Ishpeming, MI – The two days of the CCSA/NCAA Regional Championships, held at Al Quaal Recreation and Outdoor Center by the Northern Michigan ski team, presented several challenges for the collegiate teams. First, the conjunction of the collegiate race with the USSA Super Tour brought a significant increase in competition and numbers. Professional athletes from across the nation attended the event vying for a top podium spot. The second challenge was the unusually high temperatures for mid-February.
On Saturday, the women faced three 5K laps during their mass start freestyle event. Northern Michigan women swept the collegiate podium, placing Nicole Schneider in first (44:59.8), Kristen Bourne in second and Vivian Hett in third. Kelsey Dickinson from Saint Scholastica came in fifth followed by Michigan Tech’s Sonja Hedblom (6th), Anna Kubek (7th) and Carolyn Lucca (8th). Sadie Peterson of Green Bay came in ninth. The top women from Saint Olaf and St. Cloud were Bri Paulsen (15th) and Maria Hauer (22nd) respectively.
“I was happy with how the Huskies performed this weekend. I think the five athletes we had who came in needing to perform to get to the NCAA Championships or to go into the Championships with confidence did well in this regard. I was also happy to see the upward trending skiing of Anna Kubek, who despite not being an NCAA Qualifier may have been our best female skier this weekend.” said MTU’s head coach Joe Haggenmiller
The men’s 20K was taken over by Adam Martin, skiing for the Wildcats, who crossed the line as the fastest collegiate skier (55:41.6). Martin shared the podium with his teammate Fredrik Schwencke (2nd) and Tom Bye (3rd) from Michigan Tech. NMU’s Zak Ketterson followed in fourth, MTU’s Gaspard Cuenot (5th), CSS’ Reitler Hodgert (6th) and Kyle Marshall (8th) from UWGB. Men from St. Olaf were led by Tyler Radke coming in 22nd.
Scholastica’s head coach Maria Stuber commented on her team’s performance: “We were really happy with our Regional performance, qualifying 2 athletes for NCAA’s and have 4 all-region races. CSS is ecstatic to have a solid group of 7 men and 5 women in the overall top 20 on the CCSA points list. This group of athletes will raise the bar for our program in 2018.”
Sunday morning kicked off with the men’s 10K classic interval start. Adam Martin clocked in 25:33.5 and claimed another victory. Gaspard Cuenot from Michigan Tech took second and Fredrik Schwencke from Northern finished third. Within the mix of Tech and Northern skiers, Scholastica’s Reitler Hogert placed seventh and Kyle Marhall rounded the top ten.
In the women’s 5K, Wildcats claimed all the podium spots with Nicole Schneider in first, Vivian Hett in second and Kristen Bourne in third. Just off the podium finished Scholastica’s Kelsey Dickinson. Tech women put the following three skiers in the top ten: Anna Kubek (7th), Carolyn Lucca (8th) and Lisa Koenig (9th).
The results in the team competitions, men’s, women’s and overall, remained unchanged for all categories with Northern in first, Tech in second and Scholastica placing third.