UAF Ski, Cross Country receive boost from community support

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 5:50 PM AKDT
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At a time when the University of Alaska Anchorage faces cuts to multiple sports, Alaska Fairbanks has seen community-wide support for their athletic programs.

Last weekend, Beavers Sports hosted ‘The Bun on the Run 5k’, where donations were welcome to help support Nanook skiing and cross country running. Hundreds of participates took on the course while supporting their hometown University.

In addition, Beaver Sports also donated $10,000 to the program’s scholarship funds last week.

“Especially after hearing about UAA, it was kind of a last minute reflex that we had to make this donation and try to make things right and keep heading in a good direction," said Tobias Albrigtsen with Beaver Sports. “We love UAF. The ski team has been a huge part of getting the awesome trails that we have and uplifting the community.”

Beaver Sports donated $10,000 to UAF's skiing and cross country running programs.
Beaver Sports donated $10,000 to UAF's skiing and cross country running programs.(Beaver Sports)

In 2016, the then University of Alaska Systems President Jim Johnsen proposed the elimination of both UAA and UAF skiing, which was ultimately reversed. Current UAF Senior Logan Mowry, who competes in both cross country and skiing, has seen this type of support for the programs his entire life.

“Coming from Fairbanks, living here my whole life, I know that we have a really good community outreach," he said. "We are supported by them and we saw that a few years ago when they tried to cut our program. Everyone stepped up and did their part. It is great having that reassurance that we have all of this here to give us the backing that we need. Beavers Sports is awesome for everything they do for us and the whole community, we are just super grateful for.”

Earlier this week, the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, the home conference of Nanook Skiing, released a preliminary schedule for the 2021 season.

The season is set to began January 11 at the Denver Invitational, with the Colorado Mountain College Invitational coming January 14-15. UAF will host the Alaska Fairbanks Invitational on campus February 20-21, before the RMISA Championships in Girdwood, hosted by UAA February 24-27.

“We understand this is a preliminary schedule,” RMISA President Jana Weinberger said in a press release. “As an outdoor winter sport with mostly interval timing competitions, we believe college skiing can safely take place and adapt to COVID protocols. But we also understand all schools are working with reduced budgets and all ski areas and venues where we will compete will be operating with their own set of fluid rules and expectations and that any schedule we put out now can be nothing but preliminary.”

The NCAA Championships are scheduled for March 10-13 at Middlebury College in Vermont.

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