Two Alaska skiers find podium at NCAA Championships
The senior finished eighth in yesterday’s men’s 10K skate race on Day 1 of the NCAA Skiing Championships in New York.
He was a double All-American as a sophomore [9th, skate, 5th classical] and just missed a top-10 result last year when he finished 11th in the skate race.
Talbot crossed the line in 26:24.2, outsprinting a Vermont skier to collect some much-deserved hardware. Top 10 earn All-American status, but only the top 8 get a trophy.
“It was fun out there. It’s definitely my weaker of the two [skate, classical], especially this season,” he told me. “I’ve really struggled to put together many solid freestyle races. I was very, very happy with that result. It was my best result at NCAAs for freestyle, so that was pretty cool.”He was joined on the podium by another Alaskan – Montana State University senior Forrest Mahlen of Anchorage placed fifth in 26:09.8 to collect his first All-American trophy.
“He’s really come on strong at the end of this season with a couple top-10 finishes in the West Region, which is very competitive,” Talbot said of Mahlen.
“It’s sweet. This summer I actually got to train with Forrest. We’ve been rivals for a long time, dating back to our high school years and even before that. I’ve grown up racing against Forrest. It’s very encouraging and I think the Alaska pride is certainly there.”
Another Alaskan, UAF’s Logan Hanneman of Fairbanks, was also in the running for a podium finish. The senior was 12th; a year ago in the classic he finished 11th.
“He was having a great race,” Talbot said of Hanneman. “We were even most of the way. Definitely racing with guys I’ve grown up with and raced against, it’s a very cool feeling.”
Kirk was 18th in the women’s 5k skate race, her best career finish in an NCAA freestyle race.
Earlier this week, she was presented with the Elite 89 award as the student-athlete competing in the NCAA Skiing Championships with the best GPA [3.98].She is majoring in exercise and movement science.