Cross-country ski season set to begin


Photo courtesy Connie Moos

Galena skier Jacob Moos is shown here at last year’s Arctic Winter Games. He’s one of the returning skiers on this year’s cross-country ski team.

By SARAH BROWN, staff writer

Galena high school and junior high students will be able to start skiing starting at the end of the month.

The date that Galena cross-country ski team will start is still up in the air with January 26 as the latest and January 21 as the earliest. The cross-country ski athletes compete in biathlon, relay races, and individual races.

Since ski season is around the same time as basketball and swimming, coach John
Korta is still not positive about returning skiers, but he hopes that last seasons top athletes will return, Sarah Brown, Jacob Moos Isaac McElwee, Kiana Korta, Trenton Ambrose, Carolyn Sam, and others.

“We are just going to have to roll with it,” he said, referring to the interference that other sports have created for some of the team’s top athletes.

Coach Korta plans to take the team to the Nenana Invitational Ski Event (NISE) on March 21 and Western Interior Ski Association (WISA) on March 28.

“There is also a meet in Minto.”

Coach Korta is looking into other meets since currently the team has only one “tune up meet,” he said, referring to the NISE meet.

He said that having more completions will help the team prepare for WISA.

“We are in a tough spot there are no other programs aside from BSSD,” he said.

The biggest competitors this year will be the Nome Nanooks and Unalakleet Wolf Pack. “Everyone else has pretty small programs.”

The top returning high school skiers this season are myself and Jacob Moos. According to coach Korta, this year there is a potential for the high school girls team to do well. There are also three up-and-coming skiers from the junior high that coach hopes to perform well at all competitions.

This year the biggest completion by far will be WISA because there are four open spots where athletes can qualify for Arctic Winter Games, two spots for boys and two for girls. Arctic winter games will be next year hosted in Greenland. The skiers can take a spot on Team Alaska in four different events. Korta has sent four athletes to the games in the last four years and his son Kaleb Korta has competed twice.

Korta also plans to hold a time trial where the community can come support the skiers at some point during the season.