HANOVER, N.H. (AP) -- Cross-country skiers from Germany, Norway and Slovakia put Alaska on the map Wednesday at the NCAA Ski Championships.
Mandy Kaempf of the University of Alaska Anchorage claimed second place in the women's 5-kilometer freestyle race, UAA's Toby Schwoerer and UAF's Sigrid Aas each placed third and Michal Malak of the University of Alaska Fairbanks grabbed fifth place on the opening day of the championships.
All four earned NCAA All-America honors, which are awarded to the top 10 skiers in each race whether they are American citizens or not.
Ryan Quinn was the day's only made-in-Alaska All-American. A graduate of Colony High, Quinn placed 10th in the men's 10-kilometer freestyle race for the University of Utah.
The performances by Kaempf and Schwoerer, who both hail from Germany, are the latest in a long line of All-America efforts by the Seawolves. The school has garnered 73 All-America awards from 54 individuals over the years.
Jimmy Vika of New Mexico won the men's 10-kilometer freestyle race in 24 minutes, 3.9 second. He was half a minute ahead of Lowell Bailey of Vermont, one of the country's top biathlon competitors, who edged Schwoerer by less than three seconds.
Bailey finished in 24:33.5; Schwoerer finished in 24:36.1. Malak, a freshman from Slovakia, was fifth for UAF in 24:52.6 and Quinn was 10th for Utah in 25:22.5.
In the women's race, victory went to Utah's Katrin Smigun, a two-time Olympic skier from Estonia. Smigun cruised to first place in 13 minutes, 29.7 seconds.
The real race was for second place. Kaempf, a freshman from Steinbach-Hallenberg, prevailed in 13:40.9, just two-tenths of a second ahead of Aas (13:41.1), a junior from Norway.
Garrard was 11th in 14:18.5, less than two seconds out of 10th place.
New Mexico lead the team standings, with UAF fourth and UAA fifth, following Wednesday's races.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.