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UAA sophomore Swirbul skis to 3rd place at NCAA championships

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 8
  • Published March 8

UAA skier Hailey Swirbul, who made the podium twice at the recent World Junior Championships, was back on the podium Thursday, this time at the NCAA championships.

Swirbul, a sophomore, captured third place in the women's 5-kilometer classic race in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She finished in 15 minutes, 38.2 seconds, about 50 seconds behind winner Katharine Ogden of Dartmouth and 4.1 seconds behind second-place Anne Lervik of Colorado.

She was the only UAA skier to merit All-America honors Thursday. Lydia Blanchet, a West High graduate who skis for Darmouth, also earned All-America honors by placing ninth.

Swirbul won two medals at the World Junior Championships earlier this year in Switzerland as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. She has been UAA's top skier for most of the season.

"I'm really happy for Hailey to take the bronze medal today," UAA coach Andrew Kastining said in a release from the school. "She's had a fantastic season and her hard work and dedication to getting better while being tough as nails has really paid off this year.

"She had her best finish of the season on the stage where it really matters and that speaks a lot to her talents. Hailey is the type of athlete that can deliver when it matters."

UAA's Natalie Hynes finished 16th. Other Alaskans in the women's race included Emma Tarbath (Montana State, 22nd), Anna Darnell (UAF, 29th) and Sadie Fox (UAA, 37th).

In the men's 10K classic race, Utah's Martin Bergstrom won in 27:37.1. The first Alaska finisher was UAA's Toomas Kollo, who was 22nd in 29:34.3.

Other Alaska and UAA skiers in the men's race included Max Donaldson (UAF, 27th), Marcus Dueling (UAA, 30th), Seigi Takagi (UAF, 33) and Zackarias Toresson (UAA, 36th).

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