Deedra Irwin of Michigan Tech and Kyle Bratrud of Northern Michigan University led the CCSA in Saturday’s interval start classic race in Telemark, Wisconsin. It was a competitive race: Michigan Tech, St. Scholastica, Northern Michigan, and Alaska Fairbanks each had at least two skiers in the top ten of both the men’s and women’s races. “The region is definitely getting stronger,” said NMU Head Coach Sten Fjeldheim.
Deedra Irwin won the women’s 5 kilometer race with a time of 18:41.7, an outstanding performance for the Michigan Tech senior. Taking second was Nicole Bathe of Alaska Fairbanks, finishing just under 15 seconds behind Irwin. Rounding out the top three was NMU’s Felicia Gesior.
Ulrika Axelsson of Michigan Tech finished just behind Gesior, missing the podium by only two and half seconds—an excellent finish for the sophomore skier from Sweden. Jordyn Ross, who had a substantial crash in the race, was the fifth CCSA woman, followed by Alaska Fairbanks skier Anne-Tine Markset, a sophomore from Norway. Alice Flanders of Michigan Tech was 7th, Anita Kirvesniemi of St Scholastica was 8th, Megan Edic of NMU 9th, and Sharmila Ahmed of CSS 10th.
The men’s 10 kilometer classic race was won by NMU’s Kyle Bratrud for his third consecutive victory in NCAA qualifiers this season. Bratrud won with a time of 30:15.6.
In second place was NMU teammate Adam Martin, just .6 seconds off the pace of Bratrud, a close race for the sophomore Wildcat. Taking third for a Northern Michigan podium sweep was Erik Soderman, who Fjeldheim says is “starting to make his comeback” from illness. NMU freshman Ian Torchia, a member of the 2015 USA World Junior Team, skied an excellent race to finish 4th. Fjeldheim praised his race saying, “Ian’s turning out to be a heck of a freshman.”
St. Scholastica’s Paul Schommer had a great race to finish in fifth place. His teammate Reitler Hodgert was sixth. “Reitler had the race of his season to date and Paul skied into the race really well, showing improving capacity to push hard,” said St. Scholastica Coach Chad Salmela.
Alaska Fairbanks duo Alexander Eckert and Jonas Loffler placed 7th and 8th, respectively. Haakon Hjelstuen of Michigan Tech was 9th, and teammate Kyle Hanson was 10th. Green Bay’s Kyle Marshall had a breakout performance, skiing to 11th.
Full results can be found at www.racetecresults.com