A group of five Alaska skiers returned home this week from the Scandic Cup, an international race series in Falun, Sweden, that included a relay race that began with a head-to-head battle between two Alaskans.
The Alaska contingent — three boys and two girls representing clubs from Anchorage, Eagle River and Fairbanks — made up nearly half of the 12-member U.S. team. On the final day of competition for skiers 18 and under, two of the Alaskans wound up racing each other in the scramble leg of the boys 3x5-kilometer relay, where Team USA fielded two teams.
Eagle River’s Michael Earnhart of Alaska Nordic Racing skied to a slight edge over Anchorage’s Alexander Maurer of the Alaska Winter Stars, registering the fifth fastest time of the first leg (11 minutes, 11.6 seconds). Maurer was sixth-fastest (11:12.2).
Mauer’s team went on to finish 7th among 25 teams. Earnhart’s team, which also included Peter Hinds of Alaska Pacific University, was 8th.
In the girls 3x3K relay race, Garvee Tobin of APU and Maggie Druckenmiller of FXC of Fairbanks were part of a U.S. team that placed 8th.
Skiers were named to Team USA based on their results from the U.S. Cross Country Championships earlier this month in Michigan. The best American finish came in the boys 10K classic, where Vermont’s Will Koch placed fourth.
Here are results from the individual races for the Alaska skiers:
Girls 5K classic — Winner: Tove Ericsson, Sweden, 20:12. Alaska results: 34) Garvee Tobin 28:03; 43) Druckenmiller 23:43.
Boys 10K classic — Winner: Niko Anttola, Finland, 30:48. Alaska results: 17) Earnhart 32:20, 21) Hinds 32:30, 24) Maurer 32:37.
Girls freestyle sprint — Winner: Ingerid Vadder, Norway. Alaska results: 34) Druckenmiller, 41) Tobin.
Boys freestyle sprint — Winner: Edvin Anger, Sweden. Alaska results — 16) Earnhart, 25) Maurer, 50) Hinds.