Davya Flaharty and Logan Hanneman were the winners in the Flint Hill Resources Town Race Series #1 – the Fairbanks Youth Sports Season Opener, at Birch Hill Recreation Area on Saturday.
Davya Flaharty, former standout for West Valley HS and UA Anchorage, led a group of 67 women across the line under cold, but sunny, conditions at Birch Hill. Although the snow should have been slow at the -18F to -20F temperatures, skating ruled the day, with only a few classic skiers breaking into the top ranks of the women and none in the top group on the men’s side.
Flaharty led from the gun and was never challenged. Her time of 17:56.7 for the 5Km course was well over a minute clear of Kimberly DelFrate (Palmer) who was just 9.9 seconds ahead of her sister Amanda after the two battled back and forth over much of the course.
Fourth overall and third in the high school race was West Valley’s Hannah Boyer, 46 seconds behind the second DelFrate. Behind Boyer were three west Valley teammates: Ema Mayo, Sara Jackson (using classic technique) and Eliza Rorabaugh.
Lathrop’s Megan Edic, NSCF’s Heather Best, and Lathrop’s Mikayla Hamlin rounded out the top 10.
West Valley won the team battle among women’s teams, with a total time (top four skiers) of 1:21:53.7, a margin of 4:38.0 over runner-up Palmer. Lathrop was third, 49 seconds behind Palmer, and Colony was fourth more than 13 minutes behind Lathrop.
Logan Hanneman of Lathrop won the men’s 7Km by 1:15 over Marius Korthauer, former NCAA Champion for UAF. Palmer’s Davis Dunlap was third, 17 seconds behind Korthauer and 9 seconds in front of NSCF’s Mike Kramer. After the relay loop Hanneman was in a group of four that included Korthauer, Galen Johnston and Samuli Harju. Hanneman pulled away on the Tower Loop uphills and had a big lead by the time he made it back to the top of the Ramp. Korthauer held onto second, but Johnston and Harju worked their way backward through the pack, although both finished in the top 10.
Behind Kramer were several high school skiers: Vanya Rybkin (WV), Samuli Harju (colony), Dunedin Strickland (Palmer), Schyler Knopp (Colony). Palmer assistant coach Galen Johnston was 9th and NSCF’s Max Kaufman 10th.
Lathrop handily won the team trophy with a combined time of 1:36:02.4, 4:24.3 ahead of West Valley. Palmer and Colony were third and fourth, 25 and 33 seconds behind west Valley, respectively. Wasilla was fifth among the schools.
Junior women-Sarah King; 20-29 women-Davya Flaharty; 30-39 women-Heather Best; 50-59 women-Colony HS coach Sue Skvorc; JV girls 2Km-Charlotte Stark.
Junior men-David Durst; 20-29 men-Korthauer; 30-39 men-Kaufman; 40-49 men-Kramer; 50-59 men-Bob Baker.
Temperatures varied during the morning from -17.5F to -21.5F before “warming up” a little bit before noon. During the race, the temperatures were right around -19F. There were very few, if any, instances of frost nip visible at the finish line, and no deaths from the cold.
The planned USSA National Ranking List points race, set to have run concurrently with the Town Race, did not take place, as the minimum “legal” temperature of -4F was not reached. The second USSA National Rankng List points race, scheduled for Sunday morning, will still be held, providing that the temperature reaches -4F/-20C. That race, an interval start classic technique event, is scheduled to get underway at 10:30PM. If possible, a decision on whether to hold the race or not will be made by 9:00AM.
For more information, go to www.nscfairbanks.org. All results from today’s race will be available at that same website by clicking on “Race Info.”
Next Friday, the 27th, is the 44th Annual Turkey Day Relays, sponsored by Beaver Sports. Entry forms are available at Beaver Sports, Raven Cross Country and at the Birch Hill Cross Country Ski center. The last day available to get the early entry fee is Monday, the 23rd.