Service High School sweeps XC Skiathlon

Service’s Alexander Maurer and West’s Quincy Donley won individual races
Skiathlon(Austin Sjong)
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 4:10 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It was a beautiful Saturday for skiing with light powdery snow falling as the competitors took the Skiathlon head-on. The race started out with a 5K Classic style race then the racers transitioned into a 5K skate and from what I heard, many of the finishers said it was a tough day.

“Some of those downhills on the Lekisch Loop are super steep and have super sharp turns so it was kind of tricky going around those and I definitely had to stand up and kind of track my speed,” West High School’s Quincy Donley said.

COVID-19 precautions were put in place everywhere you looked at the Kincaid Stadium. Spectators were limited, masks were required for everyone except skiers during the race, interval start times to avoid skiers bunching up, and a separate team area for waxing and preparing.

The interval start was something new to the race that would otherwise be a mass start type. Some skiers like being able to focus on their own race without the distraction of others around them. Where others need to see the person in front of them or the racer behind them to push them to keep going.

The Skiathlon was a challenge that left many skiers on their hands and knees when they finally crossed the finish line, but after the exhaustion wore off the competitors were just happy to be on the trails.

“I think we are really lucky to be able to race this season because of COVID-19 and everything,” Donely said, “but I think that NSAA and ASD have been able to put on really safe races with all of the COVID precautions.”

As far as the overall race results the Service High Cougars took home first in both the Boys and the Girls divisions. Cougar Alexander Maurer clawed his way to the top of the Boys individual leader board and West Anchorage’s Quincy Donley flew to the top of the girls leader board.

The next time we will get to see High School Cross Country Skiing action in the Anchorage area will be on February 6.

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