Albrigtsen Named Nanooks Cross Country, Skiing Coach
Albrigtsen is in her third season overall with the Nanooks' program.
Albrigtsen is in her third season overall with the Nanooks' program.

Thursday, August 13, 2020
by Alaska Athletic Communications

FAIRBANKS, Alaska – University of Alaska Fairbanks vice chancellor for student affairs and athletics Dr. Keith Champagne officially announced the appointment of Eliska Albrigtsen as the head coach for the Alaska Nanooks men's and women's cross country running and Nordic skiing teams.

"I am excited and pleased to have a head coach of Eliska's caliber and comprehensive background to lead out world-class cross country running and Nordic skiing programs," Champagne said. "She has the expertise and experience to build a powerhouse program for years to come."

Albrigtsen was hired as the assistant coach for Alaska's cross country and ski programs in the fall of 2018 under former head coach Nick Crawford. In November of 2018, Albrigtsen took on additional coaching duties for the remainder of the 2018-19 season before being named the acting head coach in May of 2019.

"I am happy to be hired as the official head coach for cross country and skiing," Albrigtsen said. "Having been the acting head coach, this role doesn't bring much change to our four teams but brings much-needed stability within our programs. In these unstable pandemic times, it is the one thing that can make a big difference for our student-athletes, and that is why I am truly excited for the seasons to come."

Since joining the Nanooks, Albrigtsen has overseen each of the four Alaska Nanooks varsity teams in men's cross country, women's cross country, men's Nordic skiing and women's Nordic skiing.

Following the conclusion of the 2018 cross country season, both the Alaska Nanooks men's and women's running teams placed ninth at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, sending two individual qualifiers to the NCAA West Regional race. The men's cross country team tallied six academic honors in 2018, while the women's team posted six, as well.

Following the 2019 cross country running season, both of Albrigtsen's teams placed eighth at the GNAC Championships, sending seven qualifiers (two women, five men) to the West Regionals. In June, the men's cross country team ranked first among their peers in the GNAC with the highest team cumulative grade point average at 3.51. The men's cross country team amassed seven individual academic honors, while the women's team totaled seven.

Throughout the 2018-19 ski season, Alaska's women's Nordic ski team earned three academic honors, while the men earned one. Standout Kati Roivas was named to the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association's All-Conference First Team, earning another individual athletic honor following the conclusion of the season. The Nanooks sent two men and two women to the 2019 NCAA Skiing National Championships that season.

This past season, the men's Nordic ski team posted four individual academic honors, while the women earned eight. Before the 2020 NCAA Skiing National Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alaska qualified three men (a full team) and two women.

Before joining the Alaska Nanooks, Albrigtsen served as the head coach and junior development coach for the Central Cross Country Skiing organization in Madison, Wisconsin. She was also the program manager and junior head coach for the Madison Nordic Ski Club while contributing as the community's Olympic development coach.

Albrigtsen herself skied for the University of Colorado at Boulder from 2009-13. She was an NCAA individual national champion, placing first in the 15-kilometer classic race in 2011. Throughout her career, Albrigtsen was a four-time First Team All-American, a Second Team All-American and a four-time RMISA First Team selection.

Albrigtsen graduated in December of 2013 with a bachelor's degree in integrative physiology. Furthermore, Albrigtsen was a research assistant in the Locomotion Laboratory at Colorado, researching energetics and the biomechanics of human walking, running and cross country skiing.