 16) Chugiak 1:37:19.4 (Nathan Dennis, Annie Connelly, Michael Teepoles, Kennedy Kruchoski); 17) Dimond 1:38:13.0 (Luke Cuancara, Kinsey Denton, Matthew Falconer, Madelyne Bee).
Snelders, Johnson tops in Mat-Su
John Snelders of Valdez and Kiersten Johnson of Palmer skied to championships Saturday in the Mat-Su Borough cross-country ski championships at the Hatcher Pass Government Peak ski area.
Snelders beat Lyon Kopsack of Colony by 8.2 seconds in the boys 10-kilometer freestyle race. Johnson forged a 42.8-second win over Greta Jenkins of Colony in the girls 7.5-K race.
Mat-Su Borough Championships
Boys -- 1) Colony 113 minutes, 20 seconds; 2) Valdez 117:09; 3) Palmer 123:15; 4) Wasilla 136:19. Girls -- 1) Colony 107:25; 2) Palmer 110:40
Boys 10-K freestyle
1) John Snelders, Valdez, 27:18.0; 2) Lyon Kopsack, Colony, 27:26.2; 3) Darien Sinnett, Colony, 27:42.0; 4) Nick Harrison, Colony. 28:46.2; 5) Kaden Cullen, Valdez, 29:01.8; 6) Leo Jaschek, Colony, 29:26.1; 7) Sergei Wegner, Valdez, 29:35.9; 8) James Lynn, Palmer, 29:39.1; 9) Brandon Schafer, Colony, 30:04.7; 10) Dakota Peterson-Thompson, Colony, 30:05.8; 11) David Banse, Palmer, 30:56.3; 12) Andrew Nelson, Colony, 31:02.6; 13) Tobin Sworts, Palmer, 31:14.1; 14) Jack Scribner, Valdez, 31:15.7; 15) Daniel Dahms, Palmer, 31:26.8.
Girls 7.5-K freestyle
1) Kiersten Johnson, Palmer, 25:30.4; 2) Greta Jenkins, Colony, 26:12.8; 3) Anne Woodings, Palmer, 26:39.7; 4) Stephanie Allen, Valdez, 26:54.8; 5) Tracie Haan, Colony, 26:59.6; 6) Tatjana Spaic, Colony, 27:02.3; 7) Katya Jenkins, Colony, 27:12.0; 8) M.E. Meyerhofer, Colony, 28:26.1; 9) Riley Burroughs, Wasilla, 28:49.8; 10) Danika Ingersoll, Wasilla, 28:52.1; 11) Megan Lasselle, Palmer, 29:12.6; 12) Eva Bingham, Palmer, 29:19.3; 13) Morgen Lundin, Palmer, 29:21.6; 14) Willa Nagel, Colony, 29:47.9; 15) Kathryn Keeney, Valdez, 29:53.2.
Brooks 3rd in FIS race
Anchorage's Holly Brooks captured third place Saturday to help the U.S. Ski Team to a podium sweep in an FIS cross-country ski race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
The race happened on an off weekend for the World Cup, which resumes this week in Davos, Switzerland.
Liz Stephen won the women's 5-kilometer freestyle race in 13 minutes, 45 seconds. Jessie Diggins was 6.1 seconds back in second place and Brooks was 24.5 seconds back.
Ida Sargent of the U.S. placed seventh. Anchorage's Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen did not race.
Dusser back on podium
Freshman Marine Dusser posted another podium finish for the UAA ski team Saturday, racing to third place in the women's 15-kilometer freestyle at the Utah Invitational at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.
The result marked the fifth time this season Dusser has posted a top-3 finish. Colorado's Joanne Reid won in 43 minutes, 15 seconds, with Dusser clocking 43:39.0.
Three Anchorage skiers, all of them racers for Montana State, joined Dusser in the top 10 -- fourth-place Jessica Yeaton (43:44.7), eighth-place Annie Liotta (45:21.6) and Kate Backstrum (45:31.2).
Also scoring points for UAA were freshmen Sarah Freistone (48:23.1) and Cara McCulloch (48:32.6) in 21st and 22nd place, respectively.
In the men's 20-K, freshman Viktor Braennmark led UAA with a seventh-place finish (51:12.4), and Anchorage's Jeremy Teela, skiing for the U.S. Biathlon team, placed ninth (51:24.3). Utah's Miles Havlik won the race in 50:05.5.
Lukas Ebner placed 17th (52:14.5) and Lasse Moelgaard-Nielsen was 24th (53:25.4) for the Seawolves.
The race was the last of eight events -- four nordic, four alpine -- in the Utah Invitatonal, which Colorado won with 904 points. UAA placed sixth with 616.
Also on Saturday, UAA's alpine team competed in the New Mexico Invitational in Red River, N.M.
Senior Kayla Hoog-Fry led the Seawolves by placing 15th in the women's slalom with a time of 1:42.39.. Vanessa Berther was 21st (1:44.40) and Ida Bjerka was 22nd (1:45.02) for UAA. Anna Goodman of Westminster College won with a two-run total of 1 minute, 36.56 seconds
Niko Harmamen was the only man to complete two runs for UAA, finishing 22nd (1:41.50). New Mexico's Joonas Rasanen won in 1:35.03.
The meet concludes with more alpine action Sunday at Red River.