Fritz is World Cup bound

ERHS grad to ski in top circuit


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Chugiak’s Lauren Fritz gives skiers direction during a Fast and Female event held in 2011 at Chugiak High. On Sunday, Dec. 2, Fritz learned she’d qualified for the U.S. Ski Team that will compete in this weekend’s Nordic Skiing World Cup races in Canada.

MATT TUNSETH

Lauren Fritz, a 2006 graduate of Eagle River High and a member of the Alaska Pacific University Elite ski team, has been named to the United States roster for the upcoming World Cup Nordic ski races in Quebec.

“It’s pretty cool,” Fritz wrote in an email to the Star Tuesday, Dec. 4 from Canada.

Fritz earned the spot after finishing second at the SuperTour race on Friday, Dec. 1 in Bozeman, Mont. She said she figured the strong finish would earn her a spot in Quebec, but didn’t know until the U.S. Ski Team announced its World Cup rosters for the Quebec races Sunday night.

“I figured that was enough to get me a qualifying spot, but it was still exhilarating to get the official nod,” she wrote.

The sprint race will be Fritz’s first at the highest level of Nordic skiing competition. She skied collegiately at Middlebury College in Vermont.

This summer she finished second in the 2012 Mount Marathon race in Seward for her second consecutive top-5 finish in the grueling July 4 mountain race.

Fritz was a standout Nordic skier at both Chugiak and Eagle River High Schools. In 2005 she finished fifth in the overall Skimeister competition for the Mustangs. The following season she finished eighth in the race for the state’s top high school skier while a member of the first-year Eagle River program.

She wrote that skiing against the world’s best has always been a dream.

“It’s been a goal for such a long time, and now it’s happening,” she wrote. “It’s exciting, but at the same time, it’s just another race and I’m definitely going to give it my best effort. I’m here for the experience, but also to race my best.”

Fritz will update her blog while she’s traveling. Read more at aklaurenfritz.wordpress.com

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