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Patterson, Lippmann win rainy, 24-mile Crow Pass Crossing

Beth Bragg
Jason Walsh descends from Crow Pass during the race. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
A runner crosses the pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Christopher Wood approaches Crow Pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Bill Pearson, second from left, Colleen Bolling and others cross the pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Sam Tilly runs down a snowy slope. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Travis Peltier leads a group of runners down hill from the pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Matt Adams was the second runner to cross Crow Pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ben Histand runs down a moraine near Raven Glacier. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Matias Saari, left, descends a valley from Crow Pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Kiersten Lippmann runs toward a first place finish in the women's division of the Crow Pass Crossing. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Adam Baxter, right, leads a group of runners over the pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
A racer descends from Crow Pass near Raven Glacier. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Rob Gillam crosses a creek early Saturday. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
A racer passes Raven Glacier on the course of the Crow Pass Crossing. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Kim Gimenez and Harrison Alger cross Crow Pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Scott Patterson descends from Crow Pass on his way to a first place finish in the Crow Pass Crossing. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
John Weddleton crosses a patch of snow. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
A racer crosses a creek near Crow Pass. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Quinton Metcalf runs across some snow. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
A racer passes Raven Glacier on the course of the Crow Pass Crossing. Runners in the 29th annual Crow Pass Crossing reach Crow Pass, the high point on the 24-mile backcountry race near Girdwood, Alaska, early Saturday morning, July 21, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

The Crow Pass Crossing is a 24-mile wilderness race on a trail teeming with hazards. It's a trail that was closed for about two weeks earlier this month because a grizzly bear was feeding on a moose kill, it's a trail that begins with 2,000 feet of ascent in its first three miles, a trail that requires fording a sometimes waist-deep river, a trail with rocks, roots, snow, scree, bears, bees, moose and more.

In other words, kids' stuff.

So it seemed Saturday, when 20-year-old Scott Patterson became the youngest men's champion in the 29-year history of the race. In third place was another 20-year-old, Andrew Arnold. In fifth place, another 20-year-old, Carl Smith.

And in seventh place was 16-year-old Lyon Kopsack, who on Monday will report to a high school football camp at Colony High School.

"Youth helps in a race like this, especially at the end," said Kopsack, whose dad Lance won in 1998.

In a race often won by men in their 30s or late 20s, Patterson is the youngest men's champion by two years. Lars Flora, the previous youngest champion, was 22 when he won in 2000.

Pounding rain soaked the field of 129 finishers who made the arduous, unpredictable trek from the Crow Pass trail head near Girdwood to the Eagle River Nature Center.

Kiersten Lippmann became the first woman to repeat as champion in 14 years. The former UAA cross-country skier finished in 3 hours, 40 minutes, 27 seconds -- four minutes slower than last year, when conditions were nearly ideal.

"It was a lot slipperier than last year," Lippmann said. "I saw a lot more people falling."

Patterson said he tumbled to the ground a couple of times but still posted the eighth-fastest time in history -- 3:05:16.7.

The only faster times have come from four-time champion and record-holder Geoff Roes (who set the record of 2:54:44 in 2010) and two-time champion and former record-holder Strabel. Roes and Strabel were both signed up for Saturday's race, but race organizer Michael Friess said they withdrew Friday.

"I'd like to race with those two guys to see how I'd do," Patterson said.

He did plenty fine on his own.

Patterson, a University of Vermont junior who has been one of the nation's top age-group nordic skiers, was nearly 15 minutes faster than last year, when he debuted in sixth place.

"I made some mistakes last year," he said. "I got lost twice and I didn't tie my shoes right."

Untied shoelaces are the last thing runners need to contend with on Crow Pass. As for getting lost, that's nearly par for the course, or in this case, par for what you think might be the course. Second-place Matt Adams of Seward learned that in his debut.

Adams, who at age 24 rates as another of Saturday's young guns, clocked 3:08:38 in his attempt to become the first man to win the Mayor's Marathon and Crow Pass in the same year.

