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Alaska Sports News

Posted: March 11, 2013 - 12:05am
Some of the local Juneau families that competed in the Tour Of Anchorage race last week pause for a photo at he event.
Some of the local Juneau families that competed in the Tour Of Anchorage race last week pause for a photo at he event.

Juneau skiers place well at Tour Of Anchorage

Rush hour had a whole new meaning for a contingent of Juneau’s nordic ski racers and they had a strong showing at last week’s Tour Of Anchorage cross country ski marathon. Roughly 1,351 competitors took part in four races with awards going to the top three finishers in each. The tour is part of the American Ski Marathon Series, North America’s longest running and largest citizen’s racing and touring series.

For the men’s 50km Freestyle, Anchorage’s Brent Knight won the race in 2:04:41, followed by Dylan Watts in 2:05:23 and Eric Strabel in 2:05:25. Top area finishers were Will Coleman at 18th in 2:23:13, 18:32 off the winning time. At 115th Dan Fremgen, 3:00:50; 133rd Jason Fellman, 3:06:25; 172 Greg Patz, 3:25:14; 184 Greg Bledsoe, 3:32:05. Coleman was third in his 25-29 year age group, Fremgen 17th in 45-49 age group, Fellman (40-44) 20th, Patz (60-64) 4th, Bledsoe (40-44) 27th.

For the women’s 50km freestyle, Wasilla’s Aubrey Smith won in 2:30:24, Fairbanks’ Raphaela Sieber was second in 2:33:07 and third was Fairbanks’ Melissa Lewis in 2:34:14. Juneau’s Tamara Bledsoe was 42nd in 5:39:07 and 4th in her 40-44 age class.

In the 40km men’s freestyle, Anchorage’s John Farr won with 1:43:44, Fairbanks Jonathan Koenig was second in 1:43:48 and Anchorage’s Garth Schulz third with 1:43:57. Top Juneau skier was Tim Blust at 37th in 2:10:33 (5th, 50-54).

In the 40km women’s freestyle, Eagle River’s Kinsey Loan won in 1:57:44; second was Anchorage’s Sara Falconer in 1:59:52 and third Homer’s Stacey Buckelew in 2:01:23.

In the 25km men’s classic style, Anchorage’s Henry Loeffler won with a 1:19:31, Anchorage’s Jason Lamoreaux was second in 1:23:26 and Anchorage’s Dexter Crowley third with 1:26:39. Top area finishers were Juneau’s Ken Leghorn 17th in 1:47:20, Juneau’s Michael Hekkers 23rd with 1:53:53, Juneau’s Scott Fischer was 27th in 1:58:50. Hekkers was second in his 40-44 age division, Leghorn was second in his 55-59 age division and Fisher first in his 60-64 age division.

In the 25km women’s classic style, Anchorage’s Nancy Pease had the fastest overall time with 1:39:05, Anchorage’s Calisa Kastning second in 1:39:41 and Chugiak’ Anna Rix third with 1:44:24. Top area finishers were Juneau’s Betsy Fischer 24th in 2:12:46, Juneau’s Julie Coppens 48th in 2:45:12, and Sitka’s Kasey Davis 73rd in 3:09:54. Fischer was first in her 60-64 age division, Coppens 6th (40-44) and Davis 9th (35-39).

IN the 25km men’s freestyle style, Anchorage’s Eli Shayer won with 1:00:12, Anchorage’s Luke McLaughlin was second in 1:10:09 and Anchorage’s Bryant Brewster third with 1:11:05. Top area finishers were Juneau’s Johnny Elliott 51st in 1:33:00 (17th, 15-17), Douglas’ Arne Ellefson-Carnes 88th in 1:39:39 (27th, 12-14), Juneau’s James Beedle 112 in 1:44:26 (3rd, 60-64), Juneau’s Brad Robbins 119 with a 1:45:18 (8th, 35-39), Juneau’s Aaron Blust 152 with a 1:51:26 (7th, 1-11), Juneau’s Clem Taylor-Roth 209 in 2:06:16 (14th, 1-11), Juneau’s Joseph Roth 210 in 2:06:18 (20th, 50-54), and Douglas’ Jack White 256 with 2:44:26 (38th, 12-14).

In the 25km women’s freestyle, Anchorage’s Cara McCulloch won with 1:17:28, Anchorage’s Abby Amick was second in 1:18:39 and Anchorage’s Tasha Bergt third in 1:20:28. Top area finisher was Auke Bay’s Kristi Buerger 40th in 1:39:17 (5th, 50-54), Douglas’ Merry Ellefson-Carnes was 42nd in 1:39:40 (6th, 50-54), Juneau’s Sharon Fisher 55th in 1:44:34 (9th, 50-54), Edeltraud Rodewald 73rd in 1:50:17 (3rd, 55-59) and Jeannie Monk 99th in 1:55:51 (12th, 45-49). Auke Bay’s Kaila Buerger was 172nd in 2:24:25 (9th, 18-24) and Douglas’ Elizabeth White was 204th with a time of 2:51:49 (24th, 50-54).

