2017 U.S. Cross Country National Championships Recap
Between January 7 and January 12, universities of the CCSA competed at the 2017 Cross Country Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah. The same site which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics will also provide courses for the Junior and U23 World Championships starting by the end of January.
The first day of racing kicked off with the women’s individual 10k freestyle on January 7. Nicole Schneider, NMU’s top finisher, took 34th place overall with a time of 29:27.4, followed by her teammate Sophie Schimpl just 0.5 seconds back and Vivian Hett placing 48th. Kelsey Dickinson from the College of St. Scholastica finished 61st and her teammate Nicole Gilman took the 226th spot. Michigan Tech’s women were led by Sonja Hedblom placing 120th followed by Carolyn Lucca 171st and Lisa Koenig 187th. Women who raced for University of Wisconsin Green Bay were Bree Mucha, Sadie Paterson and Madeline McKeefry finishing 181st, 206th and 236th respectively.
The following race was the men’s individual 15k freestyle. Adam Martin from NMU finished 13th clocking in at 36:02. Martin was the CCSA’s highest placing man that day followed by his teammates Fredrik Schwencke 62nd and Zak Ketterson 72nd. Michigan Tech’s men were led by Gaspard Cuenot placing 29th followed by Tom Bye 73rd and David Jaszczak 144th. St. Scholastica’s Reitler Hodgert, finished 116th.
The next race on the program was the classic sprint on January 8. With the temperature hovering around 36 degrees and constantly changing weather conditions, coaches and wax techs were constantly challenged to pick the best kick wax.
Tomi Mikkonen and Gaspard Cuenot from Michigan Tech both qualified for senior heats in 15th and 16th place respectively, both finishing their race in quarterfinals. NMU’s Frederik Schwencke qualified 28th for senior heats as well, advancing to the final round where he took 6th place. Zak Ketterson and Lars Soensterun from NMU qualified for the junior heats.
Nicole Schneider from Northern Michigan also qualified for the junior heats where she managed to win the final round.
The third day of racing, January 10, brought several classic distance races with mass starts throughout the day. First race was the senior men’s 30k followed by the senior women’s 20k, junior men’s 10k and junior women’s 7.5k.
NMU’s Adam Martin finished the 30k in 11th place and clocked in 1:24:35 securing a spot on U23 Worlds His teammates Fredrik Schwencke and Sam Elfstrom placed 23rd and 62nd respectively. Top MTU’s finishers were Tomi Mikkonen 54th and Daniel Wood 84th. Reitler Hodgert from St. Scholastica took 71st place.
The top CSSA’s finisher in the women’s 20k was Kelsey Dickinson from St. Scholastica in 40th place with time 1:12:46. Vivian Hett from Northern Michigan finished 43rd followed by her teammates Caroline Brisbois 46th and Kristen Bourne 50th. Sonja Hedblom from Michigan Tech placed 54th along with Carolyn Lucca taking 64th and Ruth Opplinger in 74th. Bree Mucha racing for UWGB finished 73rd followed by Madeline McKeefry, also representing University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
In the junior men’s 10k race, Zak Ketterson from NMU finished 34th and his teammate Lars Soensterud placed 121st. David Jaszczak from MTU took 95th spot.
Nicole Schneider from NMU placed 23rd in junior women’s 7,5k and St.Scholastica’s Nicole Gilman finished 101st.
Dartmouth College won the College Cup by earning 615 points scored by top three, male and female skiers from each university in the classic sprint and 10/15k skate race. Northern Michigan University tied with University of Denver for second place with 573 points, Michigan Tech placed 13th with 380 points Saint Scholastica 17th with 178 points and University of Wisconsin Green Bay took 18th place, scoring 89 points.
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