Four Alaskan skiers podium at U.S. nationals in distance skate

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - It was another strong day for Alaskan skiers at the U.S. cross-country skiing national championships in Michigan. Friday’s distance skate races ended with four Alaskan skiers atop the podium.

Anchorage’s Caitlin Patterson took second in women’s 10-kilometer freestyle race but took home top honors on the American national championship podium, since Finland’s Riitta-Liisa Roponen won the overall race. Patterson finished with a time of 27:56.9, and claiming third on the podium was Hailey Swirbul with a time of 28:08.7.

The men’s 15-kilometer freestyle race featured another podium performance from Alaska Winter Stars’ Gus Shumacher who took second with a time of 37:00.8. Alaska Pacific University’s Erik Bjornsen claimed third, crossing the line in 37:22.2.

The national championships continue Sunday in Houghton, Michigan, with the men’s 30-kilometer classic mass start and women’s 20-kilometer mass start that day.

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