Seawolf Nordic Ski Team races up in standings

UAA senior Steggi Hiemer comes out of the tunnel during her ninth place finish at the 5K Classical race in the UAA invitational at Kincaid Park. Photo by Ashley Smith/TNL

For the first time since 2009, the Seawolf Ski Team hosted the first of two Nordic races Feb. 4 at Kincaid Park in the Alaska Anchorage Invitational. The day kicked off a week’s worth of events being

Seawolf Jamie Bronga participates in the 2012 5K Classical race. Photo by Ashley Smith/TNL

hosted by the Ski program including the rest of the UAA Invitational and start of the Seawolf Invitational.

Alpine events are scheduled to take place at Alyeska Resort Feb. 8-11 while more Nordic races will be held at Kincaid Park Feb. 6 and Feb. 9-10.

In the Feb. 4 races, UAA added 187 total points to their Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association standings. The invitational included the University of Colorado, University of Utah, Montana State University, University of Denver, and the University of New Mexico.

The Seawolf women’s team was lead by senior Jaime Bronga in 4th place with a 17:06 time, followed by senior Laura Rombach in 7th with 17:17.

On the men’s team, sophomore Lukas Ebner headed up UAA’s finishes in 8th place with a 14:37 time, followed by freshmen Nevio Zeni in 18th with a 15:03.

“I felt really good, it’s nice to be at sea level and have all this oxygen,” said senior Steffi Hiemer who came in 9th place with a 17:28 finish. “I don’t know how I compared to others but, for myself, it was a super good race and super fun.”

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This season the UAA skiers have been racing towards the front of the pack seemingly every race. Early in the season, UAA claimed the Alaska Nordic Cup over University of Alaska Fairbanks for the first time since their 2005-2006 season. In those races, Bronga and Ebner boosted the team to the win with their first place finishes.

The Seawolves then started off 2012 with the Colorado Spencer Nelson Memorial Invitational, placing 5th in giant slalom, men’s and women’s slalom, freestyle 5/10 K, and 3rd in the classic 10/15 K.

In the following Denver Invitational UAA placed 3rd overall and the women finished with two days of all their three scorers in the top six. During the Denver Invitational senior Alex Parker led the men’s and women’s teams in slalom with a team high 13th place and has finished in the top 15 in all four of the season’s RMISA races; Bronga continued to rally with a 36:59.5 in the women’s 10K freestyle; and Hiemer finished fifth overall.

UAA will continue racing through in the rest of the UAA and Seawolf Invites where skiers will continue to look to improve times and their team point totals in the RIMSA conference. Alpine events will be will all the teams from Feb. 4, as well as competitors from Colorado Mountain College and Westminster College.