Alaska sports digest for March 24

Good news, bad news for Olympic curler Jessica Schultz of Anchorage on Sunday: Schultz helped the United States clinch a berth in next year's Winter Olympics, but she and her teammates fell short of claiming the bronze medal at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Team USA lost 8-6 to Canada in the third-place match. The Americans fell behind early and couldn't put together a rally in the second half.

By placing fourth, the team of Schultz, Erika Brown, Debbie McCormick, Ann Swisshelm and Sarah Anderson qualified the United States for the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

But there's no guarantee Schultz's team will be in Sochi, Russia, though.

The U.S. team will be determined this fall at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Fargo, N.D., where Schultz and her team will be among those vying for the Olympic berth.



alpine skiing

Griffiths fastest, twice

Ian Griffiths, a Under-16 skier racing for the U.S. Academy Team based in Park City, Utah, won a pair of downhills Sunday at Alyeska, including the GCI Alaska State Downhill Championship.

His time in the championship race was 1:13.43. Next were a pair of Alyeska Ski Club skiers in older age-groups than Griffiths -- Tim Thornley, a U21 skier, was second place (1:15.88), and Nick Crews, a U18 skier, was third (1:16.25).

Griffiths won the second race with a time of 1:13.69. Crews was second (1:15.43) and Thornley (1:15.60) third.

Molly Leavens, also of the U.S. Academy Team, won the women's downhill with a run of 1:16.42 run. The Sunday women's race followed the first men's race and preceded the second men's race. Leavens' time would have placed her fourth in the first men's field and fifth in the second.

Alyeska's Sarah Powell was second and Phoebe Rogers of the Pacific Northwest Division was third.

Leavens was the only skier in the top three of Saturday's women's downhill race to finish Sunday. Stephanie Lebby, Saturday's winner, and Isabella Wright, Saturday's runnerup, were both DNFs.

The races concluded a busy week at Alyeska. The Alyeska Ski Club hosted the U16 championships last week as well as open super-G and downhill races, conducting 16 races in six days.


Men's downhill No. 1

Top 15

1) Ian Griffith 1:13.43; 2) Timothy Thornley 1:15.88; 3) Nick Crews 1:16.25; 4) Tyler Ellis 1:16.53; 5) Barren Cabana 1:16.98; 6) Kiefer Davis 1:16.98; 7) Preston Nelson 1:17.39; 8) Braydon Hall 1:17.44; 9) Michael Hayes 1:17.54; 10) Brandon Wear-Grimm, 1:17.67; 11) Gunnar Stoltenow 1:17.69; 12) Marc Lodmell 1:18.24; 13) Dylan Turner 1:18.68; 14) Montana Kurahara 1:18.98; 15) John Ruddick 1:19.97.

Men's downhill No. 2

Top 15

1) Ian Griffith 1:13.69; 2) Nick Crews 1:15.43; 3) Timothy Thornley 1:15.60; 4) Kiefer Davis 1:16.40; 5) Braydon Hall 1:16.67; 6) Barren Cabana 1:16.74; 7) Michael Hayes 1:17.29; 8) tie, Trevor Maxwell and Tyler Ellis 1:17.46; 10) Preston Nelson 1:17.75; 11) Garrett Mashburn 1:19.27; 12) Dylan Turner 1:19.36; 13) Corbin Kray 1:19.79; 14) Matthew Duchow 1:20.07; 15) Zachary Mikkelson 1:20.09 118.98

Women's downhill

1) Molly Leavens 1:16.42; 2) Sarah Powell 1:17.91; 3) Phoebe Rogers 1:19.38; 4) Ella Pepin 1:19.79; 5) Alexandria Oseland 1:21.09; 6) Frances Carlisle 1:21.49; 7) Hannah Lukes 1:21.78; 8) Ashley Lodmell 1:22.05; 9) Casey Molt 1:22.31; 10) Megan Wurden 1:22.74; 11) Talia Toland 1:23.39; 12) Morgan Leach 1:23.96; 13) Madison Mashburn 1:27.21.





Mancari bags win

Anchorage snowboarder Rosie Mancari won her second big race in five days Sunday, claiming the women's snowboardcross title at the USSA Hole Shot Tour in Mt. Hood, Ore.

Mancari, one of the top juniors in the country, topped a field of four racers in the finals. She was the lone American among three Canadians.

Mancari on Wednesday won the Revolution Tour snowboardcross event in Sun Valley, Idaho. On Saturday, she finished seventh, and was the second American, in the first Hole Shot event at Mt. Hood.

Allison Stassel of Anchorage placed 16th Sunday and 14th Saturday at Mt. Hood.



UAA 4th in Seattle

The UAA gymnastics team placed fourth Saturday in the 191.850 points at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle, missing third place by less than one point.

The Seawolves shined in the vault, where their team score of 48.65 was .025 shy of the school record.

UC Davis claimed its fourth straight title with 194.950 points and host Seattle Pacific was second with 193.2. Air Force edged UAA for third place, 191.925 to 191.850.

Freshman M'rcy Matsunami grabbed fourth place in the all-around with 38.575 points and sophomore Morgan Cook tied for fifth in the 10-woman field with 38.325 points.

Matsunami was sixth in floor exercise (9.775) and 10th in vault (9.75), while Cook was sixth in both balance beam (9.7) and vault (a career-high 9.775) and eighth on floor (9.725).

The meet was the final team competition of the season for UAA. The Seawolves will learn this week if any of them qualified for the NCAA West Regional Championships, which are April 6 in Corvallis, Ore.




Anchorage Daily News