MARQUETTE, Mich. - Northern Michigan University cross country runner Christina Turman does not only have to train for running, but for another sport, Nordic skiing. Turman, a senior from Fairbanks, Alaska, has to juggle her training for the two sports while hitting the books.
Being a student-athlete can be overwhelming with training and homework, Turman says she was always up for the challenge. Highlights of her cross country season has been a second place effort at the U.P. Collegiate Championships with a time of 23:16.5 and an eighth-place showing at the Parkside Invitational (19:07.7). She still has one more race for the 2010 cross country season as the ‘Cats run at the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Championships this coming Saturday (Nov. 20).
Last year on the ski trail, Turman led the ‘Cats in several events. Including at the Michigan Tech Challenge, Turman took the 5K freestyle with a time of 14:28.6. The final day saw Turman once again in the lead with a time of 18:37.8 in the 5K classic.
Majoring in art and design, Turman spends most of her time training for skiing than cross country. Turman said that she works out for the sport almost twice a day, six days a week. The training consists of running, roller skiing, ply metrics and weight lifting.
She also practices her skiing techniques. Though Turman said that the workouts aren’t easy to do, it helps her excel in both sports in the long run. Her dedication and hard work proved the difference not only for this season but last season. At the NCAA Central Regional Championship at Michigan Tech, Turman cleared the course with a time of 17:00.1 for a second-place finish in the 5K classic race. On the final day of the championship, she won the 10K freestyle (30:20.8).
This same amount of hard work and dedication she has on the trail became a factor in the classroom as she was named the Regional Academic All-America while skiing for the ‘Cats.
Turman said she has a very close relationship with both Jenny Ryan and Sten Fjeldheim. Ryan is the head coach of the cross country team while Fjeldheim is the head coach of the Nordic ski team. “They can tell if my game is off whether I’m stressed from class, personal and other issues,” said Turman.
According to Ryan, both she and Fjeldhiem work together to make sure the training is beneficial for both sports. They also give her time for her studies but Turman has to be organized to stay ahead on training and academics.
Turman is looking forward to having another great year with cross country and Nordic skiing as she will continue to give her 110 percent effort towards her coaches and teammates and use the dedication she has to become one of the top finishers for both teams. Hopefully she can come back to Marquette as a national champion.
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Story by Stanley Jefferson