ANCHORAGE -- The NCAA Ski Championships will return to Kincaid Park and Alyeska Resort in March of 2002.
That marks the second time in history and the first time in 15 years that college skiing will crown its champions in Alaska.
The University of Alaska Anchorage will be hosting the event, which includes Nordic and Alpine skiing.
UAA Ski Coach Paul Crews helped the university's cause early this year when he took the Seawolves to the U.S. National Championships in Salt Lake City for less money than it took the University of New Mexico to get there.
"We had $400 tickets, and New Mexico had $600-something tickets," Crews told the Anchorage Daily News.
The NCAA selection committee had been concerned in the past about the costs of traveling to Alaska. But the NCAA recently awarded the Division I volleyball championships to Hawaii, providing hope that skiing could come to Alaska despite the distance from other college ski programs.
The Alaska event also was helped by the Anchorage area's reliable snow conditions and a record of staging trouble-free major events at top-notch venues.
Kincaid Park has the rare combination of world-class trails at sea level and Alyeska has improved snowmaking and a new day lodge to go along with its world-class trails.
The 2002 championships aren't expected to be a financial burden to UAA. The NCAA pays travel and per diems for out-of-town athletes and will provide UAA with a $30,000 budget, which Crews said should be enough to stage the races.