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. She currently teaches as a fitness instructor at the Bay Club, with cycling being her favorite. She also currently coaches the Homer High School Cross Country Running and Track Team. 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, doing self-arrest on icy hair-pin down hills at places like Lake Placid, wearing holes into my knickers, coming in last most races. Somehow I didn’t get killed and eventually learned how to ski and LOVED IT. Began coaching Anchorage Junior Nordic in 1984 and was their first director thru 1992 and remained a coach there until 2008. Moved to Homer & coached Kachemak Junior Nordic to present day. I taught adult and children’s lessons for the Municipality of Anchorage from 80s thru 90s. Raced almost every Nordic ski race in South Central Alaska from 1983 to 1992 winning several Anchorage Cups, managing to get a gold in 1991 National Masters, medaling in Arctic Winter Games and 210 mile Idita-ski. UAA coach Tom Besh asked if I’d take classes so I could ski for the UAA ski team 1989. (I declined -NOT wanting to go back to school). Continued to race after 1992 but not EVERY race, since I had a real job. I have been certified PSIA many times over many years at different levels and have attended numerous US team & other clinics, beginning with US Ski Team coach Steve Gaskill in 1983 who taught us how to do this thing called the “Marathon Skate” while he stood on stage- I was captivated. I got to be part of a small group to first learn V2 in AK in mid 80s when Dick Hunt (founder AXCS) taught us more about this new skating thing. I remember teaching V2 to 9 year old Jan Spurkland and his Dad thinking maybe I was nuts! I ski because I love it and I love to teach it because I love it when people “get it” and it changes their lives. Skiing is like life, I will never “arrive ” and there’s always more to learn, so I continue to work on it so it’s a little better, a little more efficient, and always FUN.