GIRDWOOD Slovenia and Turkey came on strong Saturday in the first day of the World Mountain Running Trophy, where snow made for a slick course on Mount Alyeska.
About 250 athletes from 27 nations were signed up to compete in the two-day event, which for the first time in its 19-year history was held in the United States. It is only the second time the race was held outside Europe.
The competition brings together the best mountain runners in the world.
Mitja Kosovelj of Slovenia came in first in the junior men's division with a time of 35 minutes, 41 seconds over a 7.7-kilometer course. Peter Lamovec, also of Slovenia, came in second at 36 minutes, one second. Sedate Gunen of Turkey was third at 36 minutes, six seconds.
In the team standings, Slovenia was first, Italy second and Turkey third.
In the women's races, Melissa Moon of New Zealand came in first in the 7.7-kilometer senior women's division, finishing in 39 minutes, two seconds. Angela Mudge of Scotland was second at 39 minutes, 41 seconds and Tracey Brindley, also of Scotland, finished third at 39 minutes, 59 seconds.
Team standings were not immediately available.
Karrissa Hawitt from England won the junior women's division with a time of 17 minutes, 24 seconds in a 4-kilometer course. Turkan Bozkurt of Turkey came in second at 17 minutes, 48 seconds and Mateja Kosovelj from Slovenia was third at 18 minutes.
Slovenia was first, England second and Germany third in the team standings.
Rory Egelus, 16, of Palmer was the only Alaskan to make the U.S. national team and competed on the junior men's team. He came in 40th at 41 minutes, 46 seconds.
The senior men's race was to be held Sunday, along with an open race for anybody who wanted to try their luck on the mountain.
Europeans historically have dominated the World Mountain Running Trophy. The senior men's race was to be held Sunday.
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