UAA Athletics

UAF’s Kendall Kramer wins GNAC cross country title

Kendall Kramer didn’t need any extra advantages.

The junior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was already a strong contender to earn a repeat victory at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference cross country championships.

But Saturday at Kincaid Park, Kramer ran on a familiar course in personally ideal conditions with plenty of friends and family cheering her on.

Kramer cruised to a win Saturday in a time of 20 minutes, 47 seconds, outpacing fellow UAF junior Rosie Fordham to win a second consecutive GNAC title.

Temperatures hovered in the low 20s on Saturday morning, but that was hardly a deterrent for Kramer, who grew up in Fairbanks and attended West Valley.

“I love the cold,” she said. “Obviously I’m from Fairbanks, so I feel really relaxed in the cold.”

And Kramer, also a world class skier, had plenty of experience on Kincaid’s trails. Prior to this year, she’d trained in Anchorage for the previous three summers.


“I’ve ran here a lot,” she said. “I’ve skied a ton here in high school and ran here in high school.”

The icing on the cake for Kramer may have been that friends and family were there to watch her win a second straight GNAC title.

“All my family lives in Fairbanks, so they could just come here really quick,” she said. “A bunch of people drove to see me and I’m very grateful, so I definitely wanted to put on a good show for them.”

Kramer was the sixth woman in the history of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to repeat as champion.

The race got off to a quick start with Fordham and others setting a fast pace. Kramer has been doing shorter distance speed work and said that helped her maintain as the races progress. It appears that work paid off as she decided to push it as long as she could.

“I guess I never tired out, and I have been tiring out the past few races this year,” she said.

UAA had a strong finish from junior Nell Baker, who finished fifth with a time of 21:19. In her first year with the Seawolves after transferring from Idaho, Baker had set a goal for a top 5 finish.

“There are some really impressive top women in this conference,” she said. “The goal back in August was to be top 5 in this meet and run with those talented women, so I’m really happy with that.”

[UAA cross country’s rapid return to prominence provides rare opportunities for key team members]

The course was also familiar for her, although the feel on her spikes was a bit different with frozen ground on the Kincaid trails Saturday morning.

“We practice out here quite a bit, but I’ve never run out here with the ground frozen,” she said. “It’s usually a sloppy mess, so that was a bit different.”

Western Washington claimed both of the team titles, defending championships from the 2022 season. With six runners in the top 15, the women won with a total of 49 points. UAF finished in third while UAA placed fifth. Seawolves Tressa Wood (31st) and Sofija Spaic (33rd) followed Baker in the individual results. The Western Washington men’s team scored 37 points, outdistancing host UAA, which was runner-up with 51.

In winning the men’s race, Kevin McDermott of Western Washington used some planning and course recon to figure out when he’d make his move in the 8K race.

“There’s one spot at the top of the hill,” he said. “I looked at it yesterday, and told myself that if I was with the top guys at that point, I was going to move and I was going to give it everything I had. I hit that spot today and it worked.”

Even with that move, he still had to shake Central Washington’s Johan Correa, who finished just four seconds behind McDermott’s final mark of 24:44. McDermott won the sprint to the finish, something he’d yet to accomplish in his season. Two weeks ago he lost to UAA’s Cole Nash on a race that came down to the final 800 meters.

“That’s definitely in the back of my mind,” he said. “I want to come back and prove I could be that guy.”

Nash, the defending GNAC champ, finished third. Nash, who has battled injuries, had no expectation to win the race despite being in the front pack for much of the race.


“I knew I wasn’t 100% going into this race, so I was going to hang with (the top pack) as long as I could and score as little of points as I could for the team,” he said.

“I feel like I did what I had to do to get out here and run for the team,” Nash added.

While the Seawolves men’s team came up just short of its goal of a GNAC title, it was still a productive day, according to associate head coach Chas Davis.

“I’m not going to mince words, I’m not going to lie, the goal from the beginning was to win a team championship today,” Davis said. “Fell a little bit short of that, but being disappointed with that would be the wrong emotion. It was still a very good day for the program.”

Michael Zapherson (6th), John Peckham (11th), George Payne (13th) and Ty Elliott (18th) all finished in the top 20 as UAA’s five counting scorers.

“We saw our No. 4 and 5 guys really run great today,” Davis said.

The team will move on to West Regionals on Nov. 4 in Monmouth, Oregon, and Davis said making nationals as a team is their ultimate goal.

On a hometown course, Davis said the team had a plan to attack on the second half of the race and implemented it successfully.


“Stay calm through the first lap and start cinching it down, and on the second lap, go take people down that weren’t used to this course, and we finished strong,” he said. “The race doesn’t start until we go into the woods on the second lap.”

GNAC Championships

Saturday at Kincaid Park

Women’s 6,000 meters

Team Results

1. Western Washington 49; 2. Saint Martin’s 71; 3. Alaska Fairbanks 86; 4. Simon Fraser 103; 5. Alaska Anchorage 137; 6. Western Oregon 141; 7. Seattle Pacific 153; 8. Northwest Nazarene 184; 9. Central Washington 272; 10. MSU-Billings 273.

