Whitehorse’s Natalie Hynes, seen here during a race in 2017, was one of three Yukoners to compete in the University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational and the NCAA West Regional Championships. (Steve Fuller/flyingpointroad.com)

Trio of Yukon cross-country skiers compete at University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational, NCAA regional championships

Hannah Deuling, Marcus Deuling and Natalie Hynes skied at the collegiate competitions

It has been a busy month for three Yukon skiers currently competing collegiately in Alaska, as the University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational and the NCAA West Regional Championships both happened .

The 2019 University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational was Feb. 18 to 23 in Anchorage, Alaska, as some of the best collegiate skiers from the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) — a skiing-only NCAA athletic conference — competed in cross-country events at Kincaid Park and in alpine events at Alyeska Resort.

Yukoners in the field were Marcus Deuling and Natalie Hynes competing for Alaska Anchorage, and Hannah Deuling competing for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The competition started with 10-kilometre mass-start free events for both men and women.

In the women’s race, the top spot went to Jasmi Joensuu from the University of Denver, with a time of 31 minutes and 9.4 seconds. Julia Richter from the University of Utah was second and Christina Rolandsen from the University of Colorado was third.

Whitehorse’s Hynes finished 14th, with a time of 33 minutes and 0.8 seconds. Hannah was 29th after finishing in 37 minutes and 34.2 seconds.

Kornelius Groev from the University of New Mexico was the winner in the men’s race, finishing in 27 minutes and 16.3 seconds. Second spot went to Denver’s Eivind Kvaale and Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier from New Mexico was third.

Marcus finished 37th with a time of 30 minutes and 47.3 seconds.

Racing continued on Feb. 18 with men’s and women’s classic sprint races.

On the women’s side, top spot went to Utah’s Richter with Colorado’s Hedda Baangman in second and Denver’s Joensuu in third.

Hynes finished 14th and Hannah was 32nd.

In the men’s sprints, Sigurd Roenning from Alaska Anchorage won with second and third going to Denver’s Kvaale and Alaska Anchorage’s JC Schoonmaker.

Marcus finished 35th in qualifications.

Racing in the invitational continued with giant slalom and slalom events on Feb. 21 and 23.

Utah finished first at the meet with a total score of 638 points. Alaska Anchorage was fifth with 449 points — 189 points behind Utah — and Alaska Fairbanks finished seventh with 195 points all from cross-country events.

The invitational had a slight overlap with the 70th annual RMISA Championships and 2019 NCAA West Regional Championships that was hosted by Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks from Feb. 20 to 24.

Things kicked off with free races at Government Peak Recreation Area on Feb. 20.

Top spot in the women’s 5-km race went to Utah’s Guro Jordheim with a time of 15 minutes and 5.6 seconds. Second place was Richter in 15 minutes and 15.3 seconds, and third place was Rolandsen in 15 minutes and 23.6 seconds.

Hynes finished 14th with a time of 16 minutes and 7.2 seconds while Hannah was 31st with a time of 18 minutes and 28.9 seconds.

Cross-country racing continued on Feb. 22 for the women’s 15-km and men’s 20-km classic mass-start races.

Richter won the women’s race in 44 minutes and 48.2 seconds, with Baangman finishing second and Utah’s Karianne Moe finishing third.

Hynes was 22nd with a time of 50 minutes and 0.4 seconds. Hannah had a time of 53 minutes and 27.7 seconds, good for 26th position.

In the men’s race, Groev was the winner with a time of 52 minutes and 44 seconds.

Second place went to Izquierdo-Bernier and third place went to Colorado’s Erik Olsvik Dengerud.

Marcus finished 38th with a time of one hour, one minute and 31 seconds.

The focus then shifted to alpine skiing with giant slalom on Feb. 22 and slalom on Feb. 24.

The University of Utah finished first overall with 671 points. Second place went to Colorado with 609 and third to New Mexico with 523.

Alaska Anchorage was fourth with 511 points and Alaska Fairbanks was seventh with 182 points, all from cross-country events.

Next up for collegiate skiers is the NCAA Championships in Vermont from March 6 to 9.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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