STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLO. – Alaska Anchorage skier Hailey Swirbul earned her first career All-American honor in the classic race at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Thursday.
Swirbul covered the five-kilometer course in 15:38.2 to finish third, four seconds behind second place finisher Anne Siri Lervik of Colorado. Swirbul is the first Seawolf to earn All-American honors in skiing since Sean Alexander (alpine) in 2016. Swirbul is the first UAA Nordic skier to earn the honor since current UAA assistant coach Marine Dusser earned the honor in 2014.
“I'm really happy for Haley to take the bronze medal today,” said head Nordic coach Andrew Kastining. “She's had a fantastic season and her hard work and dedication to getting better while being tough as nails has really paid off this year. She had her best finish of the season on the stage where it really matters and that speaks a lot to her talents. Hailey is the type of athlete that can deliver when it matters.”
“Natalie had a strong race and is looking forward to Saturday,” said Kastining. “She overcame a tough fall semester in terms of training and should be really happy with how today went.”
Katharine Ogden of Dartmouth won in a time of 14:47.2.
Toomas Kollo was the top UAA finisher in the men’s 10-kilometer race placing 22nd in a time of 29:34.3.
“Toomas had a really strong finish to his race today moving up four spots in the final 2.5-kilometers to take 22nd,” said Kastining. “He is in good shape and is looking forward to Saturday. It’s a great sign when you can finish the 10K like he did.”
Marcus Dueling was 30th (29:59.0), and Zackarias Toresson was 36th (30:20.2).
Martin Bergstrom of Utah won the classic race in a time of 27:37.1.
Alaska Anchorage is currently ninth in the team standings with 99 points.
The NCAA Championships continue with the slalom races Friday.