Glorious weather crowns BSC
Skagway kids ski stronger this year

Story and Photos by Dimitra Lavrakas

It was springtime at Log Cabin – perfect weather and ski conditions for the 16th annual Buckwheat Ski Classic. The trail was perfect – good kick in the shade or sun.
For the Skagway kids. Seems all their training paid off. This year, the kids’ races were split into sexes like the adults.
Emily Herbig leapt into first in the Girls 10 and Under 5K race. She whittled her 2001 time from 37:14 to 28:37.9.
Kaitlyn Surdyk came in second with 29:51.2 and in third, Elise Doland, 35:45.3.
Amanda Jensen landed in sixth, 42:04.9 – then in rapid succession, Shelby Surdyk, 42:08.8; Mozelle Anne Nalan, 43:22.4; Anne E. Korsmo, 46:58.5; Kaylie O’Daniel, 49:40.6; Sydney Brown, 52:23.1; and, Elena Saldi, 1:10.33.
Two girls from Whitehorse took the first two spots in the Girls 11-12 5 K race. But Teslyn Korsmo, 31:52.5, came in third, a little over 13 minutes behind the winner. She was followed by Madeleine Nyhagen, 32:08.8 and Kristen Moore, 49:31.8.
The Boys 10 and Under 5K race was dominated by Yukoners, with Skagwayans coming in the sixth, eighth and ninth slots. Jonathan Heynen was less than 10 minutes off the winning time of 19:58.7 with 29:47.4, William Parsons was not far behind with 39:38.4, Devin Fairbanks, 39:51.2. Little Yasha Saldi, who did only one pass, came in to shouts and a personal escort cheering him over the finish line.
There were only three entries in the Boys 11-12 5K. Whitehorse’s Lowell Johnston took first with 18:47.8. Joshua Cotton of Skagway, in his first Buckwheat, glided to second with 30:50.3, and Christopher Burnham, third, 39:28.9.
The Skagway Ski Club, under the direction of Denise Caposey, has practiced relentlessly all winter despite foul weather preventing them from using Log Cabin and Klondike Highway closures.
“They all beat their own records,” said Caposey. “We had a few who excelled in their division.”
With local 10K mens champ Peter Jepsen out after recent knee surgery, his absence lessened the Skagway sweep in this event, but didn’t completely blunt it.
Robert Murphy jumped from fourth place last year to first with a time of 48:47:5. Unlike other years, he didn’t fall or hurl at the finish line.
He was followed closely by Craig Jennison, 51:41:1, then a Juneauite snuck in, followed by three Skagwayans – Denny Boussan in fourth, 53:57:46; Curt Dodd, fifth, 57:46.7; and Mark Saldi, sixth, 57:59.2. Another Juneauite and some Whitehorsers broke the rhythm. The gall!
Ralph Gorichanaz crossed the finish line at eleventh, and Mark Nadeau, shortly afterward in twelfth – although Nadeau would probably have done better if not for his spectacular fall and spin after running the infamous “Korsmo Corkscrew.”
Maybe Murphy has passed the torch.
“I was taking the hill well, but at the bottom, my ski went right into a hole under the snow, and I couldn’t pull it out,” Nadeau said later.
Jeff Mull, 1:31:18.5 was fifteenth; Scott Worley seventeenth, 1:35:14.5; eighteenth, Ted Von Bronkhurst, 1:35:49.5; former Skagway Air pilot Marcel Jolley, twenty-second, 3:18:33.9; Jerrod Davis, twenty-fifth, 3:46:28.6; and, Jesse Naiman, twenty-sixth, 3:48:18.6.
The winning time for the Womens 10 K, 47:29.3, was Kate Moylon of Whitehorse. Skagwayans weighed in later with Nan Saldi in eighth place at 1:02: 41.8; and back-to-back – Julene Fairbank in ninth, Deb Boettcher, tenth.
