Annie Ridgely grew up in Colorado downhill skiing and was involved in any recreational activities that got her outside. She graduated as a special education specialist and also with a degree in outdoor education and leadership. She coached cross-country running as well as track and field at Homer Middle School for many years. Relatively recently, Annie has taken to learning and loving Nordic skiing. She enjoys the ongoing challenge of refining technique with so many changing and dynamic variables, the camaraderie of other female athletes, and being active throughout the winter months.
Alison O’Hara She says: I joined Homer Women’s Nordic in 2008. I heard about it when I was checking out a sweet pair of used Rossi Xium skate skis a friend had for sale. She said “they’re yours on one condition: You must meet Megan and join Homer Women’s Nordic.” I had no idea how to skate ski nor what I was getting myself into. It has been a fantastic, challenging journey. Since then, I received a PSIA level 2 Coach Certification, coached Jr. Nordic, adult classes, Homer Middle School Ski Team and am now coaching the Homer High School Ski Team. Passing on the joy of skiing is a beautiful thing in a place where we can have 7 months of snow.
Stacey Buckelew spent most of her childhood on the east coast, where she grew up downhill skiing. After moving to Homer in 2007, she met her first pair of nordic skis. It has been a learning process ever since! Stacey joined HWN in 2009 and quickly learned that practice, patience, and perseverance cannot only produce results, they can create lasting friendships too. Stacey participates in ski race events as a way to refine technique and challenge herself athletically. She enjoys sharing in the training and goal-setting with others. Stacey has “ulu’d” in the Tour of Anchorage and raced in the elite wave of the American Birkebeiner. While not skiing, Stacey volunteers with the Junior Nordic program, the Skiku/Nordic Journeys ski program, serves on the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club Board, and uses distance running as a vehicle to build endurance for the ski season.
Jasmine Maurer joined HWN in 2010. I grew up in Homer and started learning how to xc-ski through the after school program at McNeil Canyon School. Skate skiing has always been my favorite way to exercise and get out on the snow. Although I have always loved skiing, joining HWN has made it even more enjoyable. Through HWN practices I finally learned good classical skiing technique, and to my surprise enjoy it almost as much as skate skiing. Becoming a better skier has also taught me how to coach others in this sport that I love, so they can enjoy it too. I volunteer as Junoir Nordic coach, have instructed adult beginner lessons and workshops, and am PSIA certified.
Winter is my favorite season because there are so many opportunities to go gliding on snow with other community members, improve my techinque, and share my joy for skiing with others.
Emily and Kyle are in Homer most of this winter building a new Bristol Bay boat and Emily is excited to again be a part of the Homer ski scene.
Kathy Sarns-Irwin (the artist that designed our wonderful team logo and outerwear) She says: I “learned to Nordic ski while racing for University of Maine”, I didn’t have a clue how to ski and remember doing self-arrest on icy hair-pin down hills at Lake Placid, wearing holes into my knickers, ( yes we wore knickers in the 70s) and coming in dead last most races. Somehow I survived and eventually learned how to ski along the way and LOVED IT. I was director & coach for Anchorage Junior Nordic from 1984 until we moved to Homer. I taught adult and children’s lessons for the Municipality of Anchorage in the 80s & 90s and won a gold in 1991 National Masters 10k skate. I ski because I just love the feeling of freedom on my skis and I love to teach skiing and see the light in peoples eyes when they “get it” and take off free as a bird & laughing. Skiing is like life -there’s always more to learn to be a little better, a little more efficient, and always have more FUN.