ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Northern Michigan University women’s Nordic ski team spent the week of Jan. 5-11 in Anchorage, Alaska competing. First up was the U.S. Cross Country Championships which was followed by the University of Alaska Anchorage Invitational.
Marie-Helen Soderman led the ‘Cats in the 5K freestyle race (Jan. 5) at the U.S. Cross Country Championships with a 31st place showing with a time of 16:18.4. Laura DeWitt was 49th in the event (16:41.5). Ingrid Fjeldheim covered the course in a time of 16:57.5 which placed her 58th. Anna Karin Berglund was 81st with a time of 17:29.9. Four spots back (85th) was Christina Gillis with a time of 17:31.9. Caitlin Cassidy was 146th (19:23.8).
The classic race was not held because of the cold temperature. Thursday (Jan. 8) saw the skiers compete in the classical sprint race. Gillis was the top placing ‘Cat with a time of 4:10.97 which was good for 30th. Soderman was the next NMU skier in 34th with a time of 4:12.97. The next two ‘Cats to cross the finish line were Berglund (4:15.61) in 40th place and Fjeldheim (4:17.78) in 45th. Cassidy was the final NMU competitor as she had a time of 4:28.03 for a 69th place showing.
In the College Cup competition which was part of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships the NMU women finished in eighth place with 111 points. Over all (men and women combined) NMU was 11th with 175 points. The College Cup was designed to include results from both the freestyle and classic events at U.S. Nationals. However, because the classic race was canceled due to cold weather, only the freestyle race factored into the standings.
Over the weekend (Jan. 10-11) the ‘Cats skated at the UAA Invitational. The first day of the event was the 10K classic while the 10K freestyle was the second day’s event.
Gillis (34:53.2) and DeWitt (35:02.5) led the ‘Cats in the classic race with a 15th and 16th place showing respectively. Soderman placed 22nd (35:46.2) while Bergland was 31st (36:16.6). Cassidy with a time of 40:50.7 was 62nd.
DeWitt with a 13th-place showing in the freestyle race with a time of 33:29.0 was the top placing ‘Cat in the freestyle race. Soderman was next for NMU in 21st place (33:57.7). Bergland crossed the finish line in a time of 35:56.7 for 32nd. Finishing in 49th place was Caitlin (39:00.8).
The team will be in action next at the CCSA Championships the weekend of Jan. 24-25 in Grand Rapids, Minn.
### NMU ###
Sports Information Director