The home state team was toppled Friday in the U.S. SuperTour Finals mixed-gender relays at the Birch Hill ski area in Fairbanks.
The Alaska Pacific University ski team of Kikkan Randall, Erik Bjornsen, Sadie Bjornsen and Scott Patterson finished second in the 4-by-5-kilometer relay to the Stratton Mountain School (Vermont) team of Sophie Caldwell, Ben Saxton, Jessie Diggins and Simeon Hamilton.
Soldotna’s Sadie Fox skied the opening leg for the 12th-place finishing APU-UAA team. Fox, a UAA sophomore, finished her first leg in 16:16.5 to enter the exchange zone in 19th place, tagging off to APU’s Canyon Tobin. Hannah Rudd of UAA and Hunter Wonders of APU finished off the relay.
Both of the top two teams feature several U.S. ski team members, but it was the SMS team crossing the finish line 10.3 seconds ahead of the APU team. APU’s second team took third place, with Rosie Brennan, Eric Packer, Chelsea Holmes and David Norris crossing the line 1:36 behind the winning squad.