Skiers sprint into Nordic season

Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 05:27
  • Chugiak’s Konrad Renner leads Service’s David Spencer around a corner during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Elizabeth Ruehle rounds a corner during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • The 2017 Service Snowball Nordic ski races were dedicated to former Service coach Randy Bergt, who died in a November avalanche while backcountry skiing in Hatcher Pass. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Helen Wilson descends a hill during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. Wilson was the top local finisher in second place behind West’s Molly Gellert. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt heads down a hill during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Ryan Winborn, left, and Eagle River’s Logan Platz race to the finish during a preliminary heat of the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Ryan Winborn, left, and Eagle River’s Logan Platz shake hands after finishing a preliminary heat at the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River’s Christian Baldridge nears the finish line at the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Hannah Cryder races toward the finish line during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Michael Earnhart races to the finish line during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak’s Heidi Booher powers up a hill during the Service Snowball Nordic ski races on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Eagle River’s Helen Wilson finished second to West’s Molly Gellert in the season-opening Service Snowball Sprint high school Nordic ski races Saturday at Kincaid Park.

Wilson was the third-fastest girls’ skier in qualifying before moving up a spot in the finals. C0lony’s Annika Hanestad was third.

Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt finished sixth, Heidi Booher was eighth and Emma Nelson finished 13th. Eagle River’s only other finalist, Emily Walsh, finished 26th.

Conditions were nearly ideal around the stadium at Kincaid, where temperatures were in the mid-20s. The race was dedicated to former Service coach and well-known local skier Randy Bergt, who died in an avalanche last month in Hatcher Pass while backcountry skiing.

Hundreds of skiers from 10 different schools participated in the freestyle sprint event, which sent skiers on a 2.5-kilometer loop in the preliminary round and a shorter sprint loop around the stadium for the top 30 finalists.

Service’s Gus Schumacher won the boys final over teammate Eli Hermanson and Dimond’s George Cvancara. Max Beiergrohslein finished fifth in the boys race to lead six Chugiak boys in the finals. Miles Dennis was eighth for the Mustangs, followed by Micahel Earnhart in ninth, Torsten Renner (12th), Konrad Renner (22th), and Michael Connelly (23th). Nick Carl, Eagle River’s lone boys finalist, finished 13th.

Prep skiers are in action again next weekend at the two-day Lynx Loppett races at Kincaid Park. The event includes a 5-kilometer interval start classic race on Friday, Dec. 8 starting at noon and a 5-kilometer freestyle pursuit on Saturday, Dec. 9 starting at 11 a.m.

Service Snowball Sprints

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017

Finals

Boys — 1) Gus Schumacher, Service; 2) Eli Hermanson, Service; 3) George Cvancara, Dimond; 4) Maxime German, West; 5) Max Beiergrohslein, Chugiak; 6) Kai Meyers, South; 7) Miles Dennis, Chugiak; 8) Michael Earnhart, Chugiak; 9) Bryce Pinter, Dimond; 10) Everett Cason, West; 11) Torsten Renner, Chugiak; 12) Luke Fritzel, Grace Christian; 13) Nick Carl, Eagle River; 14) Joel Power, Service; 15) Sean Clapp, South. Other Chugiak-Eagle River: 22) Konrad Renner, Chugiak; 23) Michael Connelly, Chugiak

Girls — 1) Molly Gellert, West; 2) Helen Wilson, Eagle River; 3) Annika Hanestad, Colony; 4) Quincy Donley, West; 5) Aubrey LeClair, West; 6) Adrianna Proffitt, Chugiak; 7) Grace Gilliland, South; 8) Heidi Booher, Chugiak; 9) Ivy Eski, West; 10) Garvee Tobin, Service; 11) Avery Mozen, West; 12) Maja Lapkass, West; 13) Emma Nelson, Chugiak; 14) Caitlin Gohr, Service; 15) Hannah Armbrust, South. Other Chugiak-Eagle River: 26) Emily Walsh, Eagle River

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