UAA places 4th at Eagle Invite

YPSILANTI, Mich. (Mar. 9) – Sophomore Morgan Cook turned in a strong three-event performance Saturday as the Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team finished fourth in the Eagle Invitational at Bowen Field House.

The Seawolves (4-9) held a lead over Mountain Pacific Sports Federation rival Air Force going into the final rotation, but had trouble on balance beam and were edged, 191.975-191.650, for third place. Kent State, ranked No. 17 nationally, finished first with 195.050 points, fending off Mid-American Conference rival and host Eastern Michigan (194.575).

Cook had UAA’s top scores on vault (9.725) and beam (9.65), and was second behind M’rcy Matsunami with a 9.725 on floor. Matsunami finished third among six all-arounders with 38.350 points, boosted by a career-high 9.775 on floor exercise.

Junior team captain Emily Petersen, competing not far from her hometown of Indianapolis, delivered UAA’s best placing of the day with a fourth-place 9.775 on uneven bars.

Despite the loss, UAA’s team total ranked 17th on the program’s all-time list, giving the 2013 Seawolves six of the top 20 scores. Saturday’s vault total of 48.325 ties for 13th and the bars total of 48.025 ties for 15th in program history, giving this year’s team six of the best 15 scores on each of those events.

Individually, Petersen’s 9.775 ties for 19th place on bars at UAA, while freshman Kayli Davies posted two career-highs with a 9.7 vault and a 9.525 on floor.

UAA gets next weekend off before traveling to the MPSF Championships on Mar. 23 in Seattle.

UAF’s Heller 3rd in 100 free at NCAA Championships

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior Bente Heller (Hamburg, Germany/Communication) capped off a stellar weekend in the pool as she claimed another All-America nod at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship with a strong finish in the 100 freestyle Saturday evening at the CrossPlex Complex.

Heller completed the four-length sprint with a time of 50.58 seconds to tie for third place with UC San Diego’s Shakya Anjali as the duo touched the wall simultaneously. Her mark was .18 faster than her preliminary race, which seeded her fourth for the championship final.

This is Heller’s third All-America accolade of the 2013 championship and she is now a combined nine-time All-American the last two years among individual and relay performances at the NCAA meet.

On Friday, she won her first career national championship by claiming the 100 backstroke and also placed seventh in the 200 free on Thursday night. Her win in the 100 back marked the first time in program history a Nanook swimmer won a national title.

UAA track trio earn honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alaska Anchorage Seawolves concluded the 2013 NCAA Div. II Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday with three more All-America honors at the Birmingham CrossPlex, while the Seawolves’ outdoor season commenced with two NCAA automatic qualifying marks and four provisional times.

Leading the ‘Wolf pack were juniors Micah Chelimo and Susan Tanui with their second All-America honors of the championships, while freshman Karolin Anders collected her first following a stellar day in the pentathlon.

Chelimo, from Kapkoi, Kenya, finished fourth in the 3,000 meters with a time of eight minutes, 11.73 seconds for his 10th-career All-America honor – including cross country and outdoors. Chelimo also claimed his third-career national title when he won the 5,000 meters on Friday.

Also picking up her second All-America award of the meet was Tanui, a local of Eldoret, Kenya. The 2012 NCAA Div. II Cross Country Championship runner-up, Tanui finished the 3K in eighth place at 9:48.53.

Anders, who finished fifth in the pentathlon with career-bests in all five events, registered 3,656 points, besting her previous record of 3,458. A local of Berlin, Germany, Anders was the last student-athlete to qualify for the championships, ranking 15th. Anders was also able to defeat Seattle Pacific’s Katy Gross (3,485), who beat her at the GNAC Championships last month.

The day commenced at 9 a.m. with the 60-meter hurdles where Anders registered a PR of 9.38 seconds, 14th overall. Anders would then go on to set a career-best leap of 5-5.25 in the high jump, good for sixth. That leap would break the UAA outdoor record of 5-4.5, set by Emily Tweto in 2007.

From there, the rookie posted the fourth-best shot put of the day with a career-best toss of 38-6.5, moving her from 12th to eighth. In her best event of the meet, Anders registered the third-best distance in the long jump with a PR of 17-11.25, before finishing eighth in the 800 meters with her final PR of 2:27.92. Anders point total ranks third all-time in the GNAC record books.

In outdoor track & field action at the Cal State Fullerton Ben Brown Invitational, the Seawolves came away with two NCAA automatic qualifying marks, while the Seawolves at the Southern Invitational posted four NCAA provisional times.

Posting automatic marks in the javelin were newcomer Franz Burghagen and sophomore All-American Cody Parker. Burghagen, from Berlin, Germany posted a toss of 230 feet, seven inches for first, while Parker registered a throw of 218 feet, good for second place. The automatic distance need to qualify is 216-3.

