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Iverson collects first Tour win

From left, Erik Mundahl, Rob Whitney, Trond Flagstad, Erik Flora and Cody Priest ski the 50-kilometer freestyle event. Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Parry Grover leads Monica Baldridge during the Tour of Anchorage. Both were in the 40K freestyle race.Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
A group of skiers take the hill on the downside of the Northern Lights bridge, Sunday March 4, 2012.Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
Nora Miller leads David Freer as they head west after crossing the Northern Lights bridge during Sunday's Tour of Anchorage. Both were racing in the 40K. Miller said her first race in 10 years felt really good. Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
Galen Johnston skis the 50-kilometer freestyle race. Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Skiers head for a sunny stretch of trail after crossing the Northern Lights bridge and Chester Creek.Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
Skiers take in sunshine along the Chester Creek portion of the Tour of Anchorage.Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
A birch forest along the Chester Creek break the sunshine up for skiers in the Tour of Anchorage Sunday, March 4, 21012.Skiers in the 2012 Tour of Anchorage were treated to sunshine and blue skies.
ANNE RAUP / Anchorage Daily News
Emily Binnian skis the 25-kilometer classical race. Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Per Jakobsen, center, skis behind Patrick Terhune, left. Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Kent Lowell skis the 25-kilometer classical event. Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Racers head down the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Tour of Anchorage on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The Tour of Anchorage consists of 25, 40 and 50-kilometer cross country ski races in classical and skate styles.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

Twice a runner-up in the last three years, Mark Iverson of Anchorage on Sunday locked down his first victory in the biggest race in the Tour of Anchorage -- he's the 50-kilometer freestyle king.

Iverson, 29, beat defending champion Dylan Watts by about eight seconds to seize the race from Service High to Kincaid Park and capture the most prestigious title in one of the country's biggest ski races.

According to preliminary race results, more than 1,600 skiers finished the combined eight events of the Tour -- 50-K freestyle for both genders, 40-K freestyle for both, and 25-K for both in freestyle and classic techniques.

Iverson clocked 2 hours, 9 minutes, 41.8 seconds to top Watts (2:09:49.5) and third-place finisher Brent Knight (2:10:49.9).

Iverson last year finished about 25 seconds behind Watts and in 2009 was runner-up to Olympian James Southam, trailing by about 80 seconds.

Greta Anderson, 20, of Anchorage, captured the women's 50-K in 2:46:59.2 to beat former Olympic biathlete Rachel Steer by about 21 seconds.

In the 40-K, Abe Meyerhofer, 18, of Wasilla clocked 1:54:46 to win comfortably in the men's division. Likewise, Megan Spurkland, 32, of Homer, won the women's division handily in 2:05:33.6.

Anchorage teenagers swept the 25-K freestyle races, which went from Alaska Pacific University to Kincaid. Sara Falconer, 18, won the women's race in 1:23:16.3 and Troy Walters, 16, of Anchorage, clocked 1:14:04.4 to edge Will Timmons, 16, of Eagle River, by two seconds. Kevin Donley, 46, of Anchorage, finished just three seconds behind Walters.

Toni Sparrow, 47, of Anchorage, took the 25-K women's classic event in 1:43:23. The men's winner was Henry Loeffler, 56, of Anchorage, who clocked 1:27:48.

For results, check www.tourofanchorage.com



Anchorage Daily News