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Anchorage Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over Fairbanks for Third Straight Year

GOVERNMENT PEAK RECREATION AREA and HATCHER PASS, Alaska — The University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks may “Rule the North,” as their race suits proclaim, but for the third year in a row it’s their neighbors to the south, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, who are the dominant NCAA ski program in Alaska.

Fairbanks and Anchorage, or UAF and UAA, have met annually in the Alaska Nordic Cup, a low-key early-season dual meet, for the last 16 years, dating to when the two schools were in separate ski conferences and would only face each other at NCAA Championships. (Both schools are now members of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, or RMISA.) The location of the two-day meet generally rotates between Interior and Southcentral Alaska each year, subject to snow conditions in each region. While UAF still holds the all-time edge at 9–6–1, this weekend marked UAA’s third straight victory in the series.

Saturday morning brought interval-start freestyle races, 10 kilometers for the men and 5 kilometers for the women. The race course was the Competition Loop at Government Peak Recreation Area, a 5-kilometer, homologation-pending loop whose meters of climbing per kilometer (36m/km) and overall Height Difference (101 meters) stack up favorably against those of the recent World Cup courses in Ruka (33.2m/km and 56m) or Lillehammer (40m and 74m).

At 10:30:30 a.m., amid temps in the high 20s and a light wind, this reporter led the field of 17 men out onto the course, which pitches up into a 35-meter climb immediately upon leaving the start. The average ski speed on course soon substantially increased when he was followed by the next starter, Gus Schumacher (Alaska Winter Stars/USST D-Team). A total of 14 collegiate men, six for UAA and eight for UAF, soon followed.

Two laps and 370 meters of climbing later, Schumacher continued his dominance of this race series when he crossed the line with the day’s fastest time of 26:48.0. Schumacher, who skied alone for the final 22 minutes after blowing by this reporter soon after the start, posted the fastest relay leg time in the 2017 Alaska Nordic Cup, when he was described as a “17-year-old phenom.” He won both days of the meet at the 2018 Alaska Nordic Cup, by which point he had a World Juniors medal to his name. And he took both races this year, now racing as a two-time World Juniors medalist and 19-year-old member of the USST D-Team.

Among the collegiate field, UAA dominance was the theme of the day. Magnus Norøy took second overall/first collegiate skier in 27:18.1, followed by teammates JC Schoonmaker, Espen Persen, Austin Huneck, and Everett Cason. Mike Ophoff (29:13.2), sixth collegian and seventh overall, was the first UAF skier on Saturday.

A field of 13 women – four for UAA, nine for UAF, and one from nearby Eagle River Nordic Ski Club – headed out on course at 10:41 a.m., soon after the final men’s starter. The women raced a single lap of the 5-kilometer course.

UAA showed its depth on the women’s side, placing all four of its skiers in the top six, but UAF took the overall win. Mariel Pulles (UAF) was first in 15:28.4, over twenty seconds clear of UAA skier Jenna DiFolco (+23.9). UAA teammates Anna Darnell and Michaela Keller-Miller were third and fourth, with UAF skier Anya Maijala in fifth. Catherine Reed-Metayer, seventh overall, was the third UAA skier on the day.

Pulles raced for Estonia last season in international competition, including at U23 World Championships in Lahti and World Championships in Seefeld. She was 30th in the skate sprint in Seefeld, and won the Estonian National Championships in the 10 k classic.

UAF Athletics summarized the day-one math of combined times, which showed the UAA women with a slight lead and the UAA men with a substantial lead, as follows: “UAA holds the advantage after day one, as their top-three individual times combined for each gender come out faster than Alaska’s. In the women’s 5k, UAA won with a combined time of 47:43.6, defeating the Nanook’s combined time of 48:23.6. In the men’s 10k, Anchorage won with a combined time of 84:01.4, over Alaska’s time of 89:26.1.”

Day two brought mass-start classic races as well as a move up the mountain to Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass (elevation 3,500 feet), with warm weather and rain making skiing at Government Peak (elevation 1,000 feet) less tenable on Sunday morning.

The location may have changed, and the opening hill made several times larger, but the end result was the same: An overall victory for Schumacher, and strong team showings by both the UAA men and women.

UAA skier Natalie Hynes, who had not raced on Saturday, was the first racer across the line on Sunday, after a race of roughly 10 kilometers in 34:25.6. She was followed by teammates Keller-Miller (+36.5), DiFolco (+1:07.9), and Darnell (+1:36.5) in second, fourth, and fifth. Pulles, who was third (+59.9), interrupted the string of Seawolves.

Thirteen women raced on Sunday.

For the men, it was once again Schumacher in first, covering roughly 15 kilometers in 36:41.5. He was followed by Noroey (UAA, +1:17.5) in second, Schoonmaker (UAA, +1:31.8) in third, Ophoff (UAF, +1:34.3) in fourth, and Persen (UAA, +1:58.7) in fifth.

For the men, UAA again had a lower top-three combined time on Sunday, 1:54:53 to UAF’s 1:56:43. The gap was slightly larger for the women, 1:45:01 to 1:48:57, advantage UAA once more.

UAA, which had the lowest combined time for both men and women on both days, handily captured its third Alaska Nordic Cup in a row.

Both teams officially return to competition at U.S. Nationals in Houghton in January. Many of the athletes are likely to race at the first Besh Cup weekend of Junior Nationals qualifying races on December 21-22, officially set for Anchorage but likely to be held in one of Anchorage, Government Peak, or Fairbanks, depending upon snow conditions later this month.

Results: Saturday | Sunday

Disclosure: This reporter competed in Saturday’s skate race on behalf of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club masters team. He paid his own entry fee out of pocket.

