4 UAA skiers claim All-America honors before NCAA calls off national championships

It was a bittersweet day for the Seawolves at the NCAA Ski Championships in Bozeman, Montana, where UAA celebrated four All-America performances and then learned that the championships were ending prematurely.

Three men and one woman posted top-10 finishes in the cross-country freestyle races, which were happening at the same time the NCAA decided to call off all of its winter and spring championship events.

As a result, Friday’s slalom race and Saturday’s classic race were canceled.

UAA dominated the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle race, where Sigurd Roenning finished fourth, Espen Persen seventh and JC Schoonmaker 10th. In the women’s 5K, Anna Darnell placed 10th.

Natalie Hynes placed 12th in the women’s race, one spot ahead of Emma Tarbath of Anchorage, who skis for Montana State.

Victories went to Ben Ogden of Vermont — a member of the U.S. men’s gold-medal relay team at the recent World Junior Championships — and Evelina Pippo of Denver. Ogden was teammates with Anchorage skiers Gus Schumacher and Luke Jager on the victorious relay team at World Juniors.

“Women raced very well in difficult and snowy conditions, and it was great to have an All-American with Anna finishing in 10th,” UAA cross country coach Marine Dusser-Bjornsen said in a release from the school. “Men did awesome finishing second-best team and all in the top-10.

“They all raced smart, they were fast and gave everything. I think they have nothing to regret and I am very proud of them. Very disappointed that we don’t get to see what they are capable of in the classic, their favorite technique, since NCAA is now canceled.”