Men’s 8,000 meters

Team Results

1. Western Washington 37; 2. Alaska Anchorage 51; 3. Simon Fraser 80; 4. Western Oregon 142; 5. Northwest Nazarene 145; 6. Central Washington 161; 7. Saint Martin’s 187; 8. Seattle Pacific 217; 9. Alaska Fairbanks 220; 10. MSU-Billings 259.

Individual results


1. Kendall Kramer, Alaska Fairbanks 20:47; 2. Rosie Fordham, Alaska Fairbanks 20:56; 3. Annika Esvelt, Seattle Pacific 21:05; 4. Ashley Reeck, Western Washington 21:17; 5. Nell Baker, Alaska Anchorage 21:19; 6. Cassidy Walchak-Sloan, Saint Martin’s 21:20; 7. Ila Davis, Western Washington 21:30; 8. Alisha Saucedo, Saint Martin’s 21:41; 9. Sara Sabra, Saint Martin’s 21:43; 10. Elke Wijkmans, Saint Martin’s 21:44; 11. Marian Ledesma, Western Washington 21:47; 12. Naomi Bailey, Alaska Fairbanks 21:48; 13. Meaera Nystrom, Western Washington 21:51; 14. Sophie Wright, Western Washington 21:52; 15. Ella Edens, Western Washington 21:55; 16. Morgan Erler, Northwest Nazarene 21:58; 17. Rachael Watkins, Simon Fraser 21:59; 18. Emma Smith, Western Washington 22:04; 19. Mia Crocker, Western Washington 22:07; 20. Kate Cameron, Simon Fraser 22:08; 21. Caitlin Heldt, Western Oregon 22:13; 22. Grace Chalk, Simon Fraser 22:23; 23. Charlotte Prangley, Simon Fraser 22:24; 24. Delainey Zock, Alaska Fairbanks 22:25; 25. Alicia Ranahan, Simon Fraser 22:29; 26. Riley Smith, Western Oregon 22:33; 27. Emmy Kroontje, Western Washington 22:33; 28. Matise Mulch, Seattle Pacific 22:38; 29. Grace Mack, Simon Fraser 22:49; 30. Holly Hutton, Western Oregon 22:50; 31. Tressa Wood, Alaska Anchorage 22:54; 32. Ella Marion, Simon Fraser 23:00; 33. Sofija Spaic, Alaska Anchorage 23:01; 34. Katie Chapman, Western Oregon 23:04; 35. Alanna Parker, Western Washington 23:07; 36. Anna Prussian, Seattle Pacific 23:13; 37. Olivia Klein, Northwest Nazarene 23:19; 38. Milena Kalisch, Simon Fraser 23:21; 39. Avery Williamson, Alaska Anchorage 23:30; 40. Selin Tasdemir, Simon Fraser 23:31; 41. Madison Stoochnoff, Simon Fraser 23:35; 42. Kaydence Nguyen, Western Oregon 23:40; 43. Monica Ruelas, Alaska Anchorage 23:41; 44. Kya Ramirez, Saint Martin’s 23:42; 45. Keelin Stewart, Northwest Nazarene 23:44; 46. Amelia Merritt, Western Oregon 23:45; 47. Hannah Mikkelsen, Central Washington 23:45; 48. Olivia Flack, Western Oregon 23:46; 49. Joelle Upshur, Western Oregon 23:46; 50. Carey Berendsen, MSU-Billings 23:47; 51. Maya Ewing, Seattle Pacific 23:49; 52. Jordan Gram, Northwest Nazarene 23:52; 53. Cecily Eagleton, MSU-Billings 23:56; 54. Katelyn Flolo, Seattle Pacific 24:00; 55. Tabitha Williams, Alaska Fairbanks 24:02; 56. Nicki Yorges, Seattle Pacific 24:03; 57. Kyla Potratz, Western Oregon 24:10; 58. Becca Darwood, Northwest Nazarene 24:12; 59. Casey Collom, Northwest Nazarene 24:16; 60. Teegan Silva, Alaska Fairbanks 24:18; 61. Aunika Miller, Alaska Anchorage 24:22; 62. Mckenna Lechner, Northwest Nazarene 24:30; 63. Nicole Yanasak, Central Washington 24:38; 64. Naomi Hartley, Saint Martin’s 24:43; 65. Beatrice Le Gore, Central Washington 24:46; 66. Madeline Severson, MSU-Billings 24:59; 67. Camryn Holterhoff, Central Washington 25:04; 68. Ali Clifton, Western Oregon 25:16; 69. Ava Courtney, Central Washington 25:16; 70. Mallory McCarter, Alaska Anchorage 25:25; 71. Aspen Tolman, MSU-Billings 25:28; 72. Eva Herion, Central Washington 25:40; 73. Toree Manning, MSU-Billings 25:45; 74. Hannah Koivisto, Central Washington 26:07; 75. Chloe Shennum, MSU-Billings 26:13; 76. Madison Thompson, Central Washington 26:24; 77. Joan Woods, Northwest Nazarene 26:27; 78. Emma Weaver, MSU-Billings 27:34