Running unattached was former Seawolf and current UAA graduate assistant Shaun Ward in the 400-meter hurdles. The Eagle River native won the event with a time of 52.87, just .87 seconds off his own UAA record.

At the Southern Invitational in Birmingham, the women’s All-American distance medley relay from Friday competed in individual events, each posting PNQ’s. Junior Ivy O’Guinn won the 800 meters with a time of 2:12.71, while freshman Jessica Pahkala (2:13.3) was second and junior Susan Bick (2:13.41) was third. Racing in the 400-meter hurdles and posting a PNQ was junior Haleigh Lloyd, finishing at 61.99.

The Seawolves will all come together for the rest of the outdoor season when they compete at the Occidental Distance Carnival on March 15 and the Northridge Invite on March 16.

UAA Skier Dusser takes third

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Led by two third-place finishes by freshman Marine Dusser, the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves completed the 2013 NCAA Skiing Championships with a seventh-place team showing following the completion of men’s and women’s freestyle races on Saturday.

After eight events, the Seawolves posted 483.5 points throughout the four-day event. Winning the title was Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association member Colorado with 708 points. Utah took second at 665, while defending champion Vermont – who led for three days – fell to third at 653. Denver (629) took fourth, Dartmouth (594) was fifth and New Mexico (576) finished sixth.

Claiming her second All-America honor of the championships was Dusser in the women’s 15K freestyle race. A local of Villard de Lans France, Dusser led UAA for the entire season and today was no exception as she finished third with a time of 38 minutes, 45 seconds. Dusser also finished third in the classical race on Thursday.

Helping UAA to 68 points in the event was freshman Patricia Sprecher (41:04.8) in 25th and senior Karina Smith (41:53.6) in 31st.

In the men’s 20K race, the Seawolves were led by junior All-American Lukas Ebner in 18th place, leading UAA to 58 points. The Furtwangen, Germany, native posted a time of 51:01.9. Also scoring for UAA was junior Lasse Moelgaard-Nielsen (51:04.2) in 20th and freshman Viktor Braennmark (51:27.4) in 24th.

Winning the events were Utah’s Miles Havlick (50:13.4) in the men’s race and CU’s Joanne Reid (38:17.8) on the women’s side.

Combined the Seawolves posted six All-America honors (five Nordic, one Alpine). Dusser was the lone Seawolf to post two All-America awards, while Ebner, Moelgaard-Nielsen and Braennmark each recorded a top-10 showing in the classical race. Senior Andreas Adde, who completed his collegiate career on Friday, finished with an All-America honor in the men’s giant slalom on Wednesday.

The six All-America honors ties last season, while the 7th-place finish also marks the 30th time UAA has posted a top-10 result. Colorado’s win give RMISA schools five of the last six team titles, while in the last 21 years, RMISA members have been crown victorious 18 times.

UAF’s hoops season ends with loss in GNAC semifinals

LACEY, Wash. – Top-seeded Western Washington used a strong defensive effort and controlled just about every facet of the game to down Alaska 61-43 in the semifinal round of the 2013 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Friday night at Marcus Pavilion.

The Vikings (27-1) avenged their only loss of the 2012-13 season against the Nanooks (16-12) and will now advance to the GNAC title game Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. against second-seeded Seattle Pacific.

Western shot 43.8 percent (21-48) from the floor while limiting Alaska to just 30.8 percent (16-52), its second-lowest field goal percentage of the season. WWU dominated the glass by a 43-27 margin in a game that saw three ties and six lead changes. Both teams struggled from outside as the two combined for 26 percent (7-27) shooting from beyond the arc. The Vikings shot well from the line, converting 94 percent (15-16) from the charity stripe while the Nanooks never found a rhythm from the free throw line with a 47 percent (8-17) mark.

Paul Jones led all scorers with 12 points and tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds. John Allen had 11 points and six assists while Cameron Severson had 11 points and nine boards off the bench. Richard Woodworth also contributed nine points and seven rebounds while Anye Turner made three blocks.

The Nanooks were led by senior guard Dominique Brinson (Juneau, Alaska/Accounting) and junior guard Pat Voeut (Bellingham, Wash./Communication), who each tallied 10 points. Voeut had seven rebounds and four assists while Brinson and junior forward Andrew Kelly (Gilbert, Ariz./Justice) brought down six boards apiece.

The game was close for much of the first half and Alaska led 20-19 but a 7-0 run in 1:46 gave WWU a 26-20 advantage with 6:10 left. Alaska got back to within a point with five in a row but the Vikings answered with a 12-0 surge, holding the Nanooks scoreless for over five minutes and the higher seed led 38-27 at halftime.

WWU opened the second with six straight to lead 44-27 with 18:07 to play. Leading 50-35, Western opened up the game with a 9-0 run to go up 59-35 with 5:38 left. Alaska never drew closer than 18 down the stretch.

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