— Gavin Kentch

Related on FasterSkier:

2016: Patterson, Yeaton, UAF Take Victories at Alaska Nordic Cup

2017: UAA Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over UAF

Landstedt Hired as Utah Director of Skiing

(Press release)

SALT LAKE CITY – Veteran college ski coach Fredrik Landstedt has been hired as the Director of Skiing at the University of Utah. Landstedt brings 26 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Utes.

“We are excited to have Fredrik join our ski team,” Utah Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “Any time you can recruit a coach who has won a national championship, it’s a win. It was our goal to bring in a proven coach who will continue the ski team’s success and he brings a passion and energy as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position. Fredrik is well respected in the profession and has a proven track record of helping student-athletes reach both their athletic and academic goals as well as engaging the fans and community.”

Landstedt has spent the past 21 seasons coaching at New Mexico, including 11 years as head coach (2008-18) after working 10 seasons as head Nordic coach.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead a program with such a rich history,” Landstedt said. “Utah has a strong winning tradition and the support that the University provides its ski team is incredible. I look forward to bringing NCAA titles back to Utah!”

The Lobos have finished in the top four at the NCAA Championships nine times during Landstedt’s tenure, including winning the 2004 NCAA Championship, the first team title in New Mexico history. UNM finished second in 2006 as well as third in 2009, 2010 and 2014.

Landstedt has coached seven student-athletes to individual NCAA Championships. Kristina Strandberg (2000, 15-km classic), Jimmy Vika (2013, 10-km freestyle), Eva Severus (2014, 15-km freestyle) and Emilie Cdervaem (2015, 15-km classic) each won Nordic titles for the Lobos. Malin Hemmingsson (2009-10, slalom) was a two-time NCAA Champion in women’s alpine while Joonas Rasanen (2013, slalom) and Mateja Robnik (2015, giant slalom) also won championships.

Under Landstedt, 34 Nordic skiers have earned 80 All-America honors at UNM with skiers finishing on the podium 19 times in NCAA Championship races. Strandberg and Polina Ermoshina were both seven-time All-Americans for the Lobos. Ermoshina had two runner-up finishes in women’s classic. In alpine with Landstedt as overall head coach, 19 skiers have combined for 45 All-America honors since 2008.

Landstedt’s athletes have also excelled in the classroom, with student-athletes named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large teams 10 times, including making the first team seven times. The at-large teams, which are comprised of student-athletes from 14 women’s and 12 men’s sports, are generally regarded as one of the most difficult teams to earn a spot on.

Landstedt has been the Secretary-Rules Editor on the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Skiing Committee since 2006. He served as the president of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association from 2000-06.

Landstedt was also the head Nordic ski coach at Colorado for three years (1995-97). Colorado won the 1995 NCAA title and finished third in 1997. His student-athletes earned 20 All-America honors in his three seasons, including six first team honors.

Landstedt has also coached with the U.S. Ski Team at Junior and U-23 World Championships events.

Landstedt coached the West Valley High School ski team in Fairbanks, Alaska, to two state titles in three seasons (1991-1994). While in Alaska, he won the Tour of Anchorage 50-km ski race twice (1993-94).

Landstedt graduated from New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1991 and an associate’s degree in accounting/bookkeeping in 1990. He competed at New Mexico from 1987-89. Landstedt finished fourth in men’s cross country in 1987 to earn first-team All-America honors and also helped New Mexico finish third in the men’s cross country relay. He finished 11th in cross country in 1988 and was 12th in the 20-km freestyle in 1989. Landstedt began his collegiate coaching career as a Nordic assistant coach at New Mexico while finishing his degree from 1990-91.

As a competitor, Landstedt was a top national skier and placed in the top 10 at the U.S. National Championships eight times from 1991-93. Originally from Sollefteå, Sweden, he took three medals in the Swedish Junior Championships and finished in the top 20 in several national competitions as a senior racer.

Landstedt and his wife, Brenda, have three sons, Gabriel, Adrian and Andreas, and a daughter, Zara.

UAA Takes Alaska Nordic Cup Over UAF

The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hold the trophy for the Alaska Nordic Cup at Kincaid Park on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Andrew Kastning)

Note: FasterSkier is accepting submissions for regional race reports. If you would like to see a particular race circuit covered and have the writer with the will to do it, please have them email Be sure to include a link to results, and preferably a few original race photos with proper credits.

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The cup is coming back to Anchorage.

The University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (UAA) used two days of balanced performances to top the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks (UAF) in the 14th annual Alaska Nordic Cup, an early season contest between Alaska’s two NCAA ski teams. UAA now regains possession of the Alaska Nordic Cup — literally an historic ski that bears scant resemblance to a drinking vessel — for the next year.

The weekend’s racing began on a sunny Saturday morning at Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass, a stunning setting at 3,500′ in the Talkeetna Mountains roughly 60 miles outside of Anchorage. The women raced a 7.5-kilometer classic individual start, covering several short loops wending between the historic mine buildings. The men raced a 10 k classic individual start on the same course.

UAA women dominated the classic race, taking the first five places in a race with 12 collegiate women. First was Hailey Swirbul in 22:45.5, followed by Casey Wright (+41.9) in second and Marte Håkenstad-Bråten (+1:23.6) in third. Hannah Rudd (4th, +1:41) and Sadie Fox (5th, +2:00) also crossed the line before the first UAF skier.

UAF was led by Ann-Cathrin Uhl (+2:09) in sixth, Kati Roivas (+2:13) in seventh, and Anna Darnell (+3:12) in 10th.

Things were much closer in the men’s race, though UAA took the narrow cumulative victory there (based on each team’s top-three skiers) as well.

First on the day was UAA skier Toomas Kollo in 29:03.0. Second overall was Alaska Pacific University (APU) skier Tyler Kornfield (+4.2), whose time did not count toward the total for either NCAA school. (Although the APU ski team is closely affiliated with Alaska Pacific University, the ski team is not affiliated with the NCAA.)

