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Alaska’s junior skiers collect 7 medals in two days of racing at national championships

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 7
  • Published March 7

A day after earning five medals at the Junior National cross-country ski championships, Team Alaska was limited to two Wednesday.

Hunter Wonders of Anchorage and Jenna DiFolco of Fairbanks each picked up a bronze medal in the freestyle sprint races at Utah's Soldier Hollow.

It was the second medal in two days for Wonders, an Alaska Pacific University skier who captured the gold medal in Tuesday's 10-kilometer classic race.

Wonders is Alaska's only champion so far at the championships, which continue through Saturday.

He took a 12-second victory in the 10K for skiers ages 18-19 with a time of 23 minutes, 35.3 seconds.

Alaskans took silver and bronze in the 10K for boys ages 16-17, which was the fastest race of the day. Ben Ogden of Vermont won in 23:01.5 and was joined on the podium by Anchorage skiers Gus Schumacher, who was 14.4 seconds back in second place, and Luke Jager, who was 52.7 seconds back in third place.

Also claiming medals Tuesday were Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks, who earned silver in the 5K for girls ages 14-15, and Molly Gellert of Anchorage, who took bronze in the 5K for girls ages 16-17. Gellert was 2.6 seconds out of first place and a mere three-tenths of a second out of second place. Kramer finished 25.8 seconds out of first place

In Wednesday's freestyle sprints, Alaska was shut out of the finals in both U18 races for 16- and 17-year olds.

In the U20 races, Alaska advanced two men and three women to the finals (Wonders was third and UAF's Brandon Herhusky was fourth in the men's finals; DiFolco was third and Anja Maijala of UAF was sixth in the women's final).

In the U16 races, Max Beiergrohslein and Dale Baurick went 5-6 in the boys race and Quincy Donley took fifth in the girls race.

Through two days of racing, Alaska ranks third out of 10 team in the team standings. New England is first with 557 points, Rocky Mountain is second with 551 and Alaska is next with 505.

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