STOWE, Vt. – Freshman Sigurd Roenning of Alaska Anchorage finished second in the men’s 20-kilometer classic race at the NCAA National Championships Friday.
“It was the best race I ever had,” Sigurd Roenning. “But I regret puling the group in the first lap because it made me a little more tired than the others, but it made the group spread out and get them tired. On the second and third laps I tried to ski smart and use as little energy as possible. I tried to ski smart and take the lead into the final hill to slow the pace and use less energy. In the final lap and the last three kilometers Bie started to go and Ricardo attacked at the 3km mark and then it was fighting for your life, and in the end Ricardo was stronger. I couldn’t feel my legs and everything was black. But I’m satisfied because I know I couldn’t get the victory today and 2nd place feels like a victory. There were so many people cheering that you couldn’t hear yourself breathe and it was the most fun race I ever had too.”
Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier of New Mexico pulled away on the up-hill finish to win in 55:50.
Roenning, a native of Vikersund, Norway, finished in a time of 55:56 to earn the first All-American honor of his career.
Senior Casey Wright was the top finisher for the UAA women placing 21st (49:54). With her finish she qualified to represent Australia at the World Cup Finals in Canada.
Katharine Ogden of Dartmouth won the women’s race in at time of 46:25.
“The field at NCAA’s is so strong it feels like a mini-world cup,” said head coach Andrew Kastning. “The conditions were perfect for classic skiing and Trapps did a fantastic job hosting. The women’s team skied as well as they could have for today and Michaela and Anna are already hungry for next year. Casey qualified to represent Australia at the World Cup Finals in Canada and is on an upward trajectory to ski her very best there. With the snow rapidly changing heading into the men’s race you had to think an hour into the future, and I think we managed that pretty well. Toomas took an unfortunate tumble at the start of the race and with Sigurd driving a hard pace from the beginning he had a long road to catch up. I was very pleased with how our freshmen men skied with JC holding his own and Sigurd taking the silver. This is the best result I’ve had from a male at the NCAA Championships and the future is bright Seawolf Skiing.”
Alaska Anchorage is currently in eighth place with 155 points.
The NCAA Championships conclude with the slalom races Saturday.