Fall semester offers ups and downs for UAF athletics

Erin McGroarty/ Sun Star Reporter
Dec. 6, 2011

Finals week is almost here and the fall semester is coming to a close. Each year many UAF students participate in a number of sports at the collegiate level. So far this year, these teams have experienced a semester of ups and downs.

Women’s and Men’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s swimming, Women’s and Men’s Rifle, and Men’s Ice Hockey have been competing since  September and will continue throughout the academic year. Since the beginning of the school year, the cross country running season has come and gone, and the cross country skiing season has just begun.

Cross Country Running

The highlight for cross country running took center focus when the women’s team qualified for NCAA National Championships for the first time. Neither the men nor women’s team had qualified for nationals before.

“Yeah, at the beginning of the season we were having our goals meeting and we were sitting there and made this crazy goal to qualify for Nationals, and now here we are, we did it and I couldn’t be more proud of my team,” UAF senior and cross country runner Crystal Pitney said between the regionals competition and nationals.


The men’s basketball team had a difficult season with only two victories out of nine games played in the season as of Dec. 2. This men’s team will continue to play throughout December with games on Dec. 10, 29, and 31. The Women’s Basketball team followed in the men’s team’s footsteps, winning two games out of eight played so far this season. They also will continue to play throughout December.


The women’s volleyball team had an rough season with two victories out of 26 games played throughout the semester. Four players from the team were named to the 2011 Great Northwest Althetic Conference All-Academic Team. These players were UAF junior Jordyn Montgomery, senior Karlee Skalla, junior Allison Oddy and sophomore Keri Knight.


With the season starting in mid-October, the Alaska women’s swim team had a relatively successful season, winning two out of four meets so far. In mid-November, at the meet against Fresno Pacific, the Alaska women’s relay team broke both pool and varsity records for the freestyle relay team with a time of 3:33:40. This record-breaking team was made up of sophomore Bente Heller, freshman Margot Adams, freshman Danielle Lyons and freshman Gabi Summers.


The men’s and women’s rifle team ended the semester with a relatively neutral score board, winning three out of seven matches. UAF junior Anna Hjelmevoll shot a season high score of 594 in the match against the Airforce Academy Falcons on Nov. 18. The rifle team will start there second semester with a match in Charleston, S.C. on Jan.  17.


The Alaska men’s hockey team pulled an nearly neutral score board so far this semester, winning eight out of 18 games, and tying two others. They will continue their season after a holiday break on Jan. 6. UAF junior Andy Tarranto had the highest number of shots taken throughout the semester with 61 shots on goal. Sophomore Colton Beck followed in second place with 48 shots throughout the semester.

Cross Country Skiing

The cross country skiing season recently started for the Alaska Nanook ski team. The Alaska Nordic Cup was supposed to be held in Fairbanks at the Birch Hill Ski Area. Due to cold temperatures it was moved to Anchorage. The men’s team came in second behind the UAA Seawolves. The men’s team signed 6 new freshman this year. These are Andrew Arnold of Anchorage, Kenneth Brewer of Chugiak, Stefan Hajdukovich, Logan Hanneman and Wyatt Mayo, all of Fairbanks, and Ludwig Schott of Germany. The women’s team also signed three new freshmen: Kryston McPhetres and Alyson McPhetres, both of Chugiak, and Heidi O’Connor-Brooke of White Horse. The ski team will continue their season on Jan. 2 with the U.S Cross Country Ski Nationals in Rumford, Maine.



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