Vickey Moy, took twelfth; Cynde Adams, fourteenth; Jeffrey Hitt, seventeenth; Candy Maggio, eighteenth; Deborah Hansen, twenty-second; Melissa Nielsen, twenty-third; Dorothy Widner, twenty-fifth; Wendy Anderson, twenty-sixth; Mary McCaffrey, thirty-sixth; former Skagwayan, Cathy Hostetler, thirty-eighth; and, Beth Cline, fortieth.
There were no Skagway racers in either the Women’s or Men’s 50 K races, but a couple Skagwayans pop up in the 25K mens.
Jerry Ross (a ringer from Anchorage and a friend of local Kori Goetz) was fourth with 1:51:51.6. Former Skagway city manager and mayor Skip Elliott came in tenth at 1:48:22.1. Thom Ely of Haines, who owns Sockeye Cycle, took thirteenth with 1:50:35.2. Will Bemben (also a ringer friend of Goetz from Anchorage) came in fifteenth at 1:51:51.6. Usually a runner, Philip Clark came in twenty-sixth at 2:19:08.3; Terry Miller, thirty-third, 2:37:33.9; and, Bruce Weber, thirty-sixth, 3:11:38.7
Will’s sister, Karen Bemben, 1:44:29.1, took second after perennial winner Yukoner Josee Boorman did it in 1:37:35.9. The only real racer from town came in seventeenth – Amber Bethe, 2:31:09.6.
The snowshoers fared well this year with the female Ever Ready bunny from Whitehorse out of the picture, and because there was no longer a coed category.
The winner, Juneauite John Gozelski, snowshoed the 5K trail in 34:14.1. Close on his heels were townies Peter Lucchetti, 37:54.8; Ken Graham, 38:59.7 – both bested their previous times by four to five minutes. Perennial stalwart Bill Sell clocked in at 1:01:45.4 for fourth, with Steve Parsons close behind at 1:07:14.6. James Copper made it in 2:52:35.6 for the Red Lantern.
The women’s snowshoe saw Cathy Deacon of Whitehorse best her 2001 time by seven minutes at 40:50.9. She was in second place last year. The other two racers were Rose Perotto, 52:54 and Judy Sanchez, 2:52:36.6.
Out of the 220 racers registered, 70 were from Skagway. This year’s race drew skiers from Petersburg, Vancouver, the Yukon, Seattle, Juneau, and Calgary.
Back at the Eagles Hall, towards the end of the banquet, the servers ran out of bread bowls. People said race organizerds always do a great job with the food. There was about 250 desserts pies and cakes – all gone by the end of the evening.
Donahue presented Wendy Anderson with the Des Duncan Award, which is presented to the one person involved with the race who personifies the spirit of Duncan. He was an early supporter who died of a heart attack while racing the Buckwheat.
Anderson has worked on the race for eight years, the last four as the Skagway manager. Donahue praised Anderson’s hard work and dedication, saying the race wouldn’t have continued for as many years if not for her.
There may be some changes in the race next year depending on the funding and volunteers. Some longtime, big supporters are pulling out next year and others are having economic problems.
Every year, it’s a big secret who will be the new Miss Buckwheat. This year with two new babies in town there was much speculation.
With seven former Miss Buckwheats in attendance, perched perilously on the awards table, Donahue announced that Abigail Dodd, 17 months, was the new Miss Buckwheat.
“We’re really tickled that Abby got to be Miss Buckwheat,” said Leslie Dodd. “Abby was very honored.”


