Alaska-Anchorage scores NCAA ski sweep
CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (AP) _ Frode Lillefjell and Doris Hausleitner won the men’s and women’s cross-country races for Alaska-Anchorage in dismal weather Thursday in the NCAA Ski Championships.
The two victories at the Craftsbury Nordic Center jumped the Alaskan team from ninth place to fourth with 264 points.
Host Vermont retained its lead after two days with 369.5 points. Colorado was second with 362 and defending champion Utah third with 341. Middlebury was fifth with 243. Vermont led Colorado and Utah by 23 after Wednesday’s first day.
Hausleitner, a junior from Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, shocked the field by winning the 5-kilometer classical race in 17 minutes, 50 seconds. Anne Tysso of Colorado was 1.3 seconds behind, with another Colorado skier, Eva Lowe, third in 18:04.7.
``This is a complete surprise,″ Haisleitner said. ``I am probably the most unlikely NCAA champion you’ll ever meet.″
Hausleitner finished 15th in the 15-K classical race at last year’s NCAA championships, and was 18th in the West regionals two weeks ago.
``I was hoping for a top 10 finish today,″ she said. ``I still can’t believe I won.″
Lillefjell finished in 30:45.9 to upset Vermont’s Thorodd Bakken, the defending NCAA freestyle champion who was beaten for only the third time in his collegiate career. Bakken finished in 30:48.0, with Justin Freeman of Bates third in 31:55.4.
``I was hoping for a top three finish and thought that if I had a good day, I could win,″ he said.
The races were moved to Craftsbury from the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe because of the weather. At least a foot of snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours, temperatures had plummeted and gusts with blowing snow brought visibility to nearly zero.