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Wild Rumpus Sports

Flaharty and Korthauer Win Besh Cup #6

Tyson Flaharty (FAST) made it two for two with a victory at the wire, and the Alaska Nanooks Aurelia Korthauer led from wire to wire to win in the final race of the Besh Cup series at Birch Hill. Following the race, Cross Country Alaska announced the teams selected for the 2010 Junior Olympics in Presque Isle, Maine and the 2010 Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

The weather on Sunday was a bit cooler than on Saturday — in the single digits above zero, rather than in the high teens to mid-20’s. However, the temperatures were perfect for rock-hard tracks and bomb-proof kick, a critical need if skiers wanted to get a good result on the very challenging courses which included some steep hills which tested the best skiers ability to run straight up and avoid herringboning.

The combination of the great conditions, challenging and well-prepared courses, and excellent race organization drew rave reviews from the competitors and the visiting coaches and parents. Hats off to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks race crew for another great production. It wouldn’t happen without the great, knowledgeable, skilled, experienced and energetic volunteers.

The start of the women's 10km.

The start of the women's 10km.

In the women’s 10Km, Aurelia Korthauer celebrated her birthday by taking the lead from the gun. For the first couple of kilometers her teammate Teresia “Te-Te” Schnurr and ANR’s Kinsey Loan kept pace, but by the time the skiers returned to the stadium at the end of the first lap, just before the 4Km mark, Korthauer had a huge lead that would only grow for the rest of the race. Both Schnurr and Loan would pay for their attempt to stay with Korthauer, as they faded to eighth and twelfth, respectively.

Meanwhile, many of the out-of-town Junior 1 and Older Junior high schoolers went out overly ambitiously, and were reeled in and then dropped by the UAF skiers who train regularly on the Birch Hill trails, as well as by local skier Hannah Boyer (FXC/WVHS). Pacing was crucial, and skiers who waited until finishing the climb out of the Black Funk loop to put down the hammer did well. Anna Coulter, who was just back of the three leaders early was the runner-up, Boyer moved up to third, Alaska Nanook Elisabeth Angeles ended sixth, and UAF redshirt skiers Heather Edic and Rebecca Konieczny placed ninth and tenth, just behind Schnurr, giving UAF six of the first 10 positions. Korthauer’s winning margin was 1:48.

The start of the men's 10km.

The start of the men's 10km.

The men’s 10Km followed a very different pattern, with a lead pack forming early, and the outcome of the battler for first in doubt until the final meters. Initially FAST’s Tyson Flaharty, David Norris and Logan Hanneman joined up with APU coach Dylan Watts to form the lead pack, with ALaska Nanook Tyler Kornfield close behind. However, by the time they had finished climbing out of the Black Funk and ascending the Ramp, it was a duel between Flaharty and Watts, who traded the lead for much of the rest of the race. Norris, just back from Junior World Championships in Hinterzarten, Germany, was relatively comfortable in third, but Nick Treinen (AWS), who hitched a ride with Norris on Saturday, reeled in Logan Hanneman to make a very tight race for fifth place.
Meanwhile, Kornfield, who had great success on these trails at the 2009 ASAA State High School Championships, looked like he was showing the effects of racing and traveling the the Junior World Championships, was slowly fading backward, and finished eighth.

Finish of the men's race.

Finish of the men's race.

Flaharty and Watts came down the finish lane side-by-side and Flaharty had the extra gas at the end, taking a close, but clear victory. Norris was third, and Hanneman, after getting caught by Treinen, was able to pull away at the end and snag fourth.

The other notable local result was by Pat Nugent (FXC/LHS)who needed a good result to make the JO team. Nugent appeared to be struggling at times, but worked his way up to a position that would assure him a spot on the team, and put on a hard sprint at the finish to hold his finish rank.

In the J2 Boys’ 5Km race, Lathrop HS’ Kyle Hanson cemented his position on the JO team with a third-place finish, one of his best results of the season. John Glen and Austin Hess (both AWS) placed 1-2. Among local skiers, Erich Hoefler (FAST) and Riley Troyer (WVHS) placed 5-6, and Kuba Grzeda was 10th.

Anchorage area skiers dominated the J2 Girls’ 5Km, with Marion Woods (AWS), Celia Haering and Mackenzie Flynn (both APU) taking the podium positions. Mikayla Hamlin (FXC) was the top Fairbanks skier in 10th.

Other class winners were:
J3’s – Lydia Blanchet and Jacob Bassett (APUNSC)
J4’s – Jenna DiFolco (JNC/NSCF) and Tracen Knopp (ANR)
J5’s – Amber Hajdukovich (JNC/NSCF) and Gus Schumacher (AWS)
J6’s – Halene Johnson (Weller) and Rudy Schumacher (AWS)

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