A blanket of fresh snow Friday may have made for challenging driving and added shoveling, but it couldn’t have been more welcome at the Beach Lake Trails in Chugiak, where the snow fell just in time for Chugiak Stampede, the first high school Nordic ski race of 2017.
Indeed, it felt like real winter again at the trails off Birchwood Loop as a brisk wind blew the fresh snow off the trees. The wind was powerful enough to flip Chugiak’s wax tent, making that particular chore a bit more complicated for the day.
As Heidi Booher’s day finished with a second-place finish in the sprint finals at Saturday afternoon’s Service Snowball races, she had two words for her handlers, “Clothe me!” she exclaimed, as she hurried to add layers to her ski suit. She then promptly skied off through the stadium tunnel to warm up following a very cold day of skiing.
There was suffering aplenty as 10-degree temperatures and a healthy breeze from the north combined to make a frosty opener to the prep ski season.
Cinderella’s slippers helped her find a handsome prince to marry. Another is to project a sense of personal style. Yet another is metaphorical, such as walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, an idea that promotes empathetic feelings.
In that regard, several students of Eagle River Elementary, along with Eagle River High School art students, are set to begin participating in a unique effort that combines philanthropy and art, the result of which will produce some 74 area children with artfully decorated shoes.
Winless on the season in four attempts, the Chugiak-Eagle River girls hockey team faced one additional hurdle Monday night: Their one and only netminder came down with the flu, and was unavailable for duty.
To another set of hockey players, this might be cause for alarm and/or depression. But Coach Ryan Suchan looked around the room, and found a volunteer in Annika Sullivan, who was willing to give it a go.
Eagle River triumphed 44-30 over the Mustangs before heading to the Interior for a tournament over the weekend. Both Eagle River and Chugiak will be in action in Palmer this Friday and Saturday at the Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament.
Eagle River riflery team member Maddie Bidinger took a slow and steady approach to her shooting in Friday’s match with Chugiak. Though comfortably within the time limits for both the standing and kneeling positions, she was one of the last shooter on the line for both disciplines. Her approach paid off; she finished in fifth place for the match, trailing only leaders and teammates Haley Nicholson and Ashtin Bennett.
Led by several great runs by quarterback Chastity Selden, Chugiak defeated Dimond 12-6 in the flag football Cook Inlet Conference semifinals on Thursday. Carson Head and Eva Palmer each had touchdown receptions and Head also made a key interception. Dimond suffered two dropped passes in the end zone, one with only seconds left in the game. Chugiak will play Saturday afternoon in the state final against Anchorage West High.
If you just can’t get wait for dog mushing in the winter, you ought to check out the action at the Birchwood Trails, where the dryland mushing racing season just concluded with the Speedy Glass Dog Derby last weekend.
Now in its third year, the four-race dryland season run by the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association attracted a couple dozen passionate mushers and enthusiasts competing in events over the final weekend of the year that involved bicycles, scooters, carts and feet and dog teams in numbers from one to four.