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UAF Ski debuted 2021 season in Utah

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 7:10 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Nanooks skiing program were down in Salt Lake City, Utah for a three-day event. The ‘Nooks had some strong performances from veteran skiers and their freshman Kendall Kramer who made her college debut.

Interim Head Coach Jennie Bender, who is filling in for Eliska Albrightsen, was able to oversee the Nanooks compete in their first events in 2021. During the sprint qualifiers, sophomore Mariel Pulles from Otepaa, Estonia scored the top spot after getting a time of three minutes and 47.78 seconds. Pulles beat the field by five seconds, while Mike Ophoff took sixth overall in the men’s 1.5K race. Throughout the three days down in Utah, the Nanooks consistently had skiers in the top-20.

“It was so gratifying this weekend. The vibe was great, the kids had an awesome attitude,” said Coach Bender. “They’re working really well together and it’s super special to have this crew. I mean half of them are seniors and so I want to make it special for them.”

Mariel Pulles’ results from Jan. 16-18 in Utah:

RaceTime (Min/Sec)Place
Women’s 1.5K Sprint Qualifier3:47.781st
Women’s 5K Freestyle13:31.714th
Women’s 15K Classical42:48.89th

Mike Ophoff’s results from Jan. 16-18 in Utah:

RaceTime (Min/Sec)Place
Men’s 1.5K Sprint Qualifier3:21.796th
Men’s 10K Freestyle23:06.718th
Men’s 20K Classical55:21.511th

Newcomer Kramer was able to impress her peers in her first collegiate races. The former West Valley standout scored a 21st place finish in the sprint qualifier, was the top Nanook in the women’s 5K Freestyle race with a time of 13 minutes and 20.2 seconds taking 13th overall and finished in 14th for the 15K Classical. According to Coach Bender, Kramer was great down in Salt Lake City and impressed her on the trails.

“She is very much one of the younger ones out there at 18,” said Coach Bender. “I think she did great. I think for some of her first races as a freshman, just different surroundings working through different things. She’s been training a lot.”

Kendall Kramer’s results from Jan. 16-18 in Utah:

RaceTime (Min/Sec)Place
Women’s 1.5K Sprint Qualifier4:12.3121st
Women’s 5K Freestyle13:20.213th
Women’s 15K Classical44:08.114th

The next event for the Nanooks is on February 21 in Utah for series hosted by Montana State University.

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