Franklin Countys First News

Mt. Blue grad returns with Alaska team to compete

RUMFORD - Farmington native and University of Alaska Assistant Nordic Ski Coach, Matt Dunlap, bringing the Alaska team to the U.S. National Cross Country Ski Championships at Black Mountain in Rumford, Jan. 2-8 is like a homecoming.

Dunlap skied on the Rumford terrain many times when competing for Mt. Blue High School, and later for Bates College which used Black Mountain as its home course. Now he is back, along with Head Coach Scott Jerome, also a Bates graduate, with 12 athletes who have traveled from Fairbanks, Alaska, for the National Championships.

Dunlap earned All American honors in Nordic skiing and in cross country running when at Mt. Blue, and now coaches both sports for the University of Alaska. At Bates he skied for the varsity team all four years, served as captain his senior year, and was recognized with the Bates College Lloyd Lux Award for leadership.

Dunlap followed a similar pattern in cross-country running at Bates: four varsity letters, team captain, plus two NCAA National Championship appearances. His senior thesis was on the psychology of coaching. After he graduated from Bates in 2008, he became Head Coach for the North Yarmouth Academy Nordic ski team, and served as assistant coach for cross-country running at Greely High School, then moved to the Alaska position, where he is now in his second year.

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