Third through seventh place all finished within 30 seconds of each other: UAF skier Jan Cech in third (+16.5), UAA skier Zacharias Toresson in fourth (+29.3), UAF’s Seiji Takagi in fifth (+38.0), UAA’s Marcus Deuling in sixth (+45.3), and UAF’s Alex Eckert in seventh (+46.9).

A total of 15 women and 19 men raced on Saturday.

Team scores were based on the cumulative time of the top three skiers per gender. Following the classic races UAA had an edge of roughly six minutes over UAF based on combined time. The lion’s share of the advantage came from the women’s race (70:22.0 combined time for UAA women to 75:51.9 for UAF), with an additional 27 seconds coming from the men (88:23.6 to 88:50.4).

Racing continued at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Sunday morning, under a light but steady snowfall and temperatures hovering around 16° F. Sunday brought a 4 x 5 k skate mixed-gender relay race. It also brought more of the same on the results sheet, with UAA skiing to a slight advantage over UAF in each of its two lead relay teams. The main difference this time was that APU showed up to set the pace.

The fastest relay team on the day was APU 1, which saw Becca Rorabaugh, Rosie Frankowski, and brothers Reese and Logan Hanneman cover roughly 20 k in 61:41.2. The Fairbanks area was not devoid of standout performances on the day; everyone on the winning relay team, save Frankowski, hails from the Golden Heart City. (Frankowski is from Minneapolis, and skied for Northern Michigan University before coming to APU.)

Roughly three minutes behind Logan Hanneman and APU 1, APU 3 (Lydia Blanchet, Taryn Hunt-Smith, Forrest Mahlen, Dawson Knopp) edged out UAA 1 (Håkenstad-Bråten, Swirbul, Tracen Knopp, Kollo) for second overall, finishing 2:59 back to 3:02 for UAA. APU 3 was aided by a Thanksgiving-week loan from the Dartmouth Ski Team, as Anchorage natives Blanchet and Hunt-Smith returned home from Hanover in time to race on Sunday.

UAF 1 (+3:18) was the next scoring college team in fourth, followed by UAA 2 (+4:40) in sixth and UAF 2 (+4:47) in seventh. Additional teams from APU, local club Alaska Winter Stars, and combined UAA–UAF skiers made up the rest of the 12-team relay field.

While APU 1 set the pace for most of the legs, the day’s fastest anchor leg appears to have come from 17-year-old phenom Gus Schumacher, who closed things out for Alaska Winter Stars.

Overall scoring for the Alaska Nordic Cup was based on the combined time of each school’s top three men and women in the classic race, plus each school’s top two teams in the relay race. UAA used a substantial advantage from the women’s classic race, plus smaller but consistent margins in the men’s classic race and both its relay teams, to take the overall victory by more than six minutes, 4:49:49 combined time to 4:56:11 for UAF.

Andrew Kastning, associate coach for Nordic skiing at UAA, was pleased with his team’s performance, while acknowledging some setbacks experienced by UAF. “I think we can feel really good about our season opener,” Kastning wrote in an email to FasterSkier. “UAF was missing a key skier and I know they weren’t 100% healthy so that’s always tough, but the Seawolves skied really well around the challenging Independence Mine trails and our relay teams were able to extend the lead thanks in large part to strong starts from Marte and Casey.”

Kastning continued, “Hailey had a fantastic weekend winning by 41sec in last season’s weaker technique, which she’s been working on a lot, and then establishing a great lead over the UAF relay teams allowing us to be the top NCAA team on both days. Toomas was very strong in the classic and much better this year in skating after coming off compartment surgery in April. Now we head into a big training camp of sleeping eating and skiing over the holiday where we will look to dial in some technique and expand our training base. I don’t want us to get overconfident yet, because the RMISA [Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association] will always be the toughest circuit to race, but this is the start to the season we were looking for.”

UAA’s successful weekend stands in contrast to UAF’s historical success in this skiing rivalry. Coming into the 2017 Alaska Nordic Cup, UAF held a 9–3–1 edge over its Anchorage rival. The record now stands at 9–4–1, advantage UAF.

RMISA racing continues with U.S. Cross Country Championships in early January, again at Kincaid Park.

Results and media: Saturday classic | Sunday relay and totals | Saturday highlight video from UAA

Gavin Kentch

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Dusser New Assistant Coach for UAA Nordic Ski Team

(Courtesy: UAA Athletics)

(Press release)

ANCHORAGE – University of Alaska Anchorage head ski coach Sparky Anderson announced that former All-American Marine Dusser has joined the team as an assistant coach for Nordic.

“It’s fantastic to bring back one of our own,” said Sparky Anderson. “Marine is a three-time NCAA All-American for the Seawolves and knows our program from the inside out. She understands what it takes to compete at the elite level and I’m excited about what she brings to the table. Having Marine back in green and gold is a big win for our program.”

Dusser was a student-athlete for the Seawolves for two seasons (2012-14). She finished third in both the classical and freestyle races at the NCAA Championships to earn a pair of All-American honors in her first season of competition for UAA. Dusser earned the third All-American honor of her career with a ninth place finish in the freestyle race the following year.

“Marine had a very successful career as a Seawolf Skier, and I’m excited to have her join our coaching staff,” said Andrew Kastning, associate coach for Nordic skiing. “She will bring fresh perspectives to our training and race preparation having recently finished her ski racing career. She is also in very good shape having won the Government Peak and Knoya Ridge runs this past summer so she should be able to push our athletes during the hard trainings. With snow on the Chugach peaks, the excitement for the coming winter is really starting to build, and Marine will help make the UAA ski team a great program to excel in for years to come.”