1. Kevin McDermott, Western Washington 24:44; 2. Johan Correa, Central Washington 24:48; 3. Cole Nash, Alaska Anchorage 25:02; 4. Sebastian Brinkman, Simon Fraser 25:02; 5. Andrew Oslin, Western Washington 25:08; 6. Michael Zapherson, Alaska Anchorage 25:11; 7. Brody Kemble, Northwest Nazarene 25:12; 8. Isaac Cortes, Saint Martin’s 25:17; 9. Ryan Clough, Western Washington 25:22; 10. Jeret Gillingham, Western Washington 25:22; 11. John Peckham, Alaska Anchorage 25:22; 12. Jalen Javurek, Western Washington 25:41; 13. George Payne, Alaska Anchorage 25:49; 14. Jose Castro, Simon Fraser 25:50; 15. Ephrem Mekonnen, Simon Fraser 25:53; 16. Samuel Lingwall, Western Washington 25:54; 17. Kanoa Blake, Western Oregon 25:55; 18. Ty Elliott, Alaska Anchorage 25:57; 19. Jason Blinn, Western Washington 25:58; 20. Steiner Christensen, Central Washington 26:02; 21. Scott Arndt, Simon Fraser 26:05; 22. Brennan LeBlanc, Seattle Pacific 26:07; 23. Leo Rutledge, Western Washington 26:13; 24. Wyatt Matyas, Alaska Anchorage 26:14; 25. Easton Pomrankey, Western Oregon 26:14; 26. Ian Stockett, Northwest Nazarene 26:15; 27. Dylan Lennon, Western Washington 26:15; 28. Henry Ruckman-Utting, Simon Fraser 26:17; 29. Quincy Ellis, Northwest Nazarene 26:25; 30. Benjamin Schoening, Simon Fraser 26:28; 31. Will Henry, Western Washington 26:34; 32. Ben Dohlby, Alaska Fairbanks 26:37; 33. Ethan Bothwell, Western Oregon 26:38; 34. Kainalu Pagente, Saint Martin’s 26:38; 35. Bryant Edgerton, MSU-Billings 26:40; 36. Kolby Spink, Western Oregon 26:41; 37. Andrew Thomson, Simon Fraser 26:43; 38. Silas Demmert, Seattle Pacific 26:44; 39. Ries Tveit, Alaska Anchorage 26:46; 40. Max Hutton, Central Washington 26:47; 41. Jordan Kemper, Western Oregon 26:47; 42. Asher Ingram, Northwest Nazarene 26:53; 43. Grant Bohannon, Western Oregon 26:56; 44. Philipp Moosmayer, Alaska Fairbanks 26:58; 45. Aiden Good, Simon Fraser 26:59; 46. Isaiah Rodriguez, Western Oregon 27:00; 47. Isaac Venable, Seattle Pacific 27:01; 48. Andrew Rush, MSU-Billings 27:01; 49. Braden Ahl, Simon Fraser 27:04; 50. Eli Dale, Saint Martin’s 27:08; 51. Logan Parker, Western Oregon 27:15; 52. Koen Ross, Alaska Fairbanks 27:15; 53. Aaron Heberlein, Northwest Nazarene 27:20; 54. Carter Stedman, Northwest Nazarene 27:27; 55. Michael Harwell, Saint Martin’s 27:27; 56. Chase Perez, Central Washington 27:31; 57. Finn Morley, Alaska Fairbanks 27:31; 58. Jack Pratapas, Central Washington 27:36; 59. Cedar Davis-Frankfort, Western Oregon 27:37; 60. Jace Peters, Alaska Fairbanks 27:48; 61. Timmy Higgins, Saint Martin’s 27:49; 62. Jonathan Lieb, Seattle Pacific 27:50; 63. Quinten Jones, Central Washington 27:50; 64. Keeton Sanchez, Western Oregon 27:54; 65. Stephen Zukowski, Alaska Anchorage 27:56; 66. Wyatt May, MSU-Billings 27:59; 67. Micah Chi, Northwest Nazarene 28:02; 68. Ryan Owens, Alaska Fairbanks 28:10; 69. Colin Hitchcock, Central Washington 28:15; 70. Will Hyatt, MSU-Billings 28:25; 71. Nathaniel Gale, Seattle Pacific 28:28; 72. Noe Ortega, Saint Martin’s 28:33; 73. Gabe Endresen, Seattle Pacific 28:35; 74. Micah Logie, Simon Fraser 28:41; 75. Nate Tweedy, MSU-Billings 28:56; 76. Nolan Earnest, Alaska Fairbanks 29:02; 77. Ben Sheirbon, Seattle Pacific 29:03; 78. Jaskaran Dhatt, Saint Martin’s 29:10; 79. Kona Atkins, Alaska Fairbanks 29:16; 80. Josh Baurick, Alaska Fairbanks 29:31; 81. Noah Sanchez, Central Washington 29:51; 82. Connor Robbins, Northwest Nazarene 30:07; 83. Jackson Bailey, MSU-Billings 30:19

Chris Bieri

Chris Bieri is the sports and entertainment editor at the Anchorage Daily News.