ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Hailey Swirbul led the University of Alaska Anchorage ski team by winning the junior women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race at the US National Championships at Kincaid Park Wednesday (Jan. 3). Swirbul placed eighth overall and third among Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association competitors with a time of 28:39.4.

“I was really impressed with Hailey’s performance today,” said head Nordic coach Andrew Kastning. “She skied really well in some tough conditions today.”

The Seawolves had five other women finish in the top-20 among RIMSA skiers. Hannah Rudd was 12th (30:53.1) and Jenna Difolco was 15th (31:13.3). Casey Wright finished 17th (31:26.2), Michaela Keller-Miller was 19th (31:30.3) and Saide Fox was 20th (31:30.8).

Toomas Kollo led the UAA men with a sixth place finish among RIMSA skiers in the 15-kilometer freestyle race in a time of 38:54.9.

“Toomas had an awesome race today after coming back from injury last year,” said Kastning. “He had a strong fall of training and it is showing in his racing.”

Zackarias Toresson finished 24th (42:03.1), Marcus Deuling was 25th (42:28.1) and Tracen Knopp was 26th (42:36.8).

Kastning attributed many of the struggles for the men’s team with the changing snow conditions and the course conditions due to start times later in the day.

Petra Hyncicova of the University of Colorado won the women’s race in 28:05.8, and Dag Frode Trolleboe of the University of Denver won the men’s race in 38:26.9.

Alaska Anchorage will compete Friday in the freestyle sprints.