Dusser focused mainly on biathlon prior to joining the Seawolves. She was a member of the French national team for seven years, winning three medals at the Junior World Championships and was a six-time French Junior National Champion.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in management from UAA and earned a master’s degree in management from the Grenoble Business School.

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Movement to #savealaskaskiing Heats Up; Public Testimony Taken Monday

Last week, University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen announced his intention to target skiing for elimination at both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks in a pending waiver request submitted to the NCAA. This week, the Alaskan ski community is mobilizing to protest the proposal.

In an email widely circulated to “friends and members of our ski community,” supporters of the state’s ski programs advocated three ways to “take action now”:

  1. Write a concise email to the Board of Regents:

  2. Sign the online petition “savealaskaskiing” here.

  3. Provide public testimony by calling 1-866-726-0757 on Monday October 31 4pm – 6pm (AK time). More info here.

The petition was begun by Fairbanks resident Brandy Harty last week. As of Monday morning Alaska time, it had over 2,100 signatures.

Regarding public testimony, the chair of the University of Alaska Board of Regents wrote in an editorial in Sunday’s Alaska Dispatch News that “The expansion of public testimony and community engagement through audio testimony brings more Alaskans into these important conversations. You help us shape and guide education in Alaska and improve the University of Alaska’s service to our state. … I look forward to hearing from you.”

The public testimony window runs from 4-6 p.m. Alaska time this afternoon. Alaska is four hours behind the East Coast. Written comments may be submitted by email at any time to

In a separate email to FasterSkier, UAF Head Nordic Coach Nick Crawford provided contact information for the NCAA Division II Membership Committee that will be considering Johnsen’s waiver request, and encouraged supporters to write to the committee directly.

The committee chair is Kevin Schriver, Dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Miss. Schriver’s email is kschriver [at]

In a phone interview with FasterSkier Monday morning, Schriver was asked about the merits of Johnsen’s waiver proposal. “I’m not at liberty to [comment on] that just yet,” Schriver said. “I know the committee is meeting next week.”

Schriver appeared to suggest that the committee’s consideration of this proposal was less than a done deal, stating that the committee “will see if that will be a part of our agenda.” He said that the next scheduled committee meeting is Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, Nov. 8-9.

Emails for other members of the membership committee are: csnyder [at], stavaj [at], jeisen [at], gmac.commissioner [at], commissionerhogue [at], rthomas [at], margaret.poitevint [at], bhannum [at], leslie.schuemann [at], and ncullen [at]

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RMISA Regional Championship – VIDEO

Kincaid Park provided man-made snow with klister conditions for the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship classic, mass-start.

In the men’s 20 k classic Colorado University’s Mads Stroem and Rune Malo Oedegaard won in photo-finish followed by Aku Nikander from UNM. Clement Molliet led host UAA Seawolves in 7th.

While in the women’s race Emilie Cedervaern of UNM, Vernonika Mayerhoffer of Utah and host UAA Seawolves Manon Locatelli take the podium in the 15K classic mass-start day two of the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championship held on February 28, 2015 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

Full Results

RMISA Men’s Classic:

RMISA Women’s Classic:

Alaska College Races:

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Trygstad-Saari Hired as Montana State Head Coach

Montana State University announced July 11 that Kristina Trygstad-Saari will be taking over as head nordic ski coach at the university for the 2014/2015 season. The position opened in May when MSU announced that former head coach, Grethe-Lise Hagensen’s contract would not be renewed for the coming season. Trygstad-Saari was one of four finalists for the position including two former MSU assistant coaches, Chad Anderson and Dan Campbell, in addition to the University of New Hampshire’s assistant coach Stephen Monsulick.

In May, Trygstad-Saari officially accepted a position as elite/post-graduate team coach for the Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman, but has left the position to become head coach at MSU.

(Press Release)

Montana State Sticks Close to Home in Nordic Ski Coach Hire

July 11, 2014 – BOZEMAN, Montana – Montana State didn’t have to look far for its next Nordic ski coach. Kristina Trygstad-Saari, a 2002 Bozeman High graduate, Bridger Ski Foundation standout and Dartmouth coach, will take over the Bobcat program, announced MSU Director of Athletics Peter Fields, Friday morning.

Trygstad-Saari, who is presently serving as Elite/Post-Graduate Team Coach and Head Masters Ski Coach for BSF, honed her skills on the trails of Bohart Ranch in her youth. As a nationally ranked junior and senior cross country skier from 1999-2010, she was a nine-time Junior National Champion. Trygstad-Saari also finished sixth in the World Juniors; had 2001 World Cup starts; and was the 2002 National Junior Skier of the Year.

In addition, she was a member of the United States Development Ski Team from 2002-03 and was part of the World Championship qualifying squad.

“We’re fortunate to live in one of the best ski towns in the United States,” Fields said. “And, to be able to tap into our local community for our Nordic ski coach is exciting. Coach Trygstad-Saari has competed at the highest levels; raced and coached collegiately at Dartmouth; and knows the challenges of being a student-athlete. We feel she is a great fit for our program and look forward to her taking over the reins of the Bobcat Nordic program.”

Trygstad-Saari served as interim men’s Nordic coach at Dartmouth from Oct. 2012 – April 2013. She helped guide the Big Green to a No. 1 and 2 ranking throughout the season and saw two racers earn All-America status. As a member of the Dartmouth ski team from 2003-07, she was a 2006 NCAA team member and a first-team All-East performer.

“I’m really excited to be stepping up as the Head Nordic Coach and joining the Bobcat Athletics staff,” Trygstad-Saari said. “I’ve followed this team for years, and I see tremendous potential. We have such a talented group of student-athletes, and I couldn’t be more excited to help bring the team to the next level.”

Trygstad-Saari earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Dartmouth in 2007 and is on course to complete a Master of Arts degree in English from Middlebury College in 2015.

