FAIRBANKS — When Raphaela Sieber put the hammer down, Marine Dusser didn’t respond in the final 100 meters of the women’s Sonot Kkaazoot 50-kilometer cross-country ski race on Saturday.
Sieber, who skis for the Alaska Nanooks, pulled away from Dusser, a University of Alaska Fairbanks skier, to win the women’s division by 16 seconds after the two had skied together for most of the race.
“I thought she was going to come with me in the sprint, but she didn’t,” Sieber said after finishing the race in 3 hours, 12 minutes, 2.2 seconds.
“It was slow, but the weather turned out nice,” Sieber said of the single digit temperatures and sometimes windy conditions on the route from the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks to the Jim Whisenhant Trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area and back.
“For the most part, it was really good racing conditions,” she said.
Dusser crossed the finish line in 3:12:18.4.
“It was so slow,” she said. “But it was fun to ski with her and a pretty good race.”
Melissa Lewis of Fairbanks captured third place, crossing the line in 3:14:59.5 and Shalene Frost was fourth in 3:18:03.3.
Donna Difolco rounded out the top five in 3:40:26.8.
This year’s race featured a separate 50K Classic Division and a 40K division.
Corrinne Leistikow was the women’s 50K classic winner in 4:51:18.5, with Jennifer Delamere taking the runner-up spot in 4:55:47.7. Third place went to Liz Powelko in 5:52:19.8.
Two former News-Miner reporters — Kristan Kelly and Molly Rettig — finished 1-2 in the 40K race. Kelly posted a winning time of 3:21:50.3 and Rettig crossed the linen in 3:25:27.9.
Sharon Baker rounded out the top five in 3:30:54.6.
In the women’s 20K race, Jade Hajdukovich posted the fastest time of the day in 1:09:13.3, Sara Falconer captured the runner-up spot in 1:11:49.2, with Jamie Johnson taking third place in 1:12:09.3.
Jenna Difolco and Karen Hopp rounded out the top five in 1:17:49.4 and 1:20:18.9, respectively.
Women’s 50K age group winners were: Sieber, Senior; Molly Yazwinski, Masters 1, Maria Bray, Masters 2; Lewis, Masters 3; Donna Difolco, Masters 4; Wendy Camber, Masters 5,; Donna Hawkins, Masters 6; and Susan Sugai, Masters 7.
Women’s 40K age group winners were; Katelyn Bennett, Senior; Rettig, Masters 1; Lynne Petersen, Masters 2; Anna Ramsburgh, Masters 3; Kelly, Masters 4; Baker, Masters 5; Susy Ellison, Masters 7; and Jo Ellen Abraham, Masters 8.
20K age group winners were: Mesa Arena, Junior 5; Eloise Darrow, Junior 4; Jenna Difolco, Junior 3; Chloe Allan, Junior 2; Hajdukovich, Junior 1: Emily Koenig, Older Junior; Falconer, Senior; Erin Hanrahan. Masters 1; Jamie Johnson, Masters 2; Denali Lovely, Masters 3; Sarah Douglas, Masters 4; Karen, Hopp, Masters 5; Christine Broda, Masters 6; and Mary Via, Masters 7; Lynn Slusher, Masters 8; and Barbara Lando, Masters 9.
Complete race results are in today’s Sports Scoreboard on Page C3.