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UAA Athletics

Swirbul visits NCAA podium again for UAA ski team

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 10
  • Published March 10

UAA skier Hailey Swirbul was back on the podium Saturday at the NCAA ski championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Hailey Swirbul (Photo from UAA Athletics)

Swirbul made a move on the race's final big hill to zoom into second place in the women's 15-kilometer freestyle race.

The effort put her on the podium for the second time during the championships. In Thursday's classic race, Swirbul, a sophomore from El Jebel, Colorado, finished third.

Katharine Ogden of Dartmouth won the race in 43 minutes, 22 seconds for her second victory of the championships.

Swirbul was next in 44:00.4 and Linn Erickson of Denver University — the skier Swirbul passed in the final 500 meters — was third in 44:08.3.

"It was smart racing and gutsy racing all at the same time," UAA coach Andrew Kastning said in a press release from the school. "Hailey said she had the fastest skis in the field which gave her a lot of confidence that she could move up in the last two-kilometers, which is mostly downhill."

Emma Tarbath, a Service High grad who skis for Montana State, placed fifth, and UAA's Natalie Hynes recovered from a fall to finish 16th, matching her finish in the classic race.

"Natalie skied very well for her and will be banging on the door of All-American next year," Kastning said. "She took an unfortunate tumble on the second lap which dropped her back a few places, but she skied back up and had a strong final lap to move into the top-16."

Toomas Kollo led UAA in the men's 20K freestyle with a 23rd-place finish. He was more than 90 second behind winner Ian Torchia of Northern Michigan.

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