UAA teammates Anna Berecz and Cedrik Gagnon won the first race in the Alaska Best Water FIS slalom series Thursday on Alyeska Ski Resort's race trail.
They both won tidily, by almost identical margins. Berecz, from Hungary, finished the two-run slalom competition .39 seconds in front of teammate Kayla Fry. Gagnon, a freshman from Canada, finished .42 seconds ahead of teammate and countryman Cam Brewington.
UAA's Ida Steien Bjerka, of Norway, took third in the women's event. UAA's Niko Harmanen, of Finland, was third in the men's.
Fifty racers tolerated the low temperatures well, but the plastic slalom poles didn't. Gates made brittle by the cold often broke on impact with racers, skis, and the firm snow, causing delays while course workers replaced shattered poles. Clear skies, good light, and firm snow made for otherwise perfect racing conditions.
Seven nations, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Brazil were represented. Slalom racing continues Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with Friday's first run scheduled for 11 a.m.
Alaska Best Water FIS
Thursday's slalom results
Alyeska Ski Resort
Men (two-run combined time) -- 1) Cedrik Gagnon, 1:13.98; 2) Cam Brewington, 1:14.40; 3) Niko Harmanen, 1:15.32; 4) Jame Ferri, 1:19.09; 5) Trevor Lennox, 1:19.17; 6) Kyle Burcin, 1:19.76; 7) Brian Mangiacotti, 1:20.41; 8) Danny Fowler, 1:22.33; 9) James Schindler, 1:22.43; 10) Lawrence Dickey, 1:22.69; 11) Patrick Romano, 1:23.18; 12) Kaxui Kusumi, 1:24.07; 13) Christian Hanseler, 1:24.61; 14) Nicholas Crews, 1:24.64; 15) Timothy Thornley, 1:25.63.
Women (two-run combined time) -- 1) Anna Berecz, 1:23.64; 2) Kayla Fry, 1:24.03; 3) Ida Steien Bjerka, 1:26.47; 4) Sierra Ryder, 1:27.74; 5) Annie Ochs, 1:29.07; 6) Veronica Gaspar, 1:31.25; 7) Sarah Lundgren, 1:32.42; 8) Natasha Pawlak, 1:39.28; 9) Makaela Bielaski, 1:41.68; 10) Madison Mashburn, 1:41.80; 11) Molly Lukes, 1:42.82; 12) Stephanie Frey, 1:43.81; 13) Sarah Powell, 1:50.19; 14) Hannah Ingrim, 1:51.55.
PREP BOYS HOCKEY
West Valley 3, Chugiak 0
West Valley scored a goal in each period Thursday to take down Chugiak in a nonconference boys hockey game at the McDonald Center.
West Valley's Stoshie Skorulski opened scoring on a power play in the game's first minute, and Chris Nicolai added the Wolfpack's second goal near the end of the second period.
West Valley goalie Matt Taylor stopped 20 shots, and Chugiak goalie Matt Bennett made 21 saves.