FAIRBANKS — Alaska Nanooks teammates Anja Maijala and Kati Roivas posted top-20 finishes Wednesday during the first Nordic races of the NCAA Ski Championships in Stowe, Vermont.

Forty women and men each competed in the individual-start freestyle races on the trails of the Trapp Family Lodge. The women raced for 5 kilometers and the men skied for 10K.

Maijala, a sophomore from Wrenshall, Minnesota, placed 16th in the women’s race after completing the course in a career-best 14 minutes, 8.5 seconds.

Roivas, a senior placed 19th in 14:19.0, also a career best for the native of Liperi, Finland, who transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks from the University of New Mexico.

Maijala and Roivas also placed seventh and 11th, respectively, among women’s skiers from the NCAA West Region and the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association. 

Julia Richter, of the University of Utah, captured the women’s title in 13:28.3.

In the men’s 10K Wednesday, Nanooks redshirt senior Seiji Takagi placed 26th with a season-best effort of 25:37.3. 

Senior teammate Max Donaldson finished in 26:06.9 for 35th place.

Takagi’s finish also placed the former South Anchorage High School standout in 13th place among West Region and RMISA men’s racers. Donaldson, a former West Valley High School standout, ranked 16th among participants from the West Region and RMISA.

Montana State University freshman Ti Donaldson, Max’s brother and a former West Valley standout, placed 23rd in 25:32.2 on Wednesday.

Erik Olsvik Denegerud, of the University of Colorado, claimed the men’s national title in 24:25.5.

The Nordic skiers return Friday for mass-start classic technique races, starting at 6 a.m. AKST. The women race for 15K and the men compete for 20K.

Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.