Months after reinstatement, UAA skiing will send 12 to NCAA national championships
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The University of Alaska Anchorage ski team spirits are high a week away from the NCAA national championships at the University of New Hampshire.
“For the kids, it’s a huge deal they’ve been working so hard all year fighting through pandemic, protocols, and they’ve done a great a job,” UAA head coach Sparky Anderson said. “We were excited to get back there and prove what we could have done last year.”
The NCAA Division I ski program faced many hurdles leading up to and through the season. It all began last spring when the Skiwolves’ national title run got cut short by COVID-19, and months later the program would be on the chopping block after the school announced it was eliminating the program to save money.
Leading up to the 2021 season, the program didn’t know if it would have a season or a future. Things began to look up in January when the program was reinstated after raising $628,000 — two years’ worth of funds in donations and pledges.
“It’s pretty unreal,” senior Michael Soetaert said. “I’m really excited we had a season.”
Then the ski team turned their focus towards their upcoming season. Since the ski team was outdoors, they were the only winter sport at UAA that was able to compete this season.
Anderson said the team followed International Ski Federation and U.S. ski team COVID-19 protocols to compete, and only had one false positive.
“Our goal has always been to go out and compete for a championship,” Anderson said. “We have a chance to do very well.”
The NCAA national championships begin in New Hampshire on March 10. More information about the skiers representing UAA is available online.
|UAA skiers headed to nationals|
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