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Aas Wins Title at Palmer Invitational; UAF Men Second

Submitted by scott wilson
Phone: (907) 474-6807

09/07/03

There was a little bit of good news and a little bit of bad news for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Saturday at the Palmer Cross Country Invitational. The good news was Nanook senior Sigrid Aas won the women's division for the third consecutive season and led the UAF women to a tie for first. The bad news was the UAF men finished second behind the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Nanook women tied for first with the University of Alaska Anchorage with 28 total team points.

"I think it was a pretty good weekend for us," said UAF coach Bill McDonnell. "Sigrid (Aas) and Diana (Heimerl) had their fastest times ever on that course. I thought Sigrid Lagerfelt had a good race today and she's coming on more and more each race."

Aas covered the 5-kilometer course at the Palmer High School in a time of 18 minutes and 40.32 seconds to take the individual title. She outdistanced her nearest competitor by over 27 seconds. Heimerl was fourth overall with Lagerfelt finishing in fifth. Heimerl had a time of 19:21.84, just seconds ahead of Lagerfelt, who crossed the line in a time of 19:42.07.

Johanna Turunen was two spots back in seventh place with a time of 19:45.28. Kassandra Rice finished in a time of 20:56.26 taking 15th place in the individual standings.

The Nanook men were given the task of going out hard Saturday and running with the top Sea Wolf runner from Alaska Anchorage to put pressure on the meet favorites. UAF did just that, but could hold on to claim the victory. The Nanooks finished with 43 points, behind only Anchorage which finished with 21 points.

"The men had a tough race today going against Anchorage, but I was happy with the effort they gave," McDonnell said. "Jonas Tetlie ran his best race ever on that course." McDonnell added that it could have been an even closer race had Tyson Flaherty not cramped up late in the race to the point of "almost walking."

Tetlie led the Nanooks by finishing the 5K distance in a time of 16:32.52 to finish 10th in the men's division. Juraj Brugos was 14th overall with a time of 16:51.70. Erik Wickstrom took 16th overall and completed the course in 17:05.27.

Brent Lowen ran a time of 17:18.54 to finish 19th in the individual standings, while Kevin Walczak was 21st overall with a time of 17:34.95. Bart Dengel had a time of 17:55.39 to finish 24th with Flaherty and Danny Slakey finishing 32nd and 35th, respectively. Flaherty had a time of 18:36.88, while Slakey ran the course in 19:01.51.

"Overall, I am pretty pleased with how the day went," McDonnell said. "I am never really disappointed because they always give you their best and that's what they did today."

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