He said he made a giant rookie mistake -- he made his first journey on the trail on race day.

"I don't know if I had fun," Adams said. "I'm glad I did it, but I fell down a lot and I got turned around a couple of times. So it wasn't the most enjoyable race because it was raining and I didn't know where I was going."

Adams' worst moments came after he forded Eagle River with co-leaders Patterson and Matias Saari. Once across the river, Adams reached for a granola bar and in doing so dropped some of his mandatory gear. By the time he picked everything up, Patterson and Saari were out of sight, and Adams took a wrong turn.

"No one should have pity on me," he said, "because no one should do this race without knowing where you're going."

The trio of 20-year-olds in the top five are all cross-country skiers, and all of them trained together with the Alaska Winter Stars. Arnold, a Grace Christian graduate, placed third in 3:18:31.4 and Carl Smith, a South High grad like Patterson, was fifth in 3:22:39.5.

In fourth place was a runner twice their age -- Saari, 41, in 3:21:58.2. He contended with cramping, an ankle that popped before he reached the river and a sore hamstring, but one of the biggest difficulties was thick, overgrown brush.

"It was just a tunnel of brush," he said. "I was diving into it."

Lippmann said slick roots and rocks and the overgrown brush created difficulties, but that's the nature of the race.

"It is what it is -- that's Crow Pass," she said. "This is my kind of race. I trained specifically for it."

Lippmann became the first woman to repeat as champion since Kjerstin Lastufka, who won three straight from 1996-98. After that came a string of 13 consecutive first-time champions.

Najeeby Quinn, 32, claimed second place among women for the second straight year. Her time of 3:43:13 was more than four minutes faster than last year's, despite the more demanding conditions.

"The river was just (high) enough that I couldn't cross it by myself," Quinn said. "It was so much slower of a course. It was ridiculously brushy. No one's been traveling it because of that moose kill, so it's really thick. It was more challenging than last year."

Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.