Men’s 50K
Stephen Waterreus Whitehorse 2:43:53.2
Guy Thibodeau Juneau 2:56:16.7
Greg Brown Whitehorse 2:57:34.4
Marcus Waterreus Whitehorse 3:01:03.9
Bill Slater Whitehorse 3:03:38.3
Dan Fremgen Auke Bay 3:06:53.4
Bart Watson Juneau 3:12:34.4
Jonathan Kerr Whitehorse 3:23:54.2
Rolfe Watson Seattle 3:24:23.3
Steve Sheffield Whitehorse 3:42:02.3
Chip Lende Haines 3:42:28.6
Sandy Johnston Whitehorse 3:52:14.9
Grant MacDonald Whitehorse 4:13:09.9
Andre Sirieix Whitehorse DNF
Jeffrey Morehouse Juneau DNF

Women’s 50K
Lois Johnston Whitehorse 3:22:16.5
Duchane Richard Whitehorse 3:30:21.5
Andrea Rodgers Whitehorse 3:35:25.9
Jill Paugman Whitehorse 3:54:25.9
Lauren Crooks Whitehorse 4:00:21.1
Rosanna White Whitehorse 4:00:38.5
Darnel Coote Whitehorse 4:18:08.4
Judy Hartling Whitehorse 4:18:09.9

Men’s 25K
Bob Boorman Whitehorse 1:25:40
Marc Champagne Whitehorse 1:31:39.4
Greg Fekete Whitehorse 1:36:38.9
Jerry Ross Skagway 1:37:55.3
Chris Milner Whitehorse 1:40:01
Geoff Skinner Whitehorse 1:40:01.2
Tom Ullyett Whitehorse 1:41:36.6
David Milne Whitehorse 1:44:51.9
Paul Michael Whitehorse 1:46:28.9
Skip Elliott Juneau 1:48:22.1
Kirk Potter Marsh Lake 1:49:53.5
Dave Mockford Whitehorse 1:50:02.5
Thom Ely Haines 1:50:35.2
Jason Howden Whitehorse 1:50:57.4
Will Bember Skagway 1:51:51.6
Michael Barton Whitehorse 1:55:37.6
Pete Etherton Whitehorse 1:56:03.9
Grant Redfern Whitehorse 1:58:11.6
Chris Almstrom Whitehorse 1:58:42.7
Ian Boyce Whitehorse 1:59:58.1
Mike Kramer Whitehorse 2:05:10.7
Eric Olsen Juneau 2:07:19.4
Michael Powell Juneau 2:11:12.4
Peter Jansen Whitehorse 2:16:18.6
Mike Terlesky Whitehorse 2:17:37.2
Philip Clark Skagway 2:19:08.3
Norman Holler Whitehorse 2:23:30.7
Lance Miller Juneau 2:25:06.2
John Small Whitehorse 2:25:51.7
Paul Harris Whitehorse 2:28:44.2
Tom Fairman Whitehorse 2:29:18.9
Mark Waldron Whitehorse 2:32:41.4
Terry Miller Skagway 2:37:33.9
Zach Jacobson Haines 2:39:48.9
Russel Strandma Juneau 2:51:15.9
Bruce Weber Skagway 3:11:38.7
Naresh Prasad Whitehorse 3:15:24.2
Buck Bryant Juneau DNF
John Snider Whitehorse DNF
Glenn Miller Douglas DT

Women’s 25K
Josee Boorman Whitehorse 1:37:35.9
Karen Bember Skagway 1:44:29.1
Michelle Rigoni Whitehorse 1:45:01.8
Marilyn Aston Whitehorse 1:49:07.2
Catherine Fusseze Whitehorse 1:53:12.6
Natalie Oles Whitehorse 1:56:33.4
Jane Pascoe Haines 1:59:04.6
Michelle Toews Whitehorse 2:02:16.6
Kelly Hayes Whitehorse 2:06:05.4
Heather Kerr Whitehorse 2:07:01.3
Marg Wallace Marsh Lake 2:08:43.5
Patricia McKenna Whitehorse 2:10:25.1
Tracy Rempel Whitehorse 2:11:10.5
Lynda Campbell Whitehorse 2:15:53.6
Janine Privett Vancouver 2:16:16.3
Marian Geary Whitehorse 2:25:31.6
Amber Bethe Skagway 2:31:09.6
Christine Cash Whitehorse 2:31:29.1
Jean Rawling Calgary 2:32:29.6
Yvonne Harris Whitehorse 3:32:48.5
Laurie Harris Whitehorse 2:32:48.5
Laurie Thorpe Whitehorse 2:37:32.6
Panya Liporsky Whitehorse 2:40:16.2
Mary Ann Parke Juneau 2:42:21.7
Sheri Hogeboom Whitehorse 2:45:22.2
Lyn Fabio Whitehorse 2:49:04.6
Sue Langevin Whitehorse 2:58:49.7
Shannon Baskervill Whitehorse 3:08:58.9
Karen Lechner Juneau 3:46:26.6
Schawna Thoma Juneau 3:46:26.9

