CCSA racing picked back up again at Theodore Wirth in the Twin Cities over the weekend. This was the one local CCSA race that was also a SuperTour event. Being a SuperTour event it brought some of the best senior skiers in the country, which increased the already high level of competition. This made for some exciting racing which included a mass start classic and interval start skate races.
The first race of the weekend was the men’s 20 km classic race. The race used a tough 5 x 3.75km loop that incorporated a lot of small climbs and descents. The first three laps we a very tactical affair with a big 13 men lead group consisting of both collegiate and SuperTour racers. On the fourth lap, it was Zak Ketterson (NMU) and Ben Lustgarten (Craftsbury) that pushed the pace and broke the field. Ketterson Managed to win out the day, besting Lustgarten by 0.9 seconds. NMU showed that they are one of the best teams in the country by taking the next two spots (Mathias Rolid and Kjetil Banerud) after Lustgarten for a 1, 3, 4 finish in the overall SuperTour races. Michigan Tech was led by Reid Goble in 13th overall (5th college), the College of Saint Scholastica was led by Emil Book Bratbak in 22nd overall (7th college), University of Wisconsin – Green Bay was led by Jacob Ajax in 38th overall (16th college), and Saint Olaf College was led by Tyler Radtke in 47th overall (25th college).
The women’s 15km race was slightly less tactical than the men’s event due to the field breaking apart just after the first lap. During the second lap, it went down to a five-woman lead group that included four SuperTour skiers and NMU freshman Abigail Jarzin. On the fourth and final lap the race broke open and Kaitlynn Miller (Craftsbury) crossed the line with the fastest time of the day. Jarzin managed to hang on for a fifth-place finish on the day, which earned her the top spot on the CCSA podium. Nicole Schneider (NMU) was the second collegiate skier (11th overall) and Amanda Kautzer (MTU) was the third collegiate skier (13th overall). University of Wisconsin – Green Bay was led by Sadie Peterson in 24th overall (7th college), College of Saint Scholastica was led by Samantha Benzing in 28th overall (11th college), Saint Olaf College was led by Rose Doda in 32nd overall (15th college), Saint Cloud State University was led by Jamie Herridge in 41st overall (24th college).
On day two of racing, it was the women that were the first to toe the line with a 5 km interval start skate race. It was an exciting day of racing with a large field of both senior and junior women with only 15 seconds separating each athlete. It was one of the strongest days of the season for the NMU women’s team with both Nicole Schneider and Abigail Jarzin landing on the overall SuperTour podium (1st and 3rd respectively). Sarah Goble (MTU) bounced back on day two with a 7th place finish overall (3rd college). University of Wisconsin – Green Bay was led by Sadie Peterson in 21st overall (7th college), College of Saint Scholastica was led by Nicole Gilman in 29th overall (11th college), Saint Olaf College was led by Rebecca Walton in 54th overall (20th college), Saint Cloud State University was led by Jamie Herridge in 61st overall (24th college).
In the men’s race Zak Ketterson proved once again he can compete with some of the best skiers in the country. He was narrowly beaten by Matt Liebsch (Pioneer Midwest) but ended the day as the 2nd place skier. Ian Torchia (NMU) and Kjetil Banerud (NMU) rounded out the CCSA podium in 6th and 8th respectively in the open field. Michigan Tech was led by Patrick Acton in 18th overall (4th college), College of Saint Scholastica was led by Hannes Stenstrom in 29th overall (11th college), University of Wisconsin – Green Bay was led by Quinn Duffy in 44th overall (21st college skier), Saint Olaf College was led by Tyler Radtke in 52nd overall (26th college).
This leaves one last weekend of racing on the schedule before the NCAA Championships take place in Stowe, Vermont. Racers will be back on course this next weekend at Houghton, Michigan to determine who will qualify for the championships.