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ALPINE SKIING

College Skiing: Fairbanks’ Kendall Kramer of UAF earns All-American honors for fourth time; UAA finishes with six All-Americans

by | Mar 9, 2024 | Alpine Skiing, Cover Story, Nordic Skiing

Fairbanks native Kendall Kramer earned NCAA All-American honors. Photo by Tobias Albrlgsten

Kendall Kramer of Fairbanks became a four-time NCAA All-American skier for UAF as Alaska’s college ski teams wrapped up the national championships Saturday with three women in the top 10 of the 20-kilometer classic race.

A day earlier, UAA sophomore Ella Bromee grabbed fourth place in the women’s slalom for the best finish by either school in the four-day championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

The Seawolves, who finished with six All-America performances from five athletes, placed seventh in the team standings with 274 points.

Among those joining Bromee with top-10 performances for UAA:

  • Astrid Stav, a senior from Norway who was an All-American in both cross-country races (10th in Saturday’s 20K; 7th in Thursday’s 7.5K freestyle). In four seasons, she has delivered five All-America finishes.
  • Carmen Nielssen, a sophomore from Norway who was 8th in the women’s slalom on Friday.
  • Ainslee Proffit, a sophomore from Missouri who was 8th in the giant slalom on Wednesday. She was in position for a podium finish Friday after placing second in the first slalom run, but she struggled in the second run to finish 13th overall, less than a half-second out of the top 10.
  • Leon Nikic, a senior from Austria, finished ninth in Wednesday’s giant slalom. He was 11th in Friday’s slalom, missing a second All-America honor by .04 of a second.

UAF, which doesn’t field an alpine team, placed ninth in the team standings with 175 points. Of that total, 103 points came in the 20K race, where the Nanooks landed two women in the top 10 and three men in the top 20.

Three skiers claimed All-America honors during the week for UAF:

  • Kramer, a junior who graduated from West Valley High School, placed sixth in the 20K.
  • Mariel Pulles, a senior from Estonia, placed eighth in the 20K for the sixth All-America finish of her career.
  • Rosie Fordham, a junior from Australia, placed sixth in the 7.5K on Thursday.

Kramer, a West Valley graduate, is in her fourth season with the Nanooks — she’s considered a junior because of the extra season awarded to athletes who competed in the 2020-21 pandemic season — and she has skied to All-America honors every year.

Besides her sixth-place finish in this year’s classic race, she was seventh in the 2023 freestyle race, fourth in the 2022 freestyle race and eighth in the 2021 freestyle race.

None of the UAF men turned in All-America finishes — although they should earn a medal for the “NCAA champs in the boat” video they posted on Instagram prior to the championships.

Even though none of them made the top 10, three reached the top 20, including two who each notched a pair of top-20s — senior Christopher Kalev of Estonia (14th in the 10K, 17th in the 7.5K) and freshman Ben Dohlby of Wisconsin (17th in the 20K, 18th in the 7,5K). Senior Mike Ophoff of the Czech Republic placed 12th in the 20K.

As for the Seawolves, they relied on their alpine team for the bulk of their points, scoring 172 of 274 total points in the two alpine races.

UAA shined bright in Friday’s slalom, held in the evening under the lights at the Steamboat Ski Resort. Four skiers — including three women — skied into the top 13.

Ella Bromee

Bromee, of Ostanskar, Sweden, tied for fourth place with a skier from the University of Denver.

It’s the second straight season she has finished fourth in that race, and this time she missed the podium by .04 seconds.

Eighth place went to Nielssen, whose picked up the first All-America honor of her career. Proffit followed in 13th.

In the men’s race, Nikic was 11th and Jan Ronner, a junior from Austria, placed 20th.

“So proud of this alpine group tonight. And really all week. All season,” UAA coach Sparky Anderson said in a press release from the school. “We ended the championship as the fourth-best alpine team in the nation. We battled hard and beat a lot of great teams.”

The University of Colorado captured the team title with 569.5 points. The Buffaloes ended a four-year reign by Utah, which finished two points back in second place.

Colorado was led by Magdalena Luczak, who swept the women’s alpine titles; Flip Wehlqvist, who won the men’s slalom race; and Magnus Boee, who won the 20K.

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Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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