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De Yong Returns to UAA as Coach

ANCHORAGE – Head ski coach Sparky Anderson announced Thursday the addition of former Seawolf All-American Nicole De Yong to the 2013-14 coaching staff. De Yong will serve as the assistant Nordic coach.

“I’m extremely excited about bringing a Seawolf back home,” said Anderson. “She was a standout athlete and she will be an exceptional coach. Nicole really rounds out our staff and will bring a lot to our program.”

De Yong was a four-year letterwinner for the Seawolves in skiing, and a three-year competitor in cross country.  Courtesy: Curtis C. Snyder

De Yong was a four-year letterwinner for the Seawolves in skiing, and a three-year competitor in cross country. Courtesy: Curtis C. Snyder

De Yong returns to UAA after serving as assistant Nordic coach at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation in Ketchum, Idaho, since 2011, where she facilitated practices for high-school level skiers. Additionally, De Yong assisted with the organization of summer training for university-level skiers.

De Yong was a four-year letterwinner for the Seawolves in skiing, and a three-year competitor in cross country. A two-time All-American on the nordic trails, the local East Anchorage High School product was the NCAA runner-up in the 15-K freestyle at the 2005 NCAA Championships. In addition to her multiple skiing honors, De Yong was also a key runner on the 2004 Seawolf team that earned the school’s first-ever NCAA berth in women’s cross country.

De Yong, who graduated magna cum laude in May 2006 with a natural sciences degree, was a member of a the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honors societies, and made a pair of appearances on UAA’s dean’s list. She was named an academic All-American four times by the NCAA ski coaches, and she twice earned GNAC all-academic honors. On top of her full academic and athletic workloads, De Yong also volunteered her time with UAA’s student-athlete advisory committee (as SAAC president in 2005-06), and at local hospitals.



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Reid, Ellefson Repeat Wins in DU Invite 10/15k Classic

A 10/15 k classic wrapped up the weekend of RMISA racing on Sunday, hosted by Denver University. Joanne Reid (Colorado University) and Sylvan Ellefson (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Team HomeGrown) each won their second races of the weekend in Minturn, Colo.

Top 10:

10 k Women:

1. Joanne Reid (CU) 31:43

2. Eliska Hajkova (CU) 32:00

3. Silje Benum (DU) 32:06.4

4. Rose Kemp (UU) 32:06.6

5. Marine Dusser (UAA) 32:11

6. Linn Klaesson (UNM) 32:36

7. Katie Gill (DU) 32:39

8. Parker Tyler (UU) 32:50

9. Mary Rose (CU) 32:57

10. Alexa Turzian (SVSEF) 33:14

15 k Men:

1. Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV) 39:33.6

2. Rune Oedegaard (CU) 39:33.8

3. Einar Ulsund (UU) 39:35.8

4. Mats Resaland (UNM) 39:59

5. Lukas Ebner (UAA) 40:16

6. Miles Havlick (UU) 40:33

7. Miklas Persson (UU) 40:44

8. Patrick Madden (MSU) 40:45

9. Noe Bellet (UU) 40:52

10. Lass Moelgaard (UAA) 41:00



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Ellefson, Reid Win DU Invite 5/10k Free

Sylvan Ellefson (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Team HomeGrown) and Joanne Reid (Colorado University) triumphed on Saturday in the first day of the Denver University Invitational in Minturn, Colo. The race, which doubled as a Rocky Mountain Junior Nationals Qualifier, was the first RMISA event ever on the new trails at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy campus.

Ellefson bested runner-up Lukas Ebner (University of Alaska, Anchorage) by 15.3 seconds. Rune Oedegaard (CU) took third (+56.2).

Reid won her second college race of the year by 17.6 seconds over Marine Dusser (UAA). Eliska Hajkova (CU) finished third (+22.5).

Top Ten Results:

10 k Men:

1 Sylvan Ellefson (SSCV) 0:26:00.8
2 Lukas Ebner  (Univ. Alaska-Anchorage) 0:26:16.1
3 Rune Malo Oedegaard  (University of Colorado) 0:26:57.0
4 Einar Ulsund  (University of Utah) 0:27:08.6
5 Joergen Bye Brevik (University of Denver) 0:27:09.0
6 Mats Resaland  (University of New Mexico) 0:27:14.3
7 Patrick Johnson (Sun Valley SEF) 0:27:15.5
8 Tyler Reinking  (Montana State University) 0:27:30.1
9 Viktor Braennmark  (Univ. Alaska-Anchorage) 0:27:34.9
10 Miles Havlick  (University of Utah) 0:27:35.7

5 k Women:

1 Joanne Reid (University of Colorado) 0:15:27.3
2 Marine Dusser (Univ. Alaska-Anchorage) 0:15:44.9
3 Eliska Hajkova (University of Colorado) 0:15:49.8
4 Anni Nord (University of New Mexico) 0:16:06.2
5 Mary Rose (University of Colorado) 0:16:25.0
6 Clara Chauvet (University of New Mexico) 0:16:34.6
7 Rose Kemp (University of Utah) 0:16:34.8
8 Silje Benum (University of Denver) 0:16:35.8
9 Maria Nordstroem (University of Colorado) 0:16:42.2
10 Jessica Yeaton (Montana State University) 0:16:47.1

Complete Results.


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Graefnings and Oedegaard Double Up at RMISA Championship

BOZEMAN, Montana – The change in technique and distance in the final day of the RMISA Championship did not alter the outcome at the top of the results sheet in the racing at Bohart Ranch today.  The University of Utah’s Maria Graefnings claimed top honors in the women’s 15K classic, while CU’s Rune Malo Oedegaard grabbed the men’s 20K crown.

In the women’s race Graefnings crossed the line in 1:01:17.5, 35 seconds ahead of second place finisher Eliska Hajkova (CU).  Denver University’s Kate Dolan captured the final step on the podium, crossing the line in 1:03:05.2 for third.  Linn Klaesson (UNM) and Mary Rose (CU) rounded out the top five.

