Alaska Nanooks women’s cross country coach Scott Jerome announced the signing of four new recruits for the 2013 season. All four signees will enter the University of Alaska Fairbanks in the fall with four years of NCAA eligibility remaining.
Of the four, two are from Alaska, while the other two hail from states on the Eastern seaboard. Madalyn Pfeifer comes from Andover, N.H., while Kali Striker comes to Fairbanks from Midlothian, Va. Hannah Stevens ventures North from Eagle River and Dorothy O’Donnell of Fairbanks will also join the Nanooks this fall.
Pfeifer, whose been skiing since she was four years old, graduated from Proctor Academy in 2012.
“Maddy was accepted to UAF in for the fall of 2012, but decided to defer a year and focus on her skiing,” Jerome said. “She made strong gains this year and we are very pleased that she is coming all the way from New Hampshireto study in Fairbanks and compete for the Nanooks.”
Prior to graduation, Pfeifer amassed five consecutive (2008-12) New Hampshire State Nordic Championship titles and a four (2009-2012) New England Prepatory School Athletic Council Skiing Championship crowns. While her cross country career didn’t officially begin until 2010, she’s also been a top competitor on the running trails as a two-time NEPSAC Running Champion in 2010 and 2011.
“A tenacious competitor with incredible mental toughness, Maddy will help elevate the quality of both the skiing and cross country teams,” Jerome added.
An intended Biology major, Pfeifer was also a competitive cyclist from 2008-2012 in Andover.
Striker was a four-year member of the Midlothian High School cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field teams. She competed in the 800, 4×800, 1600 and 3200 on the Trojans outdoor team and the 4×800, 1000, 1600, 3200 and the high jump during the indoor season.
She was an all-state selection in 2011 and helped the Trojans win the All Region Championship and finish third at the state meet (this fall) in 2012. Her best times include a 19:01 five-kilometer, a 5:36 in the 1600 and a 2:32 in the 800.
“A dedicated student-athlete, Kali brings a strong running background toFairbanks,” Jerome said. “She is a key recruit in our effort to get back to the top of the GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference) in women’s cross country. We are very pleased that Kali has decided to attend UAF.
A pre-veterinary major, Striker plans to pursue a career as a wildlife veterinarian in the future.
Eagle River product Hannah Stevens ran cross country for the Eagle River High School Wolves. In the fall she came back from an early-season injury to take third at the Region IV Championships, improving 10 spots from her junior year’s performance and landing the final podium spot. She advanced to the State Championships, where she placed ninth overall.
Stevens also competed on the Wolves skiing and outdoor track and field teams. This year she placed was eighth in the Skimeister rankings after two days at the Alaska High School Skiing State Championships, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the girls 7.5K freestyle race.
“We are very pleased that Hannah has chosen to study at UAF and competefor the Nanooks. She will be a fine addition to both the cross country and ski teams. I think she will have an immediate positive impact on our cross country results, especially at the conference championships. Depth has been an issue with our team and Hannah willdefinitely be a strong addition.”
Stevens plans to study engineering at Alaska.
A Fairbanks native, O’Donnell got her start in track and field at West Valley as a freshman competing in the hurdles. Wolfpack head coach Dan Callahan encouraged her to tryout for the girls cross country team in the fall, when she impressed her coaches as the top junior varsity runner.
She continued to improve and was WVHS’s second-fastest runner at the state meet as a junior and placed eighth at the region meet and 19th at state as a senior in the fall.
“Dorothy has been a top runner for West Valley High School and we areextremely happy that we have another strong, local runner joining our squad,” Jerome said. “With the addition of Dorothy, we have a strong nucleus oftalented, hard-working runners who will train and compete together for four years. Dorothy’s knowledge of the local trail systems will certainly help our other new runners who are coming in from other parts of Alaska and the lower 48. We are very excited to have Dorothy run for the Nanooks.”
O’Donnell, who plans to major in Education, also skied for the Wolfpack for four years and participated in track and field for three seasons.