Kramer earns All-American honors after top-10 finish at NCAAs
Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks ended the NCAA Championships in style after earning All-American honors and being the third-highest American female finisher in the 15-K freestyle nordic race in Jackson, New Hampshire.
The UAF freshman and U.S. Ski Team’s Development squad member clocked a time of 40 minutes, 4 seconds to hold off Lina Sutro of the University of Vermont by two seconds and finish eighth in the 40-woman field.
Kramer, of West Valley High fame, bettered by five places her 13th-seed status in the freestyle technique, a huge improvement on the biggest stage in college skiing.
She was the lone Alaskan among the six competing to produce a top-10 result, although Anchorage’s Zanden McMullen of Montana State University just missed for the second time in two races at the NCAAs.
McMullen, of South High fame, was the second-highest American male finisher in the 20-K freestyle and placed 11th in the 40-man field.
He finished with a time of 49:38, eight seconds behind Norway’s Bjorn Riksaasen of the University of Utah.
Two days earlier McMullen had just missed a top-10 finish by fewer than two seconds in the 10-K classical.
Anchorage’s Luke Jager – who was the national runner-up in the 10-K classical – turned in a top-20 finish in the freestyle.
Jager placed 19th in 50:54.
The skier from the 49th state racked up 49 points in the two races, helping the Utes cap an undefeated season by winning the national championship with 554 points.
Utah was followed by Colorado (522.5), Denver (442), UAA (411) and Montana State (383.5). UAF was 10th out of the 17 teams that competed over four days.
In addition to Kramer, the women’s freestyle race featured three other Alaskans.
Chugiak’s Adrianna Proffitt of Montana State University was 18th in 41:00 – her second top-20 finish at the NCAAs.
Anchorage’s Aubrey Leclair of Montana State University was 28th in 42:43.
Fairbanks’ Maggie Whitaker from The College of St. Scholastica was 36th in 45:52.