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Wild Rumpus Sports

Alaska High School Championships

By: Matthew T. Pauli

Trail conditions at Kincaid Park were challenging as the ASAA/First National Bank Alaska state meet weekend approached, February 20-22.  Co-hosted by Dimond High School and the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA), changes to the original race trail selections were made.  However, an opportune snowfall on Tuesday night prior to the first race on Thursday brightened the venue and lifted everyone’s spirits.

Day one featured freestyle interval start races with the girls going 5 km and the boys 7.5 k. The girls race had Sarissa Lammers of Chugiak High School skating to a 22 second victory over Sadie Fox of Soldotna High School, winning with a time of 14:43.0.  Anna Darnell of South Anchorage rounded out the top three, another 15 seconds behind Fox.

Max Donaldson of West Valley High School in Fairbanks picked up where he left off last year and pounded out a 15 second win over Seiji Takagi of South Anchorage.  Thomas O’Harra rounded out the podium another 28 seconds back of Takagi.  The next day’s mass start classic races would determine the 2014 high school skimeisters.  The way Lammers and Donaldson were skiing, they were going to be hard to overtake.

The boys were going 10 km and Donaldson did not disappoint.  While Jake Bassett of Service High School took the overall classic win with a dominant performance, Donaldson, finishing second, increased his skimeister lead over both Takagi and O’Harra.  Takagi finished just off the podium in fourth while O’Harra repeated his third place performance of the day prior.  In the end, Donaldson defended his skimeister crown from 2013.  Takagi was vice-skimeister and O’Harra remained in third.

Lammers carried her momentum from day one into the 7.5 km classic event on day two.  She skied the entire race in the lead pack, squeaking by with a photo finish victory over Taryn Hunt-Smith of Service High School.  Fox slipped a spot to third, a solid showing nonetheless.  Lammers was crowned 2014 skimeister with Fox second and Morgan Flynn of East High School skied consistently to a 3rd place overall result.

Another sunny day greeted racers for the Saturday mixed technique relays.  Girls would go 4 X 3 km and boys would go 4 X 5 km in classic, classic, freestyle, freestyle fashion.  The girls race was hotly contested.  In the end, Service grabbed the win over South.  The boys race looked like a runaway affair with Service taking a commanding lead on the first two classic legs.  Both West Valley and South reeled in the Service squad on the first freestyle leg, leg three.  West Valley would continue to put the hammer down and took the 2014 win.  South was runner-up and Service faded to third.

In the race for team champion, 47 seconds separated South Anchorage and West Valley boys:  4:11:42 to 4:12:29.  Nearly three and a half minutes separated the South Anchorage and Service girls:  3:25:41 to 3:29:08.  This was the first team sweep for South Anchorage since 2010.


Boys champions:  South Anchorage

Runners-up:  West Valley


Girls champions:  South Anchorage

Runners-up:  Service


Boys 2A/3A champions:  Grace Christian of Anchorage (5th overall)

Boys 2A/3A champions:  Grace Christian of Anchorage (9th overall)


Link to event videos posted by Grace Christian:

State Relay Boys 2014 from Robert W Arnold on Vimeo.

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