Patterson, Bjornsen crack top 15
Anchorage skiers Caitlin Patterson and Erik Bjornsen both racked up top-15 results at the U-23 nordic world championships this week in Liberac, Czech Republic.
Patterson, a University of Vermont graduate who raced for South High and trained with the Alaska Winter Stars, claimed 14th place in the women's 10-kilometer freestyle race Thursday. Tuesday, she placed 38th in the classic sprint.
Bjornsen, who is from Winthrop, Wash., but trains with the Alaska Pacific University ski program, grabbed 10th place in the classic sprint Tuesday and was 15th in Thursday's 15-K freestyle.
David Norris of Fairbanks placed 50th and Eric Packer of Anchorage placed 54th in the 15-K. In the sprint, Packer was 34th and Norris 36th.
The U-23 championships are for the world's top skiers under the age of 23, excepting those who are regulars on the World Cup circuit. They are held concurrently with the World Junior championships for skiers under 19.
Logan Hanneman of Fairbanks placed 16th in the classic sprint for juniors, and Forrest Mahlen of Anchorage finished 27th in the 10-K freestyle. In the 20-K skiathlon, Hanneman placed 39th and Mahlen 70th.
The championships continue through Sunday.
Messing 13th at nationals
Girdwood's Keegan Messing struggled through his short program Friday night at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb., placing 13th in the senior men's competition.
Messing, who turned 21 Wednesday, scored 64.06 points, well off leader Jeremy Abbott's 84.10. He was less than three points out eighth place.
He skates his long program Sunday.
TRACK AND FIELD
UAA runners shine
The UAA track and field team made its indoor track debut Friday by recording four results that provisionally qualify athletes for the NCAA Division II championships.
Leading the way was the distance relay team of Alfred Kangogo, Ethan Hewitt, Joe Day and Micah Chelimo placed fifth against a field of mostly Division I teams at the University of Washington Invitational at Seattle's Dempsey Arena. The quartet's time of 9 minutes, 55.87 seconds is the third-best in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history.
Also meeting provisional qualifying times:
• The women's distance medley relay team of Ivy O'Guinn, Haleigh Lloyd, Susan Bick and Susan Tanui, who placed ninth with a time of 12:00.01.
• Dylan Athony, a Kodiak freshman who placed 15th in the men's 5,000 meters in 14:42.17, the seventh-fastest time in GNAC history.
• Ruth Keino, the decorated senior who placed fifth in the women's 5,000 in 16:48.34, the fourth-best time in conference history.
Also on Friday, Cody Thomas turned in three top-five performances in the hepthathlon -- fourth in the 60 meters and high jump, fifth in the shot put -- and ranks eighth heading into Saturday's remaining events.