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4 Alaska skiers claim victories at Junior Nationals in Soldier Hollow

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 9
  • Published March 9

Hunter Wonders and Canyon Tobin, shown here training at Hatcher Pass in October, took gold and silver in the men’s 15K freestyle race Friday at the U.S. Junior National Championships. (Marc Lester / ADN archive 2017)

Led by medal-magnet Hunter Wonders, Alaska skiers captured victories in four of the six mass-start freestyle races Friday at the U.S. Junior National cross-country ski championships.

Wonders, a 19-year-old Anchorage skier, grabbed his second win and third medal in three days of racing at Utah's Soldier Hollow.

He and Canyon Tobin gave Alaska a 1-2 finish in the men's 15-kilometer race for skiers ages 18-19. Wonders edged Tobin by 6.1 seconds, winning in 33 minutes, 30.6 seconds.

Heading into Saturday's relay races, Wonders boasts gold medals in the 15K free and 10K classic and bronze in the freestyle sprint. He's the only Alaskan to win a medal in each race this week.

Also claiming victories were Gus Schumacher of Anchorage, who led three Alaskans into the top 10 of the 10K for boys 16-17; Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks, who sailed to a 15-second win in the 5K race for girls ages 14-15; and Anja Maijala, a UAF skier who topped the 10K for women ages 18-19.

Joining Schumacher in the top 10 were fourth-place Ti Donaldson of Fairbanks and 10th-place Luke Jager of Anchorage. Schumacher clocked 21:32.2 to add a gold medal to the silver medal he won in the 10K classic Tuesday.

Kramer also has a gold and a silver. She took second place in Tuesday's 5K classic.

Maijala won her 10K race in 30:09.8. Jenna DiFolco of Fairbanks, a bronze medalist in the sprint, was 10th, more than two minutes behind Maijala.

Alaskans finished out of the medals in two races — the 10K for girls 16-17 and the 5K for boys 14-15.

Heidi Booher of Chugiak placed 11th in the girls race to lead the Alaskans — Molly Gellert of Anchorage, who skied to a bronze medal Tuesday, didn't finish the race — and Alexander Maurer of Anchorage led the Alaskans in the boys race by placing 24th.

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