Day one of the Telemark Chase saw hard fast racing by over 500 competitors, both collegiate and junior athletes alike. The weekend started off with a 5 and 10 kilometer classic individual start. With solid tracks and mild temperatures the course was primed for some great racing.
Leading off with the men’s race the Northern Michigan Wildcats jumped out to an early lead in the team scoring by taking the top three slots on the result sheet. The Wildcats were led by Adam Martin who completed the 10 kilometer course in 26:14.7. Martin was followed closely by his two teammates Ian Torchia (26:16.7) and Fredrik Schwenke (26:50.2).
With three of his skiers taking the top three spots, Northern Michigan head Coach Sten Fjeldheim was most excited about his athletes that were just outside of the winning pace. “I am most excited about Sam Elfstrom (5th) for having a breakthrough performance today, and freshman Leo Hipp (11th) for being the second junior in the race. It’s a really good atmosphere with our men’s team right now, it seems like they are having a lot of fun pushing one another to their limits” said Fjeldheim.
Just off the podium in fourth was University of Alaska Fairbanks skier Michael Fahrenbach. The Saints of Saint Scholastica placed two men in the top ten with Chris Parr (6th) and Reitler Hodgert (8th). Michigan Tech’s Gaspart Cuenot ended up splitting the Saints in seventh with Northern Michigan’s Jake Brown in ninth and UW Green Bay’s Matthew Nichols rounding out the top 10.
With a stellar performance from his top three men, Saint Scholastica Head coach Chad Salmela was very happy with his men’s team sitting in second place in the team scores. “Anytime you’re in the top three in the conference as a team, that’s a good day for us. Beating Alaska and Tech by more than a point or two is more than expected even on a good day.”
For the women’s 5k, Northern Michigan added to their team lead with Felicia Gesior taking top honors by 2.8 seconds over University of Alaska Fairbanks racer Anne-Tine Markset. Markset was followed by another Northern skier Sophie Schimpl to finish off the top three.
That lead didn’t come without a solid battle in the women’s race between Northern Michigan and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Just missing out on third place by one second, UAF’s Nicole Bathe took fourth with Northern’s Vivian Hett right behind in fifth. UAF’s third scorer, Ann-Cathrin Uhl, was only ten seconds down to Hett in sixth place. Saint Scholastica’s Kelsey Dickinson broke up the NMU/UAF run by squeaking into seventh 0.3 seconds ahead of another Northern skier Nicole Schneider. Michigan Tech placed their second skier in the top ten of the day with Andrea Lee taking ninth and another UAF skier Sarissa Lammers rounding out the top ten.
With two of his skiers breaking into the top ten, Head MTU coach Joe Haggenmiller is looking for a little more in tomorrow’s 10 and 15k mass start skate race. “I think as a team we were a little flat but I think everyone was battling hard today. We are just going to have to go out there tomorrow and build on our efforts from today.”
With one race under their belts, the athletes will have one more effort tomorrow to help propel their teams higher in the rankings. With each spot come crucial points and each athlete will by vying for that top spot.
For full results from today’s race please visit: www.performancetiming.com