Cross Country Alaska held its second weekend of Besh Cup racing on Jan 22 & 23 in Soldotna, Alaska on the Tsalteshi Trail system. The Besh Cup series is used to determine the Alaska Junior National team.
On Saturday the racers did a classic sprint. All the racers did a 1K preliminary race in the moring and then the top racers went head-to-head in the afternoon heats. There were action-packed heats in the J4, J3, J2, and Masters (M3+) classes, while the J1, OJ, Senior, M1 & M2 racers all went together in the 'open' class.
In the men's open race, the juniors displayed some impressive sprinting speed. They hung right with the seniors, placing two in the final. But they couldn't quite catch UAF's Bart Dengel, who used a powerful double-pole to take the win, ahead of Mike Hinkley (Alaska WInterStars), Andy Hunter (APU), and and Nate Berry (Chugiak).
The women's final was an all-APU affair, as Erin Quinn-Hurst took the win ahead of teammates Aelin Peterson, Elizabeth Quinley and Tazlina Mannix.
On Sunday the racers switched to a distance skate race. For the women, it was the same story, different order. The APU skiers swept the top 4. This time Peterson was the winner, followed by Mannix, Quinley and Quinn-Hurst.
In the men's race, the veteran's showed their experience, as Andy Hunter won by over a minute, with APU teammate Colin Quinn-Hurst in second and Adam Verrier in third.
The Besh Cup series will conclude next weekend with races in Salcha and Fairbanks, Alaska. Those races will be followed by the naming of the 2005 Alaska Junior National team.
Full results and points: http://www.crosscountryalaska.org