Report submitted by Benjamin Bagonier:
A handful of FXC comp skiers went out on the Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot course on the final Sunday of the event. Some athletes threw themselves at the work while others were happy to take a lighter-duty approach to the end of race season.
Elias Engman, Nelson Hays, Ian Tragis, and PJ Bragonier put on their game faces and raced the course. They reported a glaring mismatch between their prior evening’s waxing for warm temperatures and the race-day snow thermometer needle pegged at -13 C.
In stark contrast to the aforementioned racers, Eli Merrill started his race by double-polling backwards and then performed a signature 180 once he was up to speed. Caleb Peterson sported mismatched boots and rode on his “game” skis — most likely in regular use when he was under the tutelage of Coach Pam in Jr. Nordics. Zarah Laker-Morris was kind enough to slow things down and chaperone her male high school peers around the course. (It’s so sad when they get off course.) As with other FXCers, Josh Baurick has distinguished himself many times this ski season, but the low-key Kkaazoot inspired a mellow pace where fun in the sun was his order of business.
Riley Whisler was the only known FXCer to select the 30 KM course. The fleets of 50-somethings and 60-somethings out on the longer courses appreciated that Riley feigned being visibly taxed as she skied by them. There’s no doubt in this writer’s mind that she could have manageably tacked on a subsequent 50 KM — you know, in an effort to finally work up a sweat.
Last, FXC Coach Asne graced the 10 KM course. We all know that she could have broken thirty-minutes, but then again, she might have risked forfeiting her infectious ear-to-ear smile.
U16 GIRLS – 10 KM
Zarah Laker-Morris (skate) 45:44
U18 GIRLS – 30 KM
Riley Wisler (classic) 3:01:28
U16 BOYS – 10 KM
PJ Bragonier (skate) 31:27
Elias Engman (skate) 32:01
Nelson Hays (skate) 34:20
Ian Tragis (skate) 35:20
U18 BOYS – 10 KM
Caleb Petersen (skate) 45:42
Josh Baurick (classic) 45:44
Eli Merrill (classic) 45:45
FXC COACHES – 10 KM
Åsne Honerød Hoveid (classic) 41:22
The Sonot blogger thanks Ben for the interesting and thorough report on the FXC participation in the 2021 Virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot. I’m recommending you to Bad Bob to supply future reports.