Seawolf wins cross-country skiing national title in strong showing by Alaska contingent

University of Alaska Anchorage senior skier J.C. Schoonmaker earned a national title Sunday in Soldier Hollow, Utah, as a bevy of Alaska skiers posted impressive times at the U.S. cross-country skiing championships.

Caitlin Patterson of Anchorage, who went to South High and now lives in Vermont, took first place in the women’s freestyle sprint race.

Schoonmaker, a Seawolf from California, used a late surge to beat out five other skiers in the men’s freestyle sprint final.

“Winning a national championship is great,” said UAA associate head coach Trond Flagstad. “He was the favorite, but so many things can happen. He entered the race confident but not cocky. He executed the plan.”

Alaska Pacific University skiers David Norris and Tyler Kornfield, both of Anchorage, made it to the semifinals and finished third and fourth in the heat Schoonmaker won but did not advance to the final.

In the women’s freestyle sprint final, APU’s Becca Rorabaugh of Fairbanks came in second, University of Alaska Fairbanks skier Mariel Pulles took fifth and APU’s Rosie Frankowski was sixth.