Crow Pass Crossing

Men

1) Scott Patterson 3:05:16.7; 2) Matthew Adams 3:08:38.4; 3) Andrew Arnold 3:18:31.4; 4) Matias Saari 3:21:58.2; 5) Carl Smith 3:22:39.5; 6) Ben Ward 3:22:59.3; 7) Lyon Kopsack 3:26:51.7; 8) Mark Brady 3:29:15.5; 9) Tony Slatonbarker 3:30:06.6; 10) Alan Stoll 3:31:26.4; 11) Bruce Dotterrer 3:35:12.7; 12) Drew Harrington 3:35:22.1; 13) Andrew Lee 3:35:57.2; 14) Jason Walsh 3:38:16.1; 15) Allan Spangler 3:38:37.9; 16) Tom Bronga 3:39:35.0; 17) Ben Histand 3:47:40.1; 18) Ryan Heffernan 3:47:55.7; 19) Matt Crow 3:49:58.6; 20) Andrew Dougherty 3:50:41.1; 21) Dare Hedum 3:52:41.3; 22) Ron Koczaja 3:53:46.8; 23) Jadee Moncur 3:54:16.0; 24) Lee Bolling 3:56:08.7; 25) John Weddleton 3:56:53.6; 26) Joe Magellan 3:57:51.3; 27) Gary Holton 3:57:54.7; 28) Jim Mcdonough 3:58:08.3; 29) Sam Tilly 3:59:31.9; 30) Jason Fellman 3:59:37.1; 31) Quinton Metcalf 3:59:53.3; 32) Michael Adams 4:00:27.2; 33) Brian Pautzke 4:01:36.5; 34) Gary Weir 4:01:40.3; 35) John Nagel 4:02:48.0; 36) Aaron Gallagher 4:04:02.8; 37) Lance Kopsack 4:04:09.5; 38) Seth Berntsen 4:04:44.0; 39) Michael Vander Lugt 4:05:18.7; 40) James Zwiefel 4:06:57.2; 41) Barry Burns 4:08:15.2; 42) Noah Zogas 4:10:35.0; 43) Dougal Neralich 4:10:41.6; 44) David Minge 4:10:52.3; 45) Travis Peltier 4:12:12.3; 46) Bill Pearson 4:15:30.0; 47) Regan Sarwas 4:15:45.5; 48) Mark Stevens 4:16:23.0; 49) John Wirum 4:16:23.6; 50) Brian Broderick 4:16:24.2; 51) Mark Carr 4:18:26.6; 52) Dorian Gross 4:18:53.5; 53) Dan Myers 4:20:53.6; 54) Douglas Ketterer 4:22:26.6; 55) Andrew Pace 4:22:39.0; 56) Braun Kopsack 4:22:52.2; 57) John Hellen 4:23:00.4; 58) Alexanders Brochett 4:24:13.2; 59) Jeremy Weber 4:24:14.6; 60) Kevin Sellers 4:26:25.5; 61) Christopher Wood 4:27:09.2; 62) Derek France 4:27:42.0; 63) Graham Melvin 4:29:06.0; 64) Tarek Wetzel 4:29:33.1; 65) Kris Short 4:29:37.3; 66) Brian Stone 4:29:49.1; 67) Andrew Resseguie 4:31:34.0; 68) Josias Harboe 4:32:37.1; 69) Kevin Taylor 4:34:12.4; 70) Seth Adams 4:34:35.2; 71) David Nelson 4:34:38.3; 72) Jeffrey Dickson 4:35:40.9; 73) Ryan Hickel 4:36:14.4; 74) Marc Johnson 4:37:03.7; 75) Andy Varner 4:37:11.9; 76) Derek Nottingham 4:38:22.1; 77) Timm Nelson 4:40:06.8; 78) Jeff Arms 4:40:49.3; 79) Darin Marin 4:41:56.4; 80) Greg Veltkamp 4:42:19.8; 81) Kevin Knotek 4:45:46.0; 82) Jared Friesen 4:45:53.4; 83) Matthew Waliszek 4:47:13.0; 84) Michael Wheatall 4:48:29.1; 85) Ken McInally 4:48:33.1; 86) Chris Berry 4:48:45.7; 87) Gavin Kentch 4:48:50.0; 88) Mike Schroeder 4:49:09.5; 89) Chad Smith 4:52:15.0; 90) Aaron Christie 4:53:11.8; 91) Kristofer Rose 5:00:56.1; 92) Adam Farrell 5:00:57.1; 93) Rick Wesselhoff 5:04:46.6; 94) Harrison Alger 5:06:12.5; 95) Thomas Nenahlo 5:13:30.5; 96) Conor Hallisy 5:13:31.0; 97) Nicholai Smith 5:13:31.6; 98) Jose Gross 5:15:58.7; 99) Adam Baxter 5:22:26.7; 100) Jeff Mailloux 5:23:23.2; 101) Evan Steinhauser 5:33:57.2; 102) Roger Warren 5:39:35.0; 103) Jared Kern 5:43:21.6; 104) Jeffrey Kern 5:43:33.2; 105) Rob Gillam 5:44:14.9; 106) Josh Meals 5:45:30.5; 107) Doyle Woody 5:45:53.3; 108) Roger Kemppel 5:53:41.2; 109) Thomas Brown 6:00:55.8.

