Marion Woods and a couple of young skiers grabbed the spotlight in Besh Cup races last weekend in Soldotna, where 23-year-old Woods swept the women’s race and teens Quincy Donley and Victoria Bassette more than held their own with older skiers on the Tsalteshi Trails.
Woods, a 2017 University of Vermont graduate, won the women’s 5-kilometer classic on Saturday and the women’s freestyle sprint on Sunday.
Donley and Bassette, a pair of U16 skiers, finished second and third in the sprint and fifth and sixth in the 5K, respectively. In both races, they outpaced dozens of older skiers.
Woods and the 15-year-old Donley led a terrific showing for the Alaska Winter Stars, who also boasted the men’s 10K overall winner in Eli Hermanson, a U18 skier.
Hermanson won by a margin of 10 seconds over Alexander Maurer, another U18 skier for the Alaska Winter Stars, and Karl Danielson, a U20 skier from Kenai. Maurer edged Danielson by two-tenths of a second to take second place.
In the women’s 5K, the top six finishers featured skiers from four age-groups. Woods is a senior division skier, second-place Aubrey Leclair of APU is a U20 skier, third-place Anna Hanestad of APU and fourth-place Garvey Tobin of APU are both U18 skiers, and fifth-place Donley and sixth-place Bassette are both U16 skiers. Bassette skis for FXC of Fairbanks.
The top U14 girl in the 5K was Heidi Schumacher of the Alaska Winter Stars. In the boys 5K, U16 skier Josh Baurick of FXC was the overall winner and Murphy Kimball of the Winter Stars was the top U14 skier.
In Saturday’s sprints, victories went to Woods and Ari Endestad of FXC.
The youngsters put on a show in the women’s race, where Donley and Bassette were fast enough in the qualifications to advance to the heats with Woods and other older skiers. They skied their way into the finals, where they finished second and third, respectively.
Endestad beat APU’s Julian Borge for the men’s sprint title.
Next up for Besh Cup skiers is a Feb. 2-3 race series in Fairbanks. Results from those races, coupled with results from the weekend races in Soldotna and a two-day race series last month at Government Peak, will determine Alaska’s teams for the U.S. Junior Championships. Those championships are at Kincaid Park in March.
Sunday’s classic races
Top 5 girls/women
U14 — 1. Heidi Schumacher, AWS, 17:15.20; 2. Sammy Legate, APU, 17:23.51; 3. Piper Sears, APU, 18:29.04; 4. Berit Meyers, AWS, 19:11.62; 5. Krista Fern Leclair, APU, 19:14.90.
U16 — 1. Quincy Donley, AWS, 15:00.50; 2. Victoria Bassette, FXC, 15:02.03; 3. Meredith Schwartz, AWS, 15:26.90; 4. Neena Brubaker, AWS, 16:00.10; 5. Katey Houser, ANR, 16:12.90.
U18 — 1. Annika Hanestad, APU, 14:51.66; 2. Garvey Tobin, APU, 14:57.20; 3. Annie Gonzales, APU, 15:05.76; 4. Ivy Eski, APU, 15:06.02; 5. Tjarn Bross, FXC, 15:31.93.
U20 — 1. Aubrey Leclair, APU, 14:45.66; 2. Ellie Mitchell, APU, 15:38.87; 3. Emma Jerome, FXC, 16:07.93; 4. Adeline Wright, APU, 16:36.67; 5. Ariana O’Harra, APU, 17:45.59.
Senior — 1. Marion Woods, AWS, 14:34.70.
Top 5 boys/men
U14 — 1. Murphy Kimball, AWS, 15:45.26; 2. Skyler Amy, AWS, 15:56.82; 3. Aven Elsberg, APU, 16:56.98; 4. Elias Engman, FXC, 16:59.58; 5. Paul Hlasny, AWS, 17:11.25.
U16 — 1. Josh Baurick, FXC, 13:29.08; 2. Aaron Maves, APU, 13:40.01; 3. Porter Blei, ANR, 13:47.61; 4. Eli Merrill, FXC, 14:00.91; 5. Konrad Renner, ANR, 14:10.97.
U18 — 1. Eli Hermanson, AWS, 27:33.31; 2. Alexander Maurer, AWS, 27:43.22; 3. Joel Power, AWS, 27:49.75; 4. Everett Cason, APU, 28:08.74; 5. Dale Baurick, FXC, 28:23; 20, Bradley Walters, ANR, 31:40.16.
U20 — 1. Karl Danielson 27:43.43; 2. Ari Endestad, FXC, 28:06.87; 3. Kai Meyers, APU, 28:24.65; 4. Josiah Alverts 28:49.12; 5. Patrick Marbacher 29:10.53; 9. Jeremy Kupferschmid, ANR, 30:12.50.
Seniors — 1. Julian Bordes, APU, 28:11.75; 2. Adam Loomis, Team AK Ski Jumping, 30:52.45; 3. Matthew Muffoletto 33:45.10; 4. Maksim Mayer 34:21.45.
Saturday’s freestyle sprint
U18 and over — 1. Marion Woods, AWS; 2. Quincy Donley, AWS; 3. Victoria Bassette, FXC; 4. Annie Gonzales, APU; 5. Garvey Tobin, APU; 6. Annika Hanestad, APU.
U16 — Lillian Rose Whittington, Palmer; 2. Hjella Persons, FXC; 3. Maura Black, AWS; 4. Lucy Young, South High; 5. Sophia Cvancara, Dimond; 6. Teslin Thomas, AWS.
U14 — 1. Sammy Legate, APU; 2. Heidi Schumacher AWS; 3. Berit Meyers, AWS; 4. Meredith Duhrsen, AWS; 5. Anna Bell, APU; 6. Nora Hulse, AWS.
U18 and over — 1. Ari Endestad, FXC; 2. Julian Bordes, APU; 3. Patrick Marbacher; 4. Eli Hermanson, AWS; 5. Miles Dennis, ANR; 6. Karl Danielson.
U16 — 1. Konrad Renner, ANR; 2. Aaron Power, AWS; 3. Eli Merrill, FXC; 4. Rowan Morse, APU; 5. Josh Baurick, FXC; 6. Caleb Petersen, FXC.
U14 — 1. Skyler Amy, AWS; 2. Paul Hiasny, AWS; 3. Murphy Kimball, AWS; 4. Elias Engman, FXC; 5. Peter John Bragonier, FXC; 6. Ryan Maves, APU.