Courtesy of skinnyski.com
Early results from Fairbanks showed strong racing from Midwest athletes.
While the top 3 J1 spots for the mens 10k freestyle were claimed by Norwegian athletes (listed as Team G for “Guest”), Rochester’s Ian Torchia from Team Midwest posted the top American J1 time in 4th place. Logan Hanneman of U Alaska Fairbanks used his home course advantage to take top honors for the OJ men over Midwest’s Ben Saxton in 2nd and Eli Hoenig (NE team) in 3rd. Zak Ketterson posted the fastest Midwest finish time in 6th overall for J2 boys.
In similar style to the boys, Norwegian guest women skied the fastest 1st, 2nd, and 5th times for all OJ and J1 women in the 5km freestyle. This left the top American J1 spot to the Midwest’s own Alayna Sonnesyn, no stranger to the podium.
Other strong J1 finishes came from Vivan Hett (10th J1, 7th American J1) and Nicole Bathe (14th J1, 11th American J1). OJ women saw Roseville’s Niki Reker posting the best Midwest time in 7th place. J2 women from the NE division continued to show their dominance, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd spots. Midwest teammates Rocki Wohlk and Hannah Rudd finished 8th and 11th, respectively, with Michaela Keller-Miller just seconds back in 13th.