Naomi Bailey stars at Seawolf Throwdown as UAF Women's XC wins again

UAF Freshman Naomi Bailey claims first at the Seawolf Throwdown on the Kindcaid Trails (UAA...
UAF Freshman Naomi Bailey claims first at the Seawolf Throwdown on the Kindcaid Trails (UAA Athletics)(UAA Athletics)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:31 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Seven days after defeating the University of Alaska Anchorage in a head-to-head race for the first time in program history, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Women’s Cross Country program doubled down at the Seawolf Throwdown.

Former West Valley standout Naomi Bailey - who is four months removed from State High School Track and Field Championships in the 800, 1600 and 3200-meter events - was the fastest Alaskan collegiate runner by 45 seconds, navigating through Kincaid Park’s 6-kilometer course in 22 minutes and 37.8 seconds.

Australian freshman Rosie Fordham made it a 1-2 Nanook punch when she clocked in at 23:22.2 for second, also placing runner-up in the preseason opener in Fairbanks the week prior.

Blue & Gold champion Kendall Kramer did not compete, resting for the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference meet of the year September 24 at the Mike Johnson Classic, hosted by Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon.

UAA’s Nancy Jeptoo claimed third at 24:34.2, followed by UAF’s Delainey Zock, who clocked in at 25:04.8. With Rya Berrigan taking sixth (26:08.3) and Aila Berrigan rounding out the top 10 (29:08.4), the Nanooks - who were projected to finish 9th in the GNAC - claim back-to-back victories over the projected third ranked Seawolves.

In the men’s 8K race, it was the same Seawolf duo that grabbed the top two spots at the Blue & Gold race in Cole Nash (26:18.4) and Jacob Moos (26:27.9).

Last week’s top finisher out of the Nanooks, Joe Davies, did not complete the race, but Mike Ophoff stepped up to pick up a third place finish at 26:42.2. UAA took over the 3-6 slots, while Zephan Ozturgut (6th, 29:34.2), Nolan Earnest (7th, 29:56.6), Koen Ross (9th, 30:02.3) and Jack Cater (11th, 31:21.6) rounded out the Nanook finishers, falling 18-38 to the Seawolves.

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