ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – The University of Alaska Anchorage ski team opened the season with a dominating performance on day one of the Alaska Nordic Cup held at the Independence Mine Trails.

The UAA women claimed the first five spots in the 7.5-kilometer classic race, led by Hailey Swirbul. She finished the course in 22:45, nearly half a minute ahead of teammate Casey Wright (23:27).

Marte Haakeenstad-Braaten placed third, followed by Hannah Rudd (24:26) and Sadie Fox (24:45).

UAA also took top honors in the men’s 10-kilometer classic race with Toomas Kollo taking the win in 29:03.

Zacharias Toresson finished fourth overall and second for the Seawolves (29:32). Marcus Deuling was two spots back in sixth (29:48).

The Alaska Nordic Cup is a yearly competition with in-state rival Alaska Fairbanks. The combined time of the top three men and women’s times from today plus the time of the top two relay teams from tomorrow will determine the winner.

UAA will enter Sunday’s relay race with more than a six minute lead on UAF.

Sunday’s relay race will feature four skiers (two men, two women) who will each race five-kilometers of freestyle. Start time is set for 11 am at Kincaid Park.