Women

1) Kiersten Lippmann 3:40:28.0; 2) Najeeby Quinn 3:43:13.6; 3) Kinsey Apperson 3:59:13.8; 4) Collen Bolling 4:11:03.6; 5) Laura Kobelnyk 4:16:09.5; 6) Heidi Hjelm 4:24:59.1; 7) Angela Elmore 4:29:45.8; 8) Laura McDonough 4:42:36.3; 9) Kari Lovett 4:51:54.6; 10) Kim Gimenez 4:57:22.2; 11) Susan Casey 4:59:58.5; 12) Amber McDonough 5:01:54.6; 13) Crystal Dooley 5:03:57.9; 14) Danielle Bailey 5:13:01.2; 15) Annie Ridgely 5:28:28.2; 16) Yvonne Leutwyler 5:32:04.8; 17) Jackie Minge 5:42:30.6; 18) Stacey Almond 5:45:28.6; 19) Joey Eski 5:47:43.0; 20) Amanda Zogas 5:48:13.5.

Race winners

MEN

2012 -- Scott Patterson, 3:05:16.7

2011 -- Geoff Roes, 3:00:28.2

2010 -- Geoff Roes, 2:54:44.5*

2009 -- Geoff Roes, 2:57:11.7

2008 -- Eric Strabel, 3:09:02

2007 -- Geoff Roes, 3:07:49

2006 -- Eric Strabel, 3:05:17

2005 -- Zach Violett, 3:17:56

2004 -- Toby Schwoerer, Time rescinded**

2003 -- Toby Schwoerer, 3:08:27

2002 -- Harlow Robinson, 3:08:38

2001 -- Harlow Robinson, 3:14:03

2000 -- Lars Flora, 3:16:49

1999 -- Kevin Donley, 3:15:47

1998 -- Lance Kopsack, 3:20:48

1997 -- Francis Cosgrave, 3:17:28

1996 -- Adam Verrier, 3:19:11

1995 -- Harry Johnson, 3:14:53

1994 -- Steve Bull, 3:20:20

1993 -- Michael Graham, 3:18:00

1992 -- Michael Graham, 3:16:04

1991 -- Michael Graham, 3:18:45

1990 -- Bill Spencer, 3:26:20

1989 -- Bill Spencer, 3:05:25

1988 -- Michael Graham, 3:19:31

1987 -- Michael Graham, 3:19:15

1986 -- Bill Spencer, 3:26:08

1985 -- Vernon Campbell, 3:08:21

1984 -- Bill Spencer, 3:24:27

WOMEN

2012 -- Kiersten Lippmann, 3:40:28.0

2011 -- Kiersten Lippmann, 3:36:36

2010 -- Abby Rideout, 3:50:54.8

2009 -- Laura Brosius, 3:57:31.5

2008 -- Eeva Latosuo, 4:02:46

2007 -- Rachel Steer, 3:58:48

2006 -- Monica Tibbetts, 4:05:04

2005 -- Noelle Brassard, 4:05:15

2004 -- Julie Udchachon, 3:48:07

2003 -- Abigail Larson, 4:05:34

2002 -- Anne Thomas, 4:08:29

2001 -- Shannon Donley, 4:13:52

2000 -- Nora Tobin, 3:46:03

1999 -- Tina Boucher, 3:59:17

1998 -- Kjerstin Lastufka, 3:58:54

1997 -- Kjerstin Lastufka, 3:55:58

1996 -- Kjerstin Lastufka, 3:51:35

1995 -- Nancy Pease, 3:31:07

1994 -- Nina Kemppel, 3:36:28

1993 -- Nancy Pease, 3:31:50

1992 -- Nancy Pease, 3:29:29

1991 -- Kjerstin Lastufka, 4:11:30

1990 -- Nancy Pease, 3:26:20*

1989 -- Nancy Pease, 3:28:58

1988 -- Nancy Pease, 3:32:21

1987 -- Nancy Pease, 3:37:54

1986 -- Nancy Pease, 3:34:40

1985 -- Nancy Pease, 3:47:43

1984 -- Sue Forbes, 4:23:23

* -- Race record

** -- Schwoerer won race in what was believed to be a course-record 3:02:58. Officials later determined Schwoerer crossed Eagle River at the wrong spot. They upheld his victory but stripped his time.

Photos: Crow Pass Crossing
By BETH BRAGG
Anchorage Daily News