Men’s 10K
Robert Murphy Skagway 48:47.5
Craig Jennison Skagway 51:41.1
Gerry Kress Juneau 52:58.1
Dennis Bousson Skagway 53:57.2
Curt Dodd Skagway 57:46.7
Mark Saldi 57:59.2
Kurt Iverson Juneau 1:09:02.4
Mike Cozens Whitehorse 1:14:16.7
Ken Mulloy Whitehorse 1:14:59.8
Brisbois Laurent Whitehorse 1:20:14.7
Ralph Gorichanaz Skagway 1:20:24.4
Mark Nadeau Skagway 1:24:00.6
Justin Halowaty Whitehorse 1:26:00.4
William Supernaugh Interior 1:30:44.1
Jeffrey Mull Skagway 1:31:18.5
Dan hays Juneau 1:32:40
Scott Worley Skagway 1:35:14.5
Ted VonBronkhorst Skagway 1:35:14.5
Keith Halliday Whitehorse 1:55:27
Jason Cunning Whitehorse 1:55:31.2
Thomas Morphet Alaska 2:34:12.3
Marcel Jolley Vancouver 3:18:33.9
Bill Laird Vancouver 3:18:34.2
T.J. Reishus Washington 3:18:34.5
Jerrod Davis Skagway 3:46:28.6
Jesse Naiman Skagway 3:48:18.6
Mike Coller Skagway DNF
Paul Korsmo Skagway DNS
Charles Turner Skagway DNS
Tung Ho Whitehorse DNS
Chas Dense Juneau NT
Jeremy Simmonds Skagway NT
Scott Logan Skagway NT
Billy Strasser Skagway NT
Jim Jewell Skagway NT
Bob Ward Skagway NT

Women’s 10K
Kate Moylon Whitehorse 52:12.3
Jana Linfield Juneau 52:51.8
Susan Bogle Whitehorse 54:37.5
Tanya Astika Whitehorse 54:42.6
Nancy Hughes Whitehorse 55:53.9
Lori Schraeder Whitehorse 1:00:52
Nan Saldi Skagway 1:02:41.8
Julene Fairbanks Skagway 1:03:11.4
Deb Boettcher Skagway 1:03:12.7
Andrea Wilson Whitehorse 1:04:20.8
Vickey Moy Skagway 1:05:14.4
Shannon Hughes Vancouver 1:11:36
Susan Auer Juneau 1:15:21
Cynde Adams Skagway 1:15:27.3
Lynn Brown Whitehorse 1:15:28.8
Kathy Walker Whitehorse 1:15:45.1
Jeffrey Hitt Skagway 1:17:42.1
Candy Maggio Skagway 1:23:21.9
Lisa Halewaty Whitehorse 1:26:00.1
Jane Egger Petersburg 1:27:13.1
Beverly Richardson Petersburg 1:29:36.4
Deborah Hansen Skagway 1:32:21.1
Melissa Nielsen Skagway 1:32:22.6
Danae Hays Juneau 1:32:27
Dorothy Widner Skagway 1:32:48.8
Wendy Anderson Skagway 1:37:49.2
Carolyn Morehous Juneau 1:43:59.5
Joy Vall Whitehorse 1:46:44.7
Sharon Lazio Whitehorse 1:46:45.5
Linda Thomas Juneau 2:03:53
Sally Ryan Juneau 2:03:54.9
Martha Moore Juneau 2:03:58.6
Barbara Murray Colfax 2:04:00.7
Sharon Buis Juneau 2:08:32.7
Mary McCaffrey Skagway 2:53:35.7
Jennifer Washington 3:18:33.5
Cathy Hostetler Washington 3:18:34.7
Malou Peabody Juneau 4:01:17.8
Beth Cline Skagway 4:01:18.5
Becky Iverson Juneau DNF
Jelena Antonic Whitehorse DNS
Carol Ackerson Juneau NT
Karen Capp Juneau NT
Terese Connelly Skagway NT
Shari Quinn Skagway NT
Amber Law Skagway NT
Karen Sims Anchorage NT

