Alaska’s Michael Fehrenbach and Northern Michigan’s Mary Kate Cirelli became the seventh and eighth different skiers to top the CCSA podium this season, each bringing home the region’s top spot in the men’s and women’s classic events at the Telemark Chase in Cable, Wisc. on Sunday. Fehrenbach sailed through his 10K at the Telemark Lodge in 27:12.7 to edge Saturday winner Kyle Bratrud, while Cirelli finished her 5K with a three-second edge over her nearest CCSA competitor.
Slightly warmer than expected temperatures led to some mushiness on the tracks in some places, making for a somewhat tricky wax selection for coaches and skiers, but Fehrenbach showed no ill effects from the conditions nor a recent illness that hampered him throughout U.S. Nationals.
“[Assistant coach] Christina [Turman] and I were just excited that he was able to finish,” head coach Scott Jerome said aftewards of Fehrenbach. “But he looked every bit as good today as he did when he won regionals last year.”
Bratrud, meanwhile, wrapped up a solid weekend for himself, taking the silver medal in Sunday’s classic event to go with his gold from Saturday’s skate race: a testament to his versatility in both techniques. St. Scholastica’s Paul Schommer earned his second straight podium finish as well, taking third with his time of 27:43.6.
Alaska’s Jonas Loffler continued his chase for a second straight NCAA berth by taking fourth in the CCSA on Sunday, his time of 27:44.8 putting him ahead of Northern Michigan’s Fredrik Schwencke, who took fifth in the CCSA and sixth overall in 27:54.8. Another Alaska skier, the Nanooks’ Logan Hanneman, landed the region’s sixth spot, finishing just six-tenths of a second behind Schwencke.
Seventh place in the CCSA went to Matt Wong, Michigan Tech’s top finisher on the day, while St. Scholastica’s second scoring skier, John Wessling, finished up in eighth after edging Northern Michigan’s George Cartwright by just a tenth of a second. Alaska’s Max Olex wrapped up the CCSA top ten.
On the women’s side, Cirelli’s time of 16:39.0 held up to earn the Wildcat freshman her first win of the young season, and second overall. Alaska’s Nichole Bathe completed an impressive weekend for herself as well, earning her second silver medal in as many days with her time of 16:41.7.
“We knew Nichole was a very good skier when we brought her in,” Jerome said, “but even we didn’t know she was going to have so much of an impact this quick. She’s a great ski racer, and very professional about how she handles herself and goes about her business.”
There was a tie for the bronze medal position, however, as both St. Olaf’s Paige Schember and Northern Michigan’s Felicia Gesior both finished with a time of 17:00.6 to earn themselves a share of the podium. Michigan Tech skier Deedra Irwin’s time of 17:08.3 proved good enough for fifth place in the region (10th overall), while Northern Michigan’s third scoring skier, Kristin Boume, crossed the line in sixth.
Gustavus Adolphus’s Marian Lund scored her first top ten of the season with her seventh place CCSA finish, completing her 5K in 17:22.9. St. Scholastica’s Sarah Allen was next across the line in eighth with her 17:24.5, while Michigan Tech’s Alice Flanders and St. Scholastica’s Anita Kirvesniemi complete the CCSA top ten.
Next up for the CCSA student-athletes: a trip to Mt. Itasca for their third NCAA qualifier on Jan. 24-25.
“I’ve just seen some fantastic skiing in the CCSA this season,” Jerome said. “There are a lot of teams with really good skiers, and I think it just shows that, as a region, how much we are improving. It’s fantastic to see.”
For complete results of today’s events, please visit Performance Timing’s website.