Elisabeth Habermann didn’t take cross-country skiing seriously until about two or three years ago.
Now, she’s going to ski competitively in Europe.
At 19, Habermann, a sophomore at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who was home-schooled since first grade but skied on the Skyview High School team, was one of seven girls chosen to take part in the World Junior Championships in Tarvisio, Italy, on Jan. 29 through Feb. 4.
“I thought about it a little bit last year but I wasn’t skiing well enough to do it last year,” she said.
After placing 14th in the skate race and 31st in the classic race at the U.S. National Championships in Houghton, Mich. earlier this month, Habermann was surprised when she was selected out of roughly 170 female participants.
“Before I went, my college coach told me I had a chance,” explained Habermann, who skis on the UAF varsity team. “I still didn’t think I’d make it before I went.”
With the Junior Championship team based on the U.S Nationals results, a points list was published throughout the week, including Jan. 6, the last day of competition.
“Some girls that were behind me skied really well that day,” she recalled.
It obviously didn’t matter.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said.
Having been to Germany once but never skied abroad, Habermann, who leaves on Jan. 21, is optimistic about her chances in Tarvisio, located in northeast Italy along the borders of Austria and Slovenia.
There are four races a sprint, a skate, a pursuit (which begins as classic and switches to skate) and a relay during which four members from every country compete in each.
Whatever events she does participate in, though, Habermann’s just thrilled to be going.
“It’s really cool, going with the U.S. ski team,” she said. “It’s so exciting to go with them to race internationally.”
Soldotna graduate Knight also to compete in Italy
Soldotna High School graduate Brent Knight also will ski in Tarvisio, Italy, after making the U-23 World Championships based on his results at nationals. At nationals, Knight had the top time for under-23 sprinters.
Knight formerly skied for UAA and now trains with Alaska Pacific University.
Ninilchik’s Leman breaks assists record at Eastern Oregon
Eastern Oregon junior point guard Whitney Leman, a graduate of Ninilchik School, had 14 assists as her squad defeated Concordia University 67-53 on Dec. 20. The 14 assists, which Leman collected while turning the ball over just once, broke the school record of 12 in one game.
Leman is currently ranked third in assist-turnover ratio in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II. She has 98 assists and 38 turnovers for a ratio of 2.58. She also is 13th in assists, averaging 5.44 per game.
Soldotna’s Goldstein has successful cross country campaign
Soldotna graduate Ari Goldstein finished 22nd at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Falcon Heights, Minn., in early November to lead the Huskers to a fourth-place finish. It was the fourth time in seven competitions this season the sophomore led the Nebraska women.
In late October, Goldstein was named to the 2006 cross country academic All-Big 12 team for the first time. Goldstein was just one of 13 honored throughout the conference with a 4.00 grade-point average.
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