Men’s 5K Snowshoe
John Gozelski Juneau 34:14.1
Peter Lucchetti Skagway 37:54.8
Ken Graham Skagway 38:59.7
William Sell Skagway 1:01:45.4
Steve Parsons Skagway 1:07:14.6
James Copper Skagway 2:52:35.6
Wade Gruhl Anchorage NT

Women’s 5K Snowshoe
Cathy Deacon Whitehorse 40:50.9
Rose Perotto Skagway 52:54
Judy Sanchez Skagway 2:52:36.6

Boys’ 10 & Under 5K
Logan Potter Marsh Lake 19:58.7
Alexander Johnston Whitehorse 27:23.7
Logan Miller Juneau 27:23.7
Mac Potter Marsh Lake 28:35.6
Nathan Wallace Marsh Lake 28:42.5
Jonathan Heynen Skagway 29:47.4
Zach Miller Juneau 39:28.9
William Parsons 39:38.4
Devin Fairbanks 39:51.2
William Rees Whitehorse 1:07:03.3
Sam Rees Whitehorse 1:07:07.2
Kiernan Halliday Whitehorse 1:07:07.2
Yasha Saldi 44:05.4 (one lap)

Girls’ 10 & Under 5K
Emily Herbig Skagway 28:37.9
Kaitlyn Surdyk Skagway 29:51.2
Elise Doland Skagway 35:45.3
Nicola Lazeo-Fairma Whitehorse 37:13.8
Amanda Jensen 42:04.9
Shelby Surdyk Skagway 42:08.8
Mozelle Anne Nalan Skagway 43:22.4
Anne E. Korsmo 46:58.5
Kaylie O’Daniel Skagway 49:40.6
Sydney Brown Skagway 52:23.1
Elena Saldi Skagway 52:23.1
Polly Brown Skagway 34:11.7 (one lap)

Boys’ 11-12 5K
Lowell Johnston Whitehorse 18:47.8
Joshua Cotton Skagway 30:50.3
Christopher Burnham Skagway 39:28.9

Girls’ 11-12 5K
Noria Deacon Whitehorse 18:54.8
Coralie Ullyet Whitehorse 20:19.6
Teslyn Korsmo Skagway 31:52.5
Madeleine Nyhagen Skagway 32:08.8
Kristen Moore Skagway 49:31.8

From the top: Race start morning; Elise Doland heading into the home stretch; Polly Brown struggles up a hill; Kristen Moore herringbones up a hill with Sydney Brown coming up and her mom, Dawn, behind her; Liz Ruff and Leanne Plummer whoop it up at the aid station; Wendy Anderson smiles after receiving the Des Duncan Award; Yasha Saldi crosses the finish line with his dad, Mark, while teammates Jonathan Heynen, Emily Herbig and Josh Cotton urge him on; Miss Buckwheat 2002 Abigail Dodd is supported by her parents, Leslie and Curt, as she accepts her tiara from former Miss Buckwheat Teslyn Korsmo. But Abby seems to have her eye on Tess’ crown. And Chareth Whiteman gives Wayne Greenstreet some encouragement out on the trail.