RUMFORD, MAINE – Alaska’s Logan Hanneman and Northern Michigan’s Monica Markvardsen topped the first CCSA podium of the season, each earning top spot in their respective races at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Rumford, Maine.
Hanneman, a first-year skier for the Nanooks, completed the 15K freestyle around the Historic Black Mountain course in 31:04.3: good enough for 11th place overall. Markvardsen, meanwhile, finished her 10K skate in 27:41.9, taking 21st overall.
“Logan had a great race today,” Alaska head coach Scott Jerome said. “He’s a true freshman, and for him to come out and be that strong not just within our region, but in the nation as well is pretty incredible.”
Youth reigned supreme on the men’s side: in addition to Hanneman just missing out on a top 10 finish in his CCSA debut, first year NMU skier Kjell-Christian Markset impressed as well, taking second spot among CCSA skiers and tied for 17th overall – equaling the time of former Green Bay standout Santiago Ocariz.
“I was really impressed with Kjell’s race today,” Jerome said. “It’s good to see to him and Logan have good races today – it’s good for our region to have the young guys doing so well.”
Wildcat teammate Erik Soderman, an NCAA qualifier a year ago, took third in the CCSA with his 21st-overall finish in 31.32.2. Northern’s George Cartwright finished fourth (32nd overall) in 32:08.5, showing no rust after a redshirt season in 2011.
Alaska’s Tyler Kornfield was next across the line for the CCSA. The Anchorage native, who earned a bronze medal in Tuesday’s freestyle sprints, placed 34th overall with a time of 32:13.9. Teammate Alex Morris finished sixth among CCSA skiers with his 32:45.5.
Michigan Tech’s Matthew Dugan made a late charge to rise to 59th overall with his 32:47.8, following soon after by another Nanook freshman, Ludwig Schott: the German native taking 64th overall in 32:53.3.
Fellow Nanook Ian Wilkerson (72nd overall) and Northern’s Chris Bowler (74th overall) rounded out the top 10 for the CCSA.
On the women’s side, Markvardsen, an NCAA qualifier a year ago, announced her intent to repeat that feat this year, just missing out on a top 20 finish by four seconds. Alaska’s Raphaela Sieber earned the conference’s second spot, finishing 34th overall with a time of 28:28.9.
Michigan Tech sophomore Alice Flanders continued her steady climb toward the CCSA elite with an impressive 35th place finish, placing less than a second behind Sieber. The Nanooks’ Heather Edic took fourth among CCSA skiers: the sophomore’s time of 29:02.0 good enough for 53rd overall.
“Heather Edic had a solid race today,” Jerome said, “and Raphaela is making progress as well. Hopefully this will give them a good starting point for the rest of the season.”
Northern’s Rosie Frankowski took 55th overall, rounding out the CCSA top five with her 29:04.0. Michigan Tech’s Lynn Duijndam was next across the line in 29:14.9, putting her in 63rd overall, followed closely by Alaska’s Alyson McPhetres, who was 65th overall in 29:17.2.
NMU’s third finisher, Jordyn Ross, placed 71st overall with her 29:26.2, while a pair of Nanooks (Heidi Brook and Crystal Pitney) completed the CCSA’s top ten, finishing 73rd and 74th, respectively.
Despite a grueling race today, there is little rest for the CCSA competitors as they return to the course Friday for a mass start classic race. The women’s 20K event is schedule to start at 9 a.m., while the men’s event kicks off at 11 a.m.
“It’s going to be really tough to have back-to-back races like this,” Jerome said. “What the student-athletes did this afternoon in terms of taking care of themselves will go a long way tomorrow. It’s always interesting to see how people are able to recover and bounce back – some do it better than others.”
For complete results, or to follow along with tomorrow’s action, please visit www.uscrosscountryskichampionships2012.org.