APU skate skier takes 1st at nationals

Alaska’s Reese Hanneman raced to first place in the skate technique sprint at the U.S. National Cross Country Ski Championships on Monday in Houghton, Michigan.

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To a round of applause the event announcer bellowed: “…..Ladies and gentlemen, your overall champion from APU Nordic Ski Center…. Let’s give it up for Reese Hanneman!”

The Alaska Pacific University team racer from Fairbanks edged Dakota Blackhorse Von Jess of Oregon in a 6-man skate sprint final. The sprint competition involves a series of heats around a 1-K+ loop, in which the top racers advance. The skate sprint is one of several National Championship races being contested this week on trails at Michigan Tech University. The 26-year-old Hanneman previously won the national sprint title in 2014.

Alaskan skiers also did well in the longer classic races Sunday. Scott Patterson won the men’s 15km race and his sister, Caitlin, won the 10km women’s race. Scott skis for APU and Caitlin for the Craftsbury Green Racing Project in Vermont.