LAKE ELMO, Minn. – Michigan Tech sits atop of the leaderboard after the first day of the Green Acres SuperTour stop, as the Huskies’ Malin Eriksson and Mikko Harju turned in the conference’s two best performances in the women’s 5K and men’s 10K mass start classic.
All told, the Huskies placed three skiers among the top five in both the men’s and women’s events, giving them an eleven-point overall lead over Saint Scholastica headed into Sunday.
“I was pretty excited about how well the team skied today,” Michigan Tech head coach Joe Haggenmiller said. “Everyone was really happy with their skis. They went out and skied hard and skied fast. The venue here really has some challenge to it, but the grooming job they did on the course was outstanding – the tracks were just so solid.”
It was a bit of a different look to the CCSA field, as Alaska and Northern Michigan both took the weekend off, but that didn’t concern Eriksson, as she continued to take steps toward her second straight NCAA appearance with an eighth place overall finish. The Swedish sophomore completed her trip around the Green Acres Park course in 15:35.9: a comfortable 16 seconds ahead of her nearest CCSA competitor.
Teammate Deedra Irwin took the conference’s second spot, turning in an impressive 12th place overall finish in 15:52.4. Saint Scholastica’s Eleanor Magnusson wasn’t far behind, taking 13th overall with her 15:53.5.
The Saints’ second scoring skier, Brooke Adams, crossed the line next for the CCSA, taking 15th overall in 16:12.4. Senior Christina Mishica rounded out the scoring for Michigan Tech, taking fifth in the conference and 16th overall in 16:15.9.
“I was excited for Deedra,” Haggenmiller said, “and Christina has a solid race for us as well.”
Hot on Mishica heels was St. Olaf junior Paige Schember, as she captured 17th place with her 16:18.5. Michigan Tech’s Lynn Duijndam took seventh in the CCSA and 18th overall in 16:27.8, while Saint Scholastica’s Sharmila Ahmed came across in 19th place in 16:32.0.
The Huskies’ Sarah Daniels (20th place overall in 16:33.7) and Gustavus’ Erica Hett (22nd overall in 16:48.9) rounded out the top ten for the CCSA.
On the men’s side, Harju continued to build momentum heading into the upcoming CCSA championships, setting an electric pace early on before claiming 14th place overall in 27:13.1. Teammate Jesse Smith wasn’t far behind, taking second in the conference and 17th overall in 27:40.4.
“Jesse may have had the race of the day,” Haggenmiller said. “There was a big crash right at the start: the skiers were just falling like dominos. Jesse got stuck behind that for a good 20-30 seconds, so he made up quite a gap to get second in college.”
Saint Scholastica freshman Paul Schommer turned in his best race of the season to date, earning the conference’s third-best finish and 18th-place overall with his race time of 27:45.9. Teammate Jeremy Hecker, putting together a solid season in his own right, took 21st in 27:52.7.
Michigan Tech’s third scoring skier, Sondre Sandvik, took fifth in the CCSA and 23rd overall in 27:58.3. The Huskies’ Luke Gesior took 25th, nipping Saint Scholastica’s Scott Johanik at the line as they both crossed in 28:06.0.
A trio of Huskies’ followed to round out the conference’s top ten: Andrew Keller leading the charge in 28:07.3 (27th overall) followed by Matt Dugan (28th overall) and Jay Woodbeck (29th overall).
The CCSA skiers return to Green Acres tomorrow for the skate races, with the women’s 15K kicking off at 9 a.m., followed by the men’s 20k at 10:15 a.m.