Oedegaard bested the men’s field with a time of 1:02:03.0, just ahead of three other skiers as David Norris (MSU) took second in 1:02:05.3, Didrik Smith (UU) skied to third in 1:02:06.2 and Miles Havlick (UU) came across in fourth, just three-tenths of a second slower.  Denver University’s Trygve Markset came to the line for fifth place, fifteen seconds later.

Complete Results

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Graefnings and Oedegaard Take RMISA Freestyle Crowns

BOZEMAN, Montana – The University of Utah’s Maria Graefnings and Boulder’s Rune Malo Oedegaard posted the fastest times in today’s 5 and 10 K freestyle races in RMISA action at Bohart Ranch.

In the women’s 5K Graefnings put on quite a clinic, crossing the line in 13:57.4, 32 seconds quicker than second place finisher Eliska Hajkova (CU).  Hajkova’s CU teammate, Joanne Reid, followed 3.5 seconds later in 14:33.0, while Linn Klaesson (UNM) and Kate Dolan (DU) rounded out the top five.

On the men’s side Oedegaard generated a rather sizable margin in what was otherwise a fairly close race.  His winning time of 25:30.6 was nearly 17 seconds quicker than the University of Utah’s Miles Havlick.  After that it was a pair of MSU racers in Tyler Reinking and David Norris that followed in 25:48.5 and 25:52.6 respectively.  Didrik Smith (UU) rounded out the top five in 25:54.6.

RMISA action continues tomorrow with classic races at Bohart Ranch.

Complete Results

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Hajkova and Oedegaard Win at Seawolf Invitational

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Racing continued at the Seawolf Invitational with 15 and 20k classic races on the trails of Kincaid Park.  Eliska Hajkova (CU) continued to shine while her teammate Rune Oedegaard proved he could also win at sea level.

In the women’s race Hajkova narrowly edged Jaime Bronga (UAA) by just 0.4 seconds to take the win in 47:56.9.  The University of Utah’s Maria Graefnings claimed the third step on the podium, crossing the line in 48:14.2 while Laura Rombach (UAA) and Linn Klaesson (UNM) rounded out the top five.

In the men’s race Oedegaard showed he has still got the form that took him to early victories at the DU Invitational, posting a winning time of 54:25.5, which bested the talented David Norris (MSU) by just 4.5 seconds.  The University of Utah’s Miles Havlick crossed the line next in a time of 54:46.8 while teammates Andreas Hoye (CU) and Ian Mallams (CU) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

RMISA actions next moves to the trails of Bohart Ranch for the RMISA Championships on February 24th and 25th.

 Complete Results

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Hajkova and Norris Win 5/10km Freestyles at Seawolf Invitational

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Eliska Hajkova (CU) and David Norris (MSU) skied to impressive wins today in the first day of competition at the Seawolf Invitational on the trails of Kincaid Park.

In the women’s race Hajkova completed the 5km course in just 13:52.5, besting her teammate Joanne Reid by twenty seconds.  Jaime Bronga (UAA) finished third in 14:18.8 while Clara Chauvet (UNM) and Maria Graefnings (UU) took fourth and fifth respectively.

On the men’s side Norris opened up a 14 second margin over Rune Oedegaard (CU) on the 10km course.  The University of Utah’s Miles Havlick took third in 24:47.5 while Andrew Dougherty (DU) and Tyler Reinking (MSU) grabbed fourth and fifth places respectively.

RMISA action continues tomorrow with classic races.

Complete Results

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Graefnings and Havlick Win 10km Freestyle at UAA Invitational

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Competition continued today at the University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational with 10km freestyle races.  The University of Utah’s Maria Graefnings took the women’s race, while her teammate Miles Havlick took the men’s crown.

In the women’s race Graefnings crossed the line in 29:12.7, besting Eliska Hajkova (CU) by six seconds.  Rose Kemp (UU) posted the third fastest time of 30:07.2, while Jaime Bronga (UAA) and Linn Klaesson (UNM) finished fourth and fifth respectively.

On the men’s side Havlick’s time of 25:07.3 was eight seconds faster than Montana State’s David Norris.  Rune Oedegaard (CU) followed with a time of 25:40.0 in third.  Andrew Dougherty (DU) and Tom Smith (UU) took fourth and fifth just in front of a tight group as only fourteen seconds separated fourth through tenth places.

RMISA racing stays in Alaska next weekend at the Seawolf Invitational.

UAA Invite – Day 2 Results

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Hajikova and Norris Win Alaska Anchorage Invitational

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – RMISA racing continued today on the trails of Kincaid Park as both the women and men contested on a 5km classic course.  In the women’s race it was the University of Colorado’s Eliska Hajikova who captured the win.  On the men’s side Montana State University’s David Norris earned the narrow victory.

In the women’s Hajikova’s time of 16:34.7 earned her a ten second victory over the University of Utah’s Maria Graefnings, while Rose Kemp (UU) found herself another 12 seconds back for third.  Jaime Bronga (UAA) skied to fourth place and MSU’s Ase Carlson rounded out the top five.

Norris’ trip back to his home state was a good one as he claimed the narrow victory in a time of 14:06.3 under two seconds quicker than Rune Oedegaard (CU) who crossed the line in 14:08.0.  The University of Utah’s Miles Havlick was just off the pace as well as he crossed the line in 14:08.8 in third. Reid Pletcher (CU) and Andrew Dougherty (DU) rounded out the top five.

The nordic events at the Alaska Anchorage Invitational continues on Monday as the freestyle action gets started.

