Norris, Laukli take Bird Ridge titles

A pair of elite cross-country skiers won the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb on Sunday at Bird Ridge in Anchorage.

In the men’s race, David Norris of North Pole won in 35 minutes, 40 seconds, to beat his 2018 record of 36:58 on the course that gains about 3,300 feet in under 3 miles. The women’s title went to Sophia Laukli of Yarmouth, Maine, in 43:50.

Norris racked up two top-20 finishes at the world cross-country skiing championships in Obertsdof, Germany, in early March, while Laukli finished in the top 30 three times at those same championships. Norris also is 2 for 2 in the men’s race at Mount Marathon and holds the course record there of 41 minutes, 26 seconds.

Seward’s Hannah Lafleur, the defending Mount Marathon champion after the race was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, led all Kenai Peninsula finishers in the women’s race by taking fourth in 48:16.

Also from the peninsula, Seward’s Rachel Dow was 16th in 55:50, Seward’s Kristen Sieminski was 27th in 58:08, Seward’s Cara Wallschlaeger was 28th in 58:13, Seward’s Tekla Seavey was 41st in 1:02:42, Seward’s Shelby Sieminski was 47th in 1:03:52, Soldotna’s Heather Moon was 58th in 1:08:50, Soldotna’s Sondra Stonecipher was 60th in 1:09:20, Seward’s Jennifer Anderson was 61st in 1:09:21, Seward’s Kelley Wiley Lane was 63rd in 1:10:22, Seward’s Emily Sawyer was 68th in 1:14:30 and Seward’s Phyllis Shoemaker was 78th in 1:31:59.

In the men’s race, Lars Arneson, an Anchorage resident and 2009 graduate of Cook Inlet Academy, finished fourth in 40:30. Also, Seward’s Erik Johnson was seventh in 42:19, Soldotna’s Galen Hecht was ninth in 43:20, Seward’s Pyper Dixon was 23rd in 47:37, Seward’s Kenny Regan was 31st in 48:45, Seward’s Trevor Kreznar was 46th in 51:36, Seward’s Patrick Lewis was 64th in 54:56, Soldotna’s Todd Murdoch was 93rd in 1:04:46, Seward’s Tommy Cronin was 105th in 1:08:55, Kasilof’s Walter Moore was 108th in 1:11:21 and Seward’s Fred Moore was 118th in 1:20:40.

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