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Alaskans guiding full squads at NAIA XC nationals

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:44 am | Updated: 12:09 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Matt Morris and Ben Welch are going to be busy Saturday in Vancouver, Wash., and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Both Alaskans are coaching full squads in the NAIA Cross Country Championships at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Morris, a Lathrop High School graduate, is guiding the Carroll College men and women’s squads of Helena, Mont., while Welch, a Wasilla alumnus, is leading the Eastern Oregon University men and women in the respective 8-kilometer and 5-kilometer races.

The Carroll teams qualified by sweeping the titles at the Frontier Conference Championships two weeks ago in Helena.

During the same weekend in Portland, Ore., the Eastern Oregon women were runners-up and its men placed fourth in the Cascade Conference Championships.

Eastern Oregon, of La Grande, Ore., has six Alasikans on its roster — freshman and Kenny Lake graduate Kailey Wilson; senior Christy Roe from Kodiak; sophomore Hans Roelle from West Anchorage; freshman Phil Sebastiani from Bartlett; and the Updike brothers from Ketchikan, Isaac (junior) and Lucas (sophomore).

• On the same day and about 2,400 miles east, University of Oregon senior Trevor Dunbar will be racing in the men’s 10K at the NCAA Division I Championships in Louisville, Ky.

Dunbar secured his nationals berth with a third-place and team-best finish of 29 minutes, 43 seconds at the West Regional in Seattle on Friday. Oregon finished fourth to earn an at-large berth to the nationals.

Dunbar placed third last month in the Pacific 12 Conference Championships and he was a two-time cross country All-American at the University of Portland.

• Junior right wing and West Valley grad Zoe Kurth scored her first goal of the season and the game-winner for St. Norbert in Friday’s 4-2 victory over St. Scholastica (Minn.) in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association women’s game in De Pere, Wis.

• Minnesota State freshman goaltender and Lathrop grad Stephon Williams recorded 20 saves in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Denver in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game in Mankato, Minn. He had seven saves in Friday’s 4-3 loss after taking over for senior starter Phil Cook in the second period.

• Senior middle blocker Cashaana Renfro matched a team-high with 14 kills for Southern Utah in Saturday’s five-set victory over host Montana in a Big Sky Conference volleyball game. Renfro also had three total blocks in the 17-25, 25-16, 25-14, 18-25, 16-14 victory.

• Redshirt sophomore forward and Hutchison grad Kevin Rima had a game-high nine rebounds for Northwest Nazarene to go with his nine points and a block in Friday’s 85-70 basketball homecoming win over Portland (Ore.) Bible College in Nampa, Idaho.

• Sophomore guard and North Pole grad Jesse Ward contributed five points, three rebounds and a block for Ohio Dominican University in an 85-77 win over McKendree University in Sunday’s men’s basketball game in St. Louis.

• Fort Yukon grad and freshman forward Kandace Carroll had nine points and an 87.5 field-goal percentage in her first two games for the Little Big Horn College women’s basketball team of Crow Agency, Mont. The Rams are coached by Mark Stordahl, a former Galena boys head coach.

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