Yeaton becomes 6th Alaskan to win 50K Birkebeiner in Wisconsin

February 25, 2020
Jessica Yeaton cross-country skiing

Jessica Yeaton

Anchorage nordic skier Jessica Yeaton turned in an extraordinary performance to win the 46th American Birkebeiner, the biggest cross-country ski race in North America.

There were 766 women in the 50-kilometer freestyle race, and for about 20 kilometers or so, Yeaton didn’t see a single one of them.

Yeaton, a APU skier and 2018 Olympian, is the sixth Alaskan to win the American Birkebeiner.

Halfway through, she broke away from the lead pack of about six skiers on a big climb called “00” and turned the final half of the famous race into a solo endeavor.

Yeaton, of South High fame, finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 20 seconds to beat five-time Olympian Riitta-Liisa Roponen of Finland by 41 seconds.

She joins David Norris, Holly Brooks, Todd Boonstra, Judy Rabinowitz and Chris Haines from The Last Frontier.