The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) nordic team pulled the interstate/intercollegiate upset of the last half a decade on the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) on Sunday, winning the Alaska Nordic Cup — which belonged to UAF for the last two seasons.
The championship was held over a two-day span at Birch Hill Recreation Area, where UAA took a 25-second lead after Saturday’s 5- and 7.5-kilometer freestyle mass-start races. On Sunday, the Seawolves won the women’s sprint relay and took second in the men’s relay to extend the margin to 39 seconds for their first Nordic Cup win since 2011, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. It was UAA’s third time capturing the title. The Nanooks have won seven of the last 11 years.
“It was a very good day of racing by both teams today,” UAF Head Coach Scott Jerome said in a university press release. “Our team gave it our best shot and had a relay win today which was great. I’m really proud of our effort.”
The Seawolves combined for a winning two-day time of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 36.7 seconds, while the Nanooks finished in 3:06:15.7. UAF leads the all-time series with 7 wins, 3 losses and a tie.
UAF’s Hallvard Evjestad, a freshman from Norway, notched back-to-back wins in Saturday’s 7.5 k skate and with Logan Hanneman in Sunday’s 6 x1.4 k k relay. UAA’s top men’s relay, Clement Molliet and Mario Roncador, finished about 2 seconds back in second.
Mackenzie Kanady led the Seawolves to a win in Saturday’s skate race and teamed up with Kathrin Schratt to top the women’s relay on Sunday. UAF’s Anne-Tine Markset, who was second on Saturday, and Nichole Bathe placed second in the relay, about 7 seconds back.