Connecting you with Alaska athletes.

Rugby: Alev Kelter helps Team USA win silver in Hong Kong as she inches closer to 1,000 career points

by | Apr 7, 2024 | Cover Story, Rugby

Alev Kelter was born to play rugby. A standout flag football player in high school, she went on to become an All-Big-Ten soccer player and NCAA Frozen Four all-tournament selection at Wisconsin.

After 11 years on the rugby field, Eagle River’s Alev Kelter is still one of the best players in the world.

Just ask Fiji and France, two teams Kelter outscored by herself in the medal round over the weekend to help Team USA advance to the finals and take home a silver medal at the World Rugby Sevens Series stop in Hong Kong.

New Zealand beat the Americans 36-7 in Sunday’s gold-medal match after holding Team USA’s leading scorer without a point, signaling Kelter’s immeasurable value.

When she’s in a groove, the team dances to a winning beat. That was the case earlier Sunday when she carried Team USA to a pair of victories – first scoring 13 points in a 33-7 win over Fiji and then scoring seven points in a 19-5 victory over France.

Team USA finished the four-day tournament with a 4-2 record, beating Spain, Japan, Fiji and France while losing to Canada and New Zealand.

At 33, Kelter has no signs of slowing down. She leads the team with 105 points in 32 matches this season, holding a 35-point advantage over 27-year-old Ilona Maher, a fellow former Olympian. Thirty-five points is equilivent to seven tries or 17.5 conversions. That’s an entire season’s worth of production for some players. For Kelter, though, it’s another day at the office.

In her 10 years in the World Rugby Sevens Series, she has racked up 99 points or more six times including a league-high 171 points in 2020. She was fourth with 168 points in 2018 and seventh with 149 points in 2019 when Kelter established herself among the greatest players in the world.

The Chugiak High graduate represents rugby royalty, a veteran of two Olympics and three World Cups while winning a Pan Am Games silver medal. She also owns 236 caps with the national team in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Her 975 points rank fifth all-time and No. 1 among Americans.

With two more stops on the tour, she should get to 1,000 by the end of the season. Team USA sits in fourth place with 82 points, six back of France and way behind frontrunners Australia and New Zealand, which are tied atop the standings with 106 points.

Kelter was born to play rugby. A standout flag football and soccer player in high school, she went on to University of Wisconsin where she was an All-Big-Ten soccer player and led the hockey team to the NCAA Frozen Four as an all-tournament selection.

From pucks to rucks, Kelter went from crashing the net to crashing into the end zone. She’s one of only two Century Club players in World Rugby Sevens Series history with 100 career tries and 100 career conversions.

Story made possible by:

Logo - Residential Mortgage

Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson

Logo - R&M Consultants, Inc.

Family of Sponsors

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

Family of Sponsors

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

Sports Categories