Eagle River rugger Alev Kelter named to U.S. World Cup team

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 01:14
  • 2009 Chugiak High grad Alev Kelter, seen in this picture from the 2016 Olympics in Rio, has been named to the U.S. team that will compete in the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August, 2017 in Belfast, Ireland. (Photo by Themba Hadebe/Associated Press)

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter continues to be a key member of the United States women’s rugby team.

Kelter, a 28-year-old who graduated from Chugiak in 2009, was recenttly named to the U.S. Women’s Eagles team that will compete at the Women’s Rugby World cup August 9-26 in Belfast, Ireland.

The team was announced in a USA Rugby press release posted Monday, July 17 on the association’s website, usarugby.org. They’re ranked No. 7 in the world and will begin pool play against Italy, Spain and defending chapion England Aug. 17. Knockout round play begins Aug. 22.

A former hockey, soccer and flag football standout at Chugiak, Kelter was named the Anchorage Daily News Girls Athlete of the Year in both 2008 and ‘09 after she “dominated statewide in all three of her sports and achieved national-class status in two of them,” according to the account written by ADN repoter Kevin Klott.

Kelter has plenty of experience at the highest level. In 2009, she helped Team U.S.A. to victory in the U-18 Hockey World Cup, where she was named the tourney’s top defenseman after scoring five goals in five games. After high school, she went on to play hockey and soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before turning her attention to rugby in 2014.

Since then, the 5-foot-6, 160-pound 26-year-old has been a star on the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series, leading the Eagles in points in 2015-16 and helping the team to a silver medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Kelter was also a member of the fifth-place U.S. women’s rugby team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she led the team in scoring.

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