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Alaska Nanooks Nordic Ski Team prepares for 2021 season

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 3:40 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaska Nanooks Nordic Ski hasn’t competed since February 29 at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) championships. After 10 months without any competitions, the Nanooks look to kick-off their 2021 season in Salt Lake City, Utah on January 17, 2021.

The Nanooks however will be without newly appointed Head Coach Eliska Albrightsen who is expecting a child in February. In her absence, Jennie Bender will be heading up the program.

“She has so much energy, I’m not worried about her not being able to handle anything. On top of it, she’s an incredible prepper, which I think in this weird season when everything is changing all the time,” said Coach Albrightsen. “If you have several scenarios prepared, you are really the prepared one.”

It has been an unusual offseason for the Nordic skiers, as some also compete of the Blue and Gold’s cross country program. However, that season was cut by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) earlier this year. Some of the athletes that compete on both squads include highly touted recruit, Kendall Kramer. Kramer will suit up for the ‘Nooks in her first action as a college athlete. Leading up to the season start in mid-January, some of the skiers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks have decided to compete in the solstice race down in Anchorage, Alaska.

Back in the Golden Heart City, the Nanooks held time trials to prepare for the upcoming season. Coach Albrightsen was impressed with her squad, including her star freshman, Kramer.

“Always hard to be a freshman especially this year with COVID and everything being so odd,” said Coach Albrightsen. “So I was a little bit worried about her transition from high school to college but she’s killing it. She’s doing a really great job.”

Alaska will have three events to attend before the NCAA Ski Championships set for March 10 in Jackson, New Hampshire. After their meet on January 17, the ‘Nooks will once again return to Salt Lake City for a two-day event hosted by Montana State University on February 21. The regular season then culminates on the following weekend as Utah will host the NCAA Regionals starting on February 26.

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