Local skiers competed with the country’s best Wednesday at the U.S. Cross-Country Ski Championships at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.
On an artificially-created loop of snow, Anchorage native and APU racer Scott Patterson won the 15-kilometer interval start men’s race, while sister Caitlin, who races for Craftsbury Green Racing Project in Vermont, won the 10K women’s race.
Soldotna High racer Koby Vinson finished 159th out of 178 finishers in the men’s race, and SoHi teammate Jeremy Kupferschmid was 174th. Vinson crossed the line 10 minutes, 7 seconds, behind Patterson, who won with a time of 36:33.7, while Kupferschmid was 12:51 behind the winner.
SoHi alum and current University of Alaska Anchorage skier Sadie Fox finished 59th out of 147 women’s finishers, 4:21 behind the winner, and current Kenai Central skier Addison Gibson was 118th, 7:03 behind the winner.
A 2.5K loop was created with artificial snow due to warm weather conditions in the days prior that melted most of the natural snow at Kincaid, and racers completed loops — four for the women and six for the men — but were welcomed by a blizzard of wet snow that blanketed the course.
This week’s races will crown national champions and will also be used in the selection process for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.