UAA Invitational Complete Results – Day One

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UPDATED: Oedegaard and Bronga Win in 10/15km Freestyle at DU Invite

TABERNASH, Colorado – Nordic competition continued today during the Denver University Invitational at Devil’s Thumb Ranch with 10/15km freestyle races.  In the men’s race the University of Colorado’s Rune Malo Oedegaard made it two for two on the weekend as he skied to a four second victory over the University of Utah’s Didrik Smith.  In the women’s race it was the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Jaime Bronga who similarly skied to a five second win over the University of Colorado’s Eliska Hajkova.

Oedegaard, who yesterday opened up a margin of over thirty seconds on today’s second and third place skiers, had some company in today’s race.

“Vegard Kjoelhamar (CU) had a lead on the second lap that Miles [Havlick], Didrik [Smith] and Tyler [Reinking] had to use [a lot of] energy to catch up, and I got a pretty nice travel just staying with,” said Oedegaard.

“Out on the third and last lap Tyler Reinking (MSU) went pretty hard to try to get rid of us, but I felt good and had much power to go with in the last climb where I got the margin I needed to hold on down the downhills to the finish line. ”

His winning time of 48:14.5 bested the University of Utah’s Smith and Miles Havlick by 4.1 and 4.7 seconds respectively.  Tyler Reinking (MSU) was next across the line in a time of 48.27.8 with the University of Colorado’s Vegard Kjoelhamar rounding out the top five with a time of 48:48.0.

The course was challenging and had quite hard climbs in the beginning.  However, the last kilometer was pretty much downhill with a short finish.

“So I knew it would be smart to go hard in the last climb and be first down the final downhills. Luckely the plan worked out well, and I’m was very satisfied with the weekend.”

In the women’s race the University of Alaska Anchorage had an impressive day showing that they had no problem skiing at elevation as they placed three skiers in the top five.  Bronga led the way for the Seawolves in a time of 36:59.5 with Laura Rombach taking third in a time of 37:23.6 and teammate Steffi Hiemer rounding out the top five with a time of 37:53.9.  The University of New Mexico’s Clara Chauvet was fourth in a time of 37:32.4.

RMISA action takes a break next week before moving up to Anchorage for the next stop in the season.

Complete Unofficial Results

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UPDATED: Tyler and Oedegaard Win Classic 5/10km at DU Invitational

TABERNASH, Colorado – The University of Utah’s Parker Tyler took the women’s 5km classic race and the University of Colorado’s Rune Malo Oedegaard skied to a convincing win in the men’s 10km today at the Denver University Invitational at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.

Women’s Race

Tyler’s time of 21:57 was 4.7 seconds faster than that of Kate Dolan (DU), while Dolan’s teammate Mykayla Cappel captured the final step on the podium in 22:02.  After the strong showing by the home team it was a trio of skiers from the University of Alaska Anchorage next with Jaime Bronga, Steffi Hiemer and Laura Rombach finishing fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

For Tyler, managing the high elevation was an important strategy for today’s race.

“I went in to the day today knowing that I was about to race at 9000 feet, and that my body works a little differently at this elevation. I made a strategy before the race that I was going to ski the first half of the course, where most of all the hills were, very relaxed.”

After getting through the first few kilometers where most of the challenging climbs were, Tyler picked up the pace and changed her strategy.  “I was going to ski the rest of the course that was more technical with power and speed over the transitions,” she said after the race.

Finally, with just one kilometer remaining she received a split that she was in second place, just five seconds off the lead.

“At that point I just started skiing as fast as my body could handle.  It was an extremeley hard course with a ton of climbing and I am glad that I paced myself because I died hard at the end of the race.”

Men’s Race

In the men’s race it was the University of Utah’s Miles Havlick in 37:26 and Didrick Smith 37:29 who would follow Oedegaard’s winning time of 36:53.  Lasse Moelgaard (UAA) and Tyler Reinking (MSU) rounded out the top five.

The conditions were challenging with falling snow and temperatures hovering right around freezing.  Some skiers went on klister, some kick wax and others on waxless zero skis.

Just like in the women’s race the elevation and challenging course played a major factor in the results.

“The course was quite long (I heard something about 5,9 k) and had alot of hard hills in it, so it was hard working from start to finish,” said Oedegaard in an email to FasterSkier after the race. “Still, it was a fair course that was really nice skiing in. Even though it was snowing, the grooming was nice, and I think the conditions were fair for everyone.”

For the race winner some fast skiers starting just behind him and some misheard splits helped motivate him right to the end.

“I heard in the beginning that I had some seconds, but I knew I had Miles Havlick two bibs behind me. I also had problems hearing how big my lead was and thought I was loosing some [time] on the second lap, so I was never sure [until] everyone had finished. Bruce [Cranmer] and Jana [Weinberger] did a great job chearing and giving times, but sometimes during a race it’s hard to catch what their actually saying, and I thought I heard Jana say I had a three seconds lead on the final climb, luckely it was more than that.”

A challenging course at elevation seems to be a good barometer of Oedegaard’s fitness as he will be key player for the rest of the winter and into the championship season, especially with the NCAA Championship in Bozeman.

“It’s great to get a good results here, showing that I hopefully can be up there fighting throughout the season. Utah looks strong, so we have to do our very best every race to try [to beat] them!”

RMISA action continues tomorrow at the DU Invitational with a 10/15km freestyle mass start.

Complete Results

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Norris and Brogna Win Classic Races at CU Invite

The second day of RMISA action brought a 15 and 10 km classic race to the trails at Hawelsen Hill Nordic Center as part of the University of Colorado Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational.

In the men’s race MSU’s David Norris narrowly bested Miles Havlick (UU) by just 0.4 seconds for the victory in a time of 40:14.6. with Rune Oedegaard (CU) posting the third fastest time of 40:32.8.

