The past year has proven to be a challenging one for the sports world. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass cancellations, postponements, and adjustments to sporting events all around. The NCAA felt this effect hardest last March when they were forced to cancel multiple National Championships and spring sporting seasons. This year, however, the NCAA National Championships for Nordic skiing will take place, and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks will be well represented.
The NCAA Skiing Championships, hosted this year by the University of New Hampshire, will begin Thursday, March 11, at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire. Five skiers will represent the Nanooks at this year’s championships as Mariel Pulles, Catherine Reed-Metayer, Kendall Kramer, Christopher Kaley and Mike Ophoff have all qualified. Classical skiing will begin at 6 a.m. AKT Thursday while Freestyle Skiing will begin competition on Saturday at 6 a.m. AKT.
Kaley ranks 11th in 10k classic and 23rd in the 20K freestyle. Ophoff checks in at 16th in the 10k classic and 12th in the 20k freestyle. UAF has named Lukash Platill and Logan Mowry as alternates for the men’s skiing team this year.
For the women, Pulles enters the competition ranked 8th in the 5k classic and 12th in the 15k freestyle. Kramer is 17th in the 5k and 13th in the 15k while Reed-Metayer is 27th in the 5k and 30th in the 15k. Rya Berrigan and Sage Robine are the two alternates for the Nanooks women’s team.
The weather for the weekend is forecast to be windy but clear. The Thursday forecast projects a high of 57 with wind, but the Nanooks can expect a high of 30 and wind for Saturday’s competition.
For those interested in live streaming the events, go to NCAA.com.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at Hpisani@newsminer.com, 459-7530, or on Twitter @Hpisani91.