World Junior ski team includes four Alaskans

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2000

ANCHORAGE - Four Alaska teenagers have been named to the World Junior Championship team by U.S. Ski Team officials.

Kikkan Randall and Tara Hamilton of Anchorage, Eric Strabel of Palmer and Aubrey Smith of Seward won spots on the 11-member team that will represent the United States at the World Junior Championships later this month in the Czech Republic. Randall attends East Anchorage High School, Hamilton is at Service, Strabel is at Colony and Smith is attending Northern Michigan University.

Their selection was based on the results of races at the U.S. Cross Country Championships under way this week in Midway, Utah.

``People oughta be feeling really good by the efforts by Alaska's juniors. Those guys are going fast,'' said Rick Kapala, the chairman of the U.S. Skiing Association's junior committee. ``The high school teams and club teams are really getting the job done.''

Kapala, a former Team Alaska coach, said the state never has sent four skiers in a single year to the World Juniors, a prestigious event that attracts the best teenage skiers in the world.

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