Kelter wins finals MVP, leads Team USA to gold in France
Eagle River’s Alev Kelter outscored New Zealand all by herself as she racked up finals MVP honors and led the U.S. women’s rugby sevens team to a 26-10 victory in a HSBC Sevens Series stop in Biarritz, France.
With the win, the Americans clinched their first series title and secured a berth to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Kelter, of Chugiak High fame, piled up 14 points on two tries and two conversions as Team USA avenged a 33-10 loss to New Zealand in the seven series finale on U.S. soil in October.
This was the team’s fifth medal in six tournaments this season, but the first gold.
Kelter scored early to give the U.S. a 5-0 lead. Then Cheta Emba found a gap, scoring again to make it 12-0. Although New Zealand got on the board, Kelter scored again to give the U.S. a 19-5 lead going into halftime.
Kelter – a 2016 Olympian with the rugby team – led Team USA in scoring with 141 points in six HSBC Sevens Series tournaments.
Since joining Team USA in 2014, the Alaskan has racked up 624 career points – 239 points more than any other American woman – to rank No. 6 in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series history.
🗣 "I'm just excited. It's not necessarily about me, my team set me up."
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 16, 2019