The women’s 10 km classic was less close as Jaime Brogna (UAA) won by almost thirty seconds in a time of 31:53.0.  Teammate Laura Rombach took second with a time of 32:22.4 and the University of Colorado’s Joanne Reid followed in 32:35.1.

After all the points were tallied from both alpine and nordic it was the University of Utah with 896 points who captured top honors for the University of Colorado Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational.  The host school was next with 872 and the University of Alaska Anchorage followed with 741.

CU Invitational/Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational (FINAL)—

1. Utah 896

2. Colorado 872

3. Alaska Anchorage 741

4. Denver 732

5. Montana State 707

6. New Mexico 706

7. Westminster College 293

8. Wyoming 183

9. Colorado Mountain College 87


Men’s 15K Classical (33 College Finishers) —

1. David Norris, MSU, 40:14.6

2. Miles Havlick, UU, 40:15.0

3. Rune Oedegaard, CU, 40:32.8

4. Vegard Kjoelhamar, CU, 40:36.8

5. Tyler Reinking, MSU, 40:43.2

6. Reid Pletcher, CU, 40:58.4

7. Lasse Molegaard-Nielsen, UAA, 41:10.2

8. Sjur Prestsaeter, UNM, 41:31.1

9. Didrik Smith, UU, 41:33.8

10. Trygve Markset, DU, 41:34.1

11. Andrew Dougherty, DU, 41:34.5

12. Michael Schallinger, MSU, 41:46.6

13. Rolf Figi, UU, 41:49.8

14. Lukas Ebner, UAA, 41:51.2

15. Christian Otto, UNM, 42:37.5

16. Tom Smith, UU, 42:38.3

17. Nevio Zeni, UAA, 42:38.5

18. Andrew Wallace, DU, 42:38.8

19. Sawyer Kesselheim, MSU, 43:01.2

20. Patrick Madden, MSU, 43:04.8

21. Luke Bromley, MSU, 44:21.7

22. Elvind Solberg, UNM, 44:39.4

23. Hans Nygren, MSU, 44:40.0

24. Galen Johnston, UAA, 45:11.8

25. Arnaud DuPasquier, CU, 45:12.5

26. Evgheniy Panzhinskiy, WYO, 47:05.2

27. Lutz Klausmann, UAA, 47:18.8

28. Kyle Bochanski, WYO, 47:54.2

29. Nathan Hough, WYO, 48:36.7

30. Adam Looney, WYO, 49:31.8

31. Patrick Rogers, WYO, 49:40.5

32. Willie Via, WYO, 50:42.2

33. Devin Oderwald, WYO, 52:28.5


Did Not Start:

Carl Smith, MSU

Ian Mallams, CU

Joergen Bye Brevik, DU

Andreas Hoye, CU

Pierre Niess, UNM

Kristian Soerlund, DU


Women’s 10K Classical (32 College Finishers) —

1. Jaime Brogna, UAA, 31:53.0

2. Laura Rombach, UAA, 32:22.4

3. Joanne Reid, CU, 32:35.1

4. Eliska Hajkova, CU, 32:42.2

5. Rose Kemp, UU, 32:45.5

6. Kate Dolan, DU, 32:53.5

7. Jessica Yeaton, MSU, 33:00.7

8. Steffi Hiemer, UAA, 33:04.8

9. Ase Carlson, MSU, 33:07.6

10. Linn Klaesson, UNM, 33:09.2

11. Katie Gill, DU, 33:10.4

12. Parker Tyler, UU, 33:24.3

13. Mary Rose, CU, 33:29.5

14. Makayla Cappel, DU, 33:48.2

15. Clara Chauvet, UNM, 34:02.3

16. Casey Kutz, MSU, 34:21.4

17. Rachelle Kanady, MSU, 34:30.9

18. Anni Nord, UNM, 34:34.1

19. Elena Breed, DU, 34:49.7

20. Solveig Bratlie, MSU, 34:59.6

21. Karina Smith, UAA, 34:59.6

22. Mali Noyes, UU, 35:20.2

23. Jessica Joltberg, DU, 35:25.9

24. Annie Liotta, MSU, 35:26.2

25. Carrie Heagney, MSU, 35:27.4

26. Maerta Larsen, UU, 35:27.7

27. Anita Kirvesniemi, UNM, 35:45.5

28. Cambria McDermott, MSU, 35:47.6

29. Marianne Madsen, CU, 36:42.4

30. Mackenzie Jones, MSU, 37:18.1

31. Anniken Bratlie, UNM, 39:48.1

32. Sarah Dixson, WYO


Did Not Finish:

Katie Stege, CU

Sierra Jech, WYO

Bridget Weiner, WYO


Did Not Start:

Silje Wilsgaard, DU

Mari Elden, DU


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RMISA Collegiate Action Gets Started

The college racing season got started this weekend in the Rocky Mountain (RMISA) division on the trails at Hawelsen Hill Nordic Center as part of the University of Colorado Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational.  Friday’s schedule called for 10km freestyle for the men and 5km freestyle for the women.

On the men’s side it was the University of Utah’s Didrik Smith who led the way with a time of 24:40.1, just ahead of teammate Miles Havlick who crossed the line with a time of 24:41.4.  Michael Schallinger (MSU) finished third another ten second back.

In team action the University of Utah posted a score of 136 as their third skier, Tom Smith crossed the line in fifth.  Second place went to Montana State University who tallied 122 points with three skiers in the top six.  The host school finished the men’s race in third with 90 points.

In the women’s 5km it was Joanne Reid (CU) who set the pace with a time of 14:52.5, she was followed by Jaime Bronga (UAA) who crossed the line in 15.01.9 and Linn Klaesson (UNM) in 15:05.4.

In team scoring it was the University of Colorado that led the way with 108 points followed closely by the University of Alaska Anchorage and Montana State University who both recorded 